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Types of work contracts in Poland

Types of employment contracts in Poland(their features)
Every foreign citizen who lives in Poland and is going to get a job legally has to conclude an employment contract with the employer.
There are some strict requirements that an employment contract must meet. This contract should indicate the parties (an employer and an employee), the type of contract, the date of conclusion, as well as the following points:
  • the type of work (job title, functions and description of employee responsibilities)
  • the place of work
  • the wage according to the type of work (the contract indicates a gross wage)
  • the wage specified in the contract with a full-time person cannot be lower than the minimum wage
  • the start date of work - if it is not defined in the contract, then it is considered that this is the day of signing the contract
  • the working time and the wage rate.
When drawing up an employment contract, it is also necessary to remember some rules:
  • an employment contract cannot contain less favorable regulations than those specified by the Labor Code
An employment contract gives the employee the rights that the civil contract does not give, i.e.:
  • the ability to improve qualifications
  • receiving remuneration for the duration of illness
  • the record of the length of service
  • determines the rules for termination of the contract
  • defines the rules for overtime pay.
Under these agreements, contributions for medical, social insurance and tax deductions are paid. All employees, both Polish and foreign nationals, have the same employment rights. The term of employment based ona contract for a specified period is included in the length of service.
The employer is required to register a new employee with the Social Insurance Board (ZUS) and send him for a medical examination within 7 days of starting work.
The employment relationship contained in the employment contract is governed by the Labor Code.
Important! The contract must be concluded in writing no later than the start date of work.
Types of employment contracts in Poland
  1. Umowа o pracę (Employment contract)
  2. Umowa zlecenie (Commission contract)
  3. Umowa o dzieło (Specific-task contract)
  4. Umowa zlecenie z podmiotem gospodarczym (Commission contract with an economic entity)
  5. Umowa o praktyki studenckie i absolwenckie (Student and postgraduate internship contract).
The Polish Labor Code clearly states the rights and responsibilities of an employee. If the employee does not speak Polish at a sufficient level, then the employer has to provide him with a translation of the document in an understandable language.
Types of employment contracts (Umow o pracę)
An employment contract for a probation period
The purpose of this type of contract is to enable the employer to verify the qualifications of the employee and understand whether this employee is suitable for a particular job. On the other hand, such a contract allows the employee to become more familiar with working conditions.
The contract for a probation periodcan be concluded for no longer than 3 months. It is prohibited to conclude the second contract for a probation periodimmediately after the first one has expired if the second contract is supposed to give the same position to the same employee.
The validity period of the contract ends within the period for which the contract was signed. The contract may be terminated prematurely by the consent of both parties and cannot be terminated unilaterally.
A fixed-term employment contract
This type of contract is signed for a period that suits both parties. It can be extended twice, the third extension of such a contract automatically transfers it into the status of an indefinite contract (does not apply to the part-time contracts and temporary work agreements).
A contract concluded for a fixed term is dissolved at the end of that term. The contract can be terminated prematurely by the consent of both parties and cannot be terminated unilaterally (unless the employee has worked for the employer for less than 6 months or this possibility has been specified in the contract).
An employment contract for a specified task
This type of contract is signed only when the parties cannot precisely define the date of the work performance.
The duration of the employment contract depends on works performance.
There is a possibility to conclude that type of employment contract twice, the third extension of such a contract automatically transfers it into the status of an indefinite term employment contract (does not apply to the part-time contracts and temporary work agreements).
The contract is terminated automatically upon completion of the tasks set (described in the contract). The contract can be terminated prematurely by the consent of both parties and cannot be terminated unilaterally.
An employment contract for an indefinite period
This type of contract is concluded to create a long-term labor relationship between the employee and the employer. There is no contract term. The contract can be terminated unilaterally by both the employer and the employee or by agreement of both parties.
Ways to terminate an employment contract
By agreement of both parties – an employment contract can be terminated by the consent of both parties that signed the agreement on a joint decision to terminate the employment relationship. According to this reason, it is possible to terminate the employment contract at any time, subject to the mandatory preservation of the term of work under the Polish Labor Code (termin wypowiedzenia). The initiator of the signing of this agreement can be any of the parties.
Unilaterally with the preservation of the term of work in accordance with the Labor Code of Poland (rozwiązanie umowy o pracę za wypowiedzeniem) – at the initiative of either party to the contract. This option to terminate the employment contract applies to the following types of employment contracts: for an indefinite period; for a probation period; for a certain period if such a condition was described in the contract or the employee has been working for less than 6 months.
Notice period (termin wypowiedzenia)
An employment contract for a probation period: up to 14 days - 3 business days;more than 14 days -7 business days; from 3 months - 14 business days.
A fixed-term employment contract (umowa na czas okreśłony): 2 weeks.
An employment contract for an indefinite period: 2 weeks if the employee has been employed for less than 6 months; 1 month if the employee has been employed for more than 6 months; 3 months if the employee has been employed for at least 3 years.
The termination of the contract
Unilaterally without the notice period in accordance with the Polish Labor Code (rozwiązanie umowy o pracę bez wypowiedzenia) - both parties can terminate the contract on this basis.
The employer can terminate this type of contract due to the following reasons:
  • The fault of the employee (the employee has committeda serious breach of his duties; the employee has committed a crime that makes further employment on the same position impossible; the employee has losta capacity to work due to his own fault).
  • At no fault of the employee (in case of illness: the employee is absent from work for 3 months, having previously worked less than 6 months; the employee is absent due to illness longer than he has worked for the employer, receiving compensation for this; in other cases if the employee is absent for more than a month).
  • An employee can terminate an employment contract with an employer without explaining the reason if: the work performed is harmful to the employee’s health and this is confirmed by amedical certificate; the employer has seriously violated its basic responsibilities towards the employee. In this case, the employee has to receiveremuneration for the duration of the work (termin wypowiedzenia).
An employment contract (Umоwа o pracę)
Features:
  1. An employee is subordinated to an employer: the employee clearly fulfills the working hours that are specified in the contract.
  2. An employment contract must be made in writing; in the case of an oral contract, the employer has 7 days for the written confirmation.
  3. The termination of the contract is carried out in accordance with the Labor Code.
  4. Social advantages (overtime pay, vacation, maternity leave, etc.).
  5. The employer is obligated to issue a certificate of employment to the employee.
  6. Working time is counted towards the total length of service, which affects the amount of the future pension.
  7. All disputes between the employer and the employee are resolved in the court. If the initiator of the dispute is an employee, he does not pay the court costs.
A commission contract (Umоwа zlecenie)
Features:
  1. No subordination relationship. The employee determines the work schedule at his discretion, but at the same time, the employer can give instructions, and a certain time frames for the work can be determined.
  2. The voluntary contract form.
  3. The termination of the contract is possible at any time.
  4. The remuneration is made only for hours worked.
  5. The social payments in ZUS are not made. They can be paid if it was prescribed in the contract.
  6. The employer is not obligated to issue a certificate of employment to the employee.
  7. Working time is not counted towards the total length of service.
  8. All disputes between the employer and the employee are resolved ina civil court.
 
A specific-task contract (Umоwа o dzieło)
This is the use of the intellectual property for a short time. For example, to write a program, develop a complex technical device, or compose a song.
The contract may not specify time limits, but only volumes. However, if necessary, work execution periods are determined.
Features:
  1. No subordination relationship. The flexibility and independence in the actions.
  2. The voluntary contract form.
  3. The termination of the contract is possible at any time.
  4. The one-time payment after work is completed.
  5. Social payments are not made.
  6. The employer is not obligated to issue a certificate of employment to the employee.
  7. Working time is not counted towards the total length of service.
  8. Protection of the interests of both parties is not possible, since this form of contract is not specified in the Civil Code.
 
The student and postgraduate internship contract (Umowa o praktyki studenckie Iabsolwenckie)
The student and postgraduate internship contract is issued by the educational institution and concluded with the employer.
Features:
  1. A flexible or strict schedule of professional duties.
  2. Duration of the internship.
  3. The scope of the work responsibilities.
  4. The employer, for its part, has the right to complete the student’s practice only with the permission of the administration of the educational institution. This is only possible in cases where the trainee does not cope with his duties or violates discipline (being late, etc.).
  5. The amount of wages (the remuneration is two times less than the minimum wage in Poland) or its absence determines the educational institution.
  6. Social contributions are made in ZUS.
  7. The contract can be concluded with two employers at once.
  8. The employer is not obligated to issue a certificate of practice to the employee, this can be done only at the personal request of the trainee.
Violation of the labor rights
In case of violation of the labor rights, the employee can file a complaint with the State Labor Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy (PIP) and/or the Labor Court (Sąd pracy). It is only possible if the employee has concluded an employment contract (Umów o pracę)!
The employee has to provide all evidence of a violation of the labor rights by the employer in writing.
As a rule, the employee (applicant) does not pay the costs for examining his complaint by these institutions.
The State Labour Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy) is an organ, whose activity includes supervision and inspection of the observance by employers of labor law (Labor Code), including verification of the legality of the employment. PIP also checks employers.
 
 

 

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