Human Capital and labour law

Key steps for employing individuals in Poland

The main, selected steps, related to employment of an individual by a Polish employer are as follows: 

  1. An employer and an employee shall execute the employment contract in writing with at least minimum statutory regulated content.
  2. Each new employee shall be, in principle, subject to an initial medical examination. 
  3. An employer must ensure its employee is familiar with the provisions and principles of health and safety at work concerning the work he/she performs and all required safety at work regulations shall be observed/required steps related performed. In principle, the employer must ensure that the employee undertakes initial training in health and safety at work prior to commencement of work. 
  4. An employer must inform an employee, in writing, not later than within 7 days of the date of concluding the employment contract about: 
    • the standard daily and weekly working time
    • the frequency of the remuneration payments, 
    • the length of annual leave to which an employee is entitled, 
    • the length of the notice period binding upon the termination of the employee's employment contract, 
    • any collective labour agreement that covers an employee, 
    • and, if the employer is not obliged to establish work regulations – additionally about the night-time hours, the place, date and frequency of remuneration payments, and the adopted procedure of confirming the arrival and presence of employees at work, as well as the procedure of excusing their absence from work.
  1. An employer shall provide its employee with the contents of provisions concerning equal treatment in employment;
  2. An employer must registered as an employer with the Social Security Institution and must register the employee as an insured person in the Social Security Institution – within 7 days from the date of commencement of the employment;
  3. An employer must maintain personal files of an employee in accordance with Polish regulations, including regulations applicable to the personal data protection.
  4. An employer must also properly calculate and pay out the remuneration to its employee, as well as settle all tax and social security contributions related to the employment.

Also both during the pre-employment period and contacts with candidates, as well as in the course of employment relationship GDPR rules shall be observed.

Note that if the employee resides in Poland at the conclusion of the employment agreement and the agreement is to be performed in Poland, all acts related to the labour law should in principle be made in Polish. Bilingual versions of documents are allowed, but Polish language version shall prevail.

Employee protections under Polish law

Maximum working time and minimum rest periods - in general, a full-time work week of 5 days must not exceed on average more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours in total.

Annual leaves - a duty to give each employee paid holiday leave. Depending on the length of service, the total annual leave of the employee shall be 20 or 26 days. 

The employee may not waive his/her right to the annual leave. The unused holiday is transferred to a subsequent calendar year and should be used by the employee before 30 September of such year.

National Minimum Wage - an obligation to pay employees at least the minimum wage which is a fixed monthly rate and is increased annually (as of 1 January 2021 PLN 2,800 gross, being an equivalent of approx. EUR 640 gross).

The limitation of the number of temporary employment contracts that can be offered to an employee (up to three fixed term contracts within a period not exceeding 33 months in total) - only limited exceptions apply.

A general duty to provide a safe place of work, safe access and safe work systems, supported by related obligations such as consulting with employees or their representatives on health and safety issues and providing staff with certain health and safety information.

An obligation not to discriminate against employees, including job applicants, on a range of grounds, covering i.a. regardless of sex, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, trade union membership, ethnic origin, creed, sexual orientation, as well as regardless of employment for a definite or indefinite period of time or full-time or part-time employment.

Rules for termination of employment. An employment relationship may be ceased:

  • by mutual agreement,
  • by one party with notice period being preserved,
  • by one party without notice period (possible exclusively only in the cases specified in the Labour Code, e.g. disciplinary dismissal or the employer’s fault).

Termination notice of the employment contract must be made in writing in Polish language. Additionally, employers are obliged to provide grounds justifying the termination when terminating:

  • any type of employment contract without notice or
  • employment contract for an indefinite period with notice.

Sick pay. Generally for the first 33 calendar days of sick leave in a given calendar year (for employees over 50 years of age - for 14 calendar days) the employee receives a sickness allowance financed by the employer at a rate of 80% (in limited case - 100%) of the sickness benefit basis . After 33 days (or 14 days as appropriate) of sickness absence the employee receives the sickness allowance at the same percentage of the sickness benefit basis for each day of absence covered by the Social Security Authority from the Sickness Insurance of Social Security Coverage. 

Various benefits for the employee in connection with childbirth, including the right to at least 20 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave, as well as 32 weeks of leave for parents. The total length of maternity leave and leave for parents increases depending on how many children were born and equals to:

  • 65 weeks (31+34), in case of 2 children;
  • 67 weeks (33+34), in case of 3 children, etc.

Collective labour law regulations

Right of association. Based on the Polish Labour Code, all employees have the right to freely join trade unions. A minimum of 10 persons is necessary to establish a trade union and the employer cannot limit this right in any way. Trade unions must be consulted in a number of issues - both relating to individual and collective employment affairs, e.g. while terminating employment contracts or adopting internal by-laws.

Irrespective of the employees right to associate in trade unions,  the employer is obliged to inform employees on the possibility to establish a works council if it employs at least 50 employees. Establishment of the works council is not mandatory, as the initiative is on the employees’ end, however, the employer must fulfil the above notification obligation.

Collective labour law regulations: In principle the following collective labour law regulations are required to be established in case of an employer employing 50 employees (or more):

Remuneration regulations - if an employer is not covered by an enterprise collective labour agreement;

Workplace regulations - unless in-scope regulations were covered in a collective labour agreement;

Social Benefit Fund and its regulations - where there are 50 full-time equivalents (FTE) employees as of 1 January of a given year.

At the request of the trade union, the establishment of the above shall be obligatory for employees employing at least 20 employees (20 FTEs in case of Social Benefit Fund and its regulations).


Poland has a relatively complex fiscal system. This is supported by the global Paying Taxes study: PwC annually assesses the ease with which tax obligations can be met. Paying Taxes compares the tax burden and compliance obligations of 190 countries around the world. Paying Taxes 2020 shows that Poland ranks 77 overall. This is caused by complicated legislation which is often amended, however the legislators are making lots of efforts to use technology to facilitate tax compliance. Please find more information in our Paying Taxes study.

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Adam Pawlicki

Adam Pawlicki

Partner, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 502 184 080

Daniel Iwiński

Daniel Iwiński

Director, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 519 506 824

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