On 13 September, a bill on the employment of foreigners was published in the list of legislative work. The draft law is currently at the stage of interdepartmental consultations and is expected to enter into force later this year. The new law is essentially based on the existing fundamental principles regarding the employment of foreigners, though it introduces a number of new solutions.
Digitisation of procedures for employing foreigners
As has been the case so far, an employer planning to employ a foreigner will be required to obtain a work permit.
Permit applications will only be processed via online submission at www.praca.gov.pl. Any appeals with respect to work permits must also be filed in the same manner.
Work permit – changes awaiting employers under the new act
Work permits will continue to be issued by the provincial governor (wojewoda).
In certain cases, the maximum duration of the work permit has been reduced from 3 years to 1 year, i.e. when:
- The employer submitting the application has been in business for less than one year,
- The foreigner will be employed for ½ FTE or a maximum of 20 hours per week,
- Employment will be based on a civil law contract (e.g. a contract for services).
- A change or granting of a new work permit will not be required in situations including an increase in the working time or the number of working hours per week or month with a simultaneous pro-rata salary rise,
- The issuance of a work permit will not have to be preceded by a ‘labour market test’ (a verification of whether there are any unemployed Polish nationals on the local labour market who could be employed in the position offered by the employer),
- A work permit will not be issued where the person would be employed for less than ¼ FTE or less than 10 hours per week,
- A foreigner will be able to work legally until the date of issuance of a new (subsequent) work permit if, during the validity period of the existing permit, the employer has applied for a subsequent permit for the existing position or type of work.
Statement on the employment of foreigners
According to the bill, the existing ‘statement on the entrustment of work’ (oświadczenie o powierzeniu wykonywania pracy) will be renamed to ‘statement on the employment of foreigners’ (oświadczenie o zatrudnianiu cudzoziemców).
Employers will be able to submit their statements online, similarly to applications for a work permit. Work on the basis of a registered statement will continue to be allowed for a period of 24 months. However, the entity registering the statements will change – from district labour offices (powiatowy urząd pracy) to district governors (starosta).
Penalties for illegal employment of foreigners
The bill will introduce a new method of imposing penalties for the illegal employment of foreigners: the fine may not be lower than PLN 500 for each illegally employed foreigner.
At the same time, the maximum fine may not exceed PLN 30,000.
Until now, in the event of illegal employment, the fine for non-compliance with the Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions Act, in practice, was imposed in the amount of the lower limit of this penalty, regardless of the scale of illegal employment (number of illegal workers). The change being introduced is intended to discourage employers from illegally employing foreigners.
Do you have questions about employing foreigners or the form of employment that would be best for you? Contact the author.
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