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Employment contractsPrint

There are some very specific requirements that a contract of employment must fulfill. In addition to indicating the parties (i.e. employer and employee), the type of contract and the date of its conclusion, an employment contract should include the following elements: 

  • type of work (job title, function, and description of responsibilities of the employee),
  • place of work,
  • remuneration corresponding to the type of work performed
  • start date - if not specified in the contract, it is assumed that this is the day the contract is signed,
  • working time – full or part-time etc. 

In drawing up the contract of employment, a few rules must be observed: 

  • an employment contract may not contain terms less favorable than those specified in the labor code;
  • a contract of employment gives the employee rights which can not be conferred by a civil law contract, that is:
    • right to paid holiday leave,
    • opportunities for further training,
    • sick pay,
    • increase in the length of employment used as the basis for future entitlements,
    • rules for contract termination,
    • principles of remuneration for overtime work – work over the number of hours provided for in the labor code - what is the working time in Poland? ->

For these contracts, even if the employee is a foreigner, social insurance contributions are collected (more information on social security is available here ->) as well as health insurance contributions (more information on health care is available here ->), and an advance on income tax (more information about taxes is available here ->). Consequently, all employees are entitled to the same employee benefits, and the period of employment under a fixed-term contract is included in their employment length (seniority) used as the basis for future entitlements. 

The employer is obliged to register a new employee with ZUS (Social Security Institution) within 7 days of the start of his employment (what is the Social Security Institution (ZUS)? -[gt]) and direct him to a preliminary medical examination. The employer must also comply with working time provisions  - what is the working time of an employee in Poland? -> 

The Labour Code is the legal basis regulating the employment relationship resulting from a contract of employment.

The agreement must be concluded in writing not later than on the date of commencement of work.

The contract of employment places certain responsibilities on the employee and the employer - more information is available here -> 

The most common employment contracts are:

1. fixed-term contract;
2. contract for an indefinite duration.

Fixed-term contract

A fixed-term contract is concluded for a predetermined time indicated by the employer and employee, which means that it is an agreement valid temporarily, for a specified period.

In a situation where the employer has concluded two consecutive fixed-term contracts with the same employee, the third contract is treated on par with a contract for indefinite duration if the interval between the second and third contract does not exceed 1 month.

A fixed-term contract can be terminated by mutual agreement between the parties and also if the contract is for a period longer than six months and includes a clause on the possibility of its termination. In this case, the notice period is 2 weeks. In this event, the notice shall be in writing and the party has no obligation to state the reasons for terminating the contract. 

An employment contract for a fixed period imposes certain obligations on both the employee and employer - more information is available here ->

Contract for an indefinite period

This is the most advantageous contract form from the point of view of the employee, as it is characterized by the absence of a predetermined duration of employment.

The employment contract of indefinite duration can be resolved by mutual agreement of the parties at such date as the parties decide upon. If an employee or an employer wish to terminate this type of agreement, notice must be given to the other party in writing. The employer is also required to provide causes for the termination of the contract. 

The notice period for termination of an indefinite duration contract depends on the length of employment with a given employer. The notice period is:

  • 2 weeks if the employee has been employed for less than 6 months,
  • 1 month if the employee has been employed over 6 months,
  • 3 months if the employee has been employed for a minimum of 3 years.

Termination of employment is in some cases impermissible – e.g. during pregnancy, during sick leave, during other justified absences from work.

An employment contract for indefinite period imposes certain obligations on both the employee and employer - more information is available here ->