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Responsibilities of an employer when employing foreigners

This article is written according to the legal status current as of: 2018-01-02

Responsibilities of an employer when employing foreigners

What are the responsibilities of an employer when employing a foreigner?

The employer is obliged to:

  • verify, prior to taking up employment by a foreigner, whether he has a valid document entitling him to stay on the Polish territory, do a copy of this document and store this document for the entire period employment,
  • conclude a written contract with a foreigner under the terms included in the work permit,
  • present a foreigner with a contract translated into a language that he/she knows before concluding it,
  • hand over one copy of the work permit to a foreigner, in writing,
  • inform an employee about all actions regarding work permit application procedure, issued documents, decisions issued by authorities let it be refusal, approval or withdrawal,
  • exercise due diligence during the procedure of application for a work permit or prolongation and repeal of a work permit,
  • present the authorities (competent Province Governor, head of the competent tax office, local ZUS office, consul, the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP), Customs Service, Polish Border Guard and Police) with the documents, that confirm fulfilling of the above requirements.

Additionally the employer is obliged to inform the competent province office about the following circumstances:

  • change in the registered seat or address, company name or type of business entity or when the company or part of it is taken over by another employer,
  • the foreigner did not undertake the job within 3 months of the date included in the work permit,
  • the foreigner stopped performing work for the period exceeding 3 months,
  • the foreigner ceased to perform work earlier than 3 months before the expiry date included in the work permit.

What are the consequences of breaking the law when employing foreigners?

Illegal work performance by foreigners refers to:

  • work performed by a foreigner who is not entitled to perform work pursuant to Article 87 par. 1 of the Act or does not have an appropriate work permit or stays in Poland on the basis of a document that does not entitle him/her to perform work in this country,
  • work performed by a foreigner in a different position or under different terms than those indicated in the work permit, with the exemption of Article 88f par. 1a-1c or art. 88s par. 1 i 2, or work performed in a different position or under different terms than those included in the temporary work permit as referred to in Article 114, 126, 127 or Article 142 par. 3, with the exemption of Article 119 ad Article 135 par. 3 of the Act of 13 December 2013 on aliens.
  • work performed without concluding a contract of employment or a civil law contract in the required form.

What are the penalties for illegal employment of a foreigner?

For offences:

  • Employers who employ a foreigner without a valid visa or any other document entitling him/her to reside on the territory of Poland are liable to a fine of not less than 3,000 PLN.
  • Employers who on a persistent basis employs a foreigner without a valid document entitling him/her to reside on the territory of Poland, when the work being performed is not related to the business conducted by these employers, are liable to a fine of not less than 10,000 PLN.

For criminal acts:

  • Fines or penalties of imprisonment for:
    • employing an underage foreigner residing in Poland illegally,
    • employing at the same time a number of foreigners residing in Poland illegally,
    • persistent employing a foreigner residing in Poland illegally if the work is related to the business conducted by the employer.
  • Imprisonment of up to 3 years for:
    • employing a foreigner who is a victim of human trafficking,
    • employing a foreigner under particularly exploitative working conditions.

Legal basis:

Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (art. 88h and 120)

Act of 15 June 2012 on the effects of delegating work to foreigners unlawfully residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland

Development: Editorial team of Zielona Linia


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