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The unemployment benefit

This article is written according to the legal status current as of: 2017-01-03

The unemployment benefit

Who is eligible for the unemployment benefit?

You will be eligible for the benefit when you register as an unemployed person and the labour office cannot offer you an appropriate job, training, trial period, vocational training for adults, intervention works or public works, provided that you meet all the necessary requirements.

What are the requirements?

You are eligible for the benefit if – for 18 months directly preceding the registration day – for the total period of at least 365 days you:

  • were employed and received a salary that was equal at least to the minimum remuneration for work (see the current rates)-podlinkować, which is liable to the Labour Fund contributions. However, it does not include unpaid leave that lasted for more than 30 days in total.
  • worked on the basis of a work-by-job contract and acquired an income that reached the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work,
  • provided services on the basis on an agency contract, mandate contract or other contract for services that is covered by the provisions of the Act of 23 April 1964 – Civil Code, or cooperated in fulfilment of these contracts, provided that social insurance and Labour Fund were calculated on the basis of the amount equal to at least the minimum remuneration for work,
  • paid social insurance contributions due to running a business, while the contributions for social insurance and the Labour Fund were calculated on the basis of the amount equal to at least the minimum remuneration for work (it is important to remember that the period when you paid preferential social insurance contributions is not taken into account when assessing your entitlement to the unemployment benefit, since in that particular case you did not pay the Labour Fund contributions),
  • are an unemployed person released from penal institutions or investigative custody, and registered within 30 days since the release if the sum of the periods of work falling within 18 months before the last imprisonment and during the imprisonment, was equal to at least 365 days, provided that social insurance and Labour Fund contributions were calculated on the basis of the amount at least equal to the minimum remuneration for work. In the case of imprisonment that occurred during the period of receiving the benefit, after the release you will have the right to the benefit for the period shortened by the period of receiving the benefit before the imprisonment and during the breaks in serving the sentence term,
  • performed work as a member of an agricultural manufacturing co-operative or co-operative of farmers’ societies or an agricultural services co-operative, provided that social insurance and Labour Fund contributions were calculated on the basis of the amount equal to at least the minimum remuneration for work,
  • paid contributions to the Labour Fund in virtue of being employed or performing other paid work abroad for a foreign employer (outside the EU) in the amount equal to at least 9,75% of the average remuneration for work (see the current rates),
  • were employed abroad and came to the Republic of Poland as a repatriate,
  • were employed, served a duty or performed other paid work and earned a remuneration or income, liable to the Labour Fund contributions

Remember!

It does not matter if you worked full-time or part-time, the most important requirement is to receive at least minimal remuneration for work.

It is also important to remember that there are certain groups of the employers, who are not obliged to pay the

Labour Fund contributions. In this particular case in spite of lack of the mentioned contributions the unemployed person may be still entitled to the benefit. It concerns the following situations:

  • Employers and other organisational units are not obliged to pay contributions to the Labour Fund for employees returning from maternity leave, maternity leave granted to legal guardians of a child, additional maternity leave, additional leave granted to legal guardians of a child, parental leave, and childcare leave within 36 months, counting from the first month after the return from the leave.
  • Employers and other organisational units are not obliged to pay contributions to the Labour Fund for a period of 12 months that starts with the first month after the conclusion of an employment contract for employee over 50 years of age and who, over a period of 30 days prior to employment, remained in the register of unemployed persons of the district labour office.
  • Employers are not obliged to pay contributions to the Labour Fund for employees who have reached the age of at least 55 years for women and at least 60 years for men.
  • Employers and other organisational units are not obliged to pay contribution to the Labour Fund for 12 months starting with the first month after the conclusion of the employment contract for the unemployed under 30 assigned by the labour office.
  • Organisational units are not obliged to pay contributions to the Labour Fund for persons receiving the guardian benefit pursuant to the provisions on establishment and paying out benefits for guardians.
  • Entrepreneurs of the Polish Association of the Deaf and Polish Association of the Blind, Association of Visually Impaired Soldiers of the Republic of Poland, Association for the Care of the Blind People, Centre for the Care of the Blind People in Laski and vocational activation centres shall not pay contributions to the Labour Fund for employed workers with a significant or moderate level of disability.

What other periods entitle you to the unemployment benefit?

The period of 365 days, that entitles you to the unemployment benefit also includes the periods of:

  • compulsory military service, extended military service, military training, preparatory service, trainee service, contracted professional military service, military drill, temporary military service or military service in the case of mobilisation and during the war, and obligatory service performed in civil defence and alternative service, as well as service as an office, referred to in the Act of 18 February 1994 on pensions of officers of the Police, the Internal Security Agency, the Foreign Intelligence Agency, the Military Counter-Intelligence Service, the Military Intelligence Service, the Central Anticorruption Bureau, the Border Guard, the Government Protection Bureau, the State Fire Service and the Penitentiary Service as well as their families (the unemployed released from the compulsory military service or the temporary military service shall be entitled to allowance if the service period amounts to at least 240 days and falls within 18 months before the day of registration in the district labour office);
  • parental leave granted in accordance with separate regulations;
  • receiving disability pension due to incapacity to work or perform duty, referred to in point 1, training disability pension and periods of receiving sickness allowance, maternity allowance, allowance in the amount of maternity allowance of rehabilitation benefit after the termination of employment, performing other gainful work or non-agricultural activity, if the assessment base for these allowances and the benefit, including the amount of social insurance contributions, amounted to at least the minimum remuneration for work;
  • other periods, when the social insurance  contributions and the Labour Fund were paid, if the contribution assessment base amounted to at least the minimum remuneration for work;
  • periods for which compensation was granted due to the illegal termination of the employment relationship or service relationship by the employer, and the period for which the compensation was granted to the employee due to shortening term of notice;
  • worked as a nanny on the basis of an “activating contract” referred to in Article 50 of the Act of 4 February 2011 on the care of children aged three and under;
  • receiving a family allowance in the case of being simultaneously eligible for disability pension in virtue of incapacity to work and the family allowance was chosen;
  • taking care of a child by persons referred to in article 6a par.1 of the Act of 13 October 1998 on the social insurance system;
  • receiving attendance allowance, carer’s special benefit or benefit for carer, if the loss of rights to them was caused by the death of a person, over which care was exercised.

After what time since the registration will you be granted the benefit?

In most cases you are eligible for the benefit since the registration day.
However,

  • if you terminated a work or service contract with a notice or by the mutual agreement within the 6 months before registration, you will be granted the benefit after 90 days since the day of the registration, unless:
    o the mutual agreement was due to the employer’s bankruptcy, liquidation or to employment reduction for reasons related to the workplace,
    o the work contract was terminated with a notice or by mutual agreement due to a change in the place of residence,
    o you terminated a work contract on the basis of Article 55 § 11 of the Labour Code.
  • if you registered with a district labour office as an unemployed person who has suspended business activities, you will be granted the benefit after 90 days since the registration (provided that you fulfil all the necessary requirements),
  • if your faults caused the termination of a work contract without notice or terminated a work contract that was concluded upon assignment of the labour office to work for an employer who received activation allowance and it occurred within 6 months before registration with a district labour office, you will be granted the benefit
  • after 180 days since the registration.

How long can you receive the unemployment benefit?

The allowance collection period shall amount to:

  • 180 days – for the unemployed domiciled within the allowance collection period within the territory of a district if the unemployment rate within this area on 30 June of the year preceding the day when the right to allowance was granted did not exceed 150% of the average national unemployment rate;
  • 365 days – for the unemployed:
    • domiciled within the allowance collection period within the territory of a district if the unemployment rate within this area on 30 June of the year preceding the day when the right to allowance was granted exceeded 150% of the average national unemployment rate, or
    • who are aged over 50 and have the allowance eligibility period of at least 20 years, or
    • who maintain at least one child aged up to 15, and the spouse of the unemployed person is unemployed as well and lost the right to allowance due to expiration of the period for its collection after the day when the right to allowance was granted to the unemployed person, or
    • who single-handedly maintain at least one child aged up to 15.

The period of an unemployment benefit collection is shortened by the period for which the compensation was granted to the employee due to shortening term of notice, if the person during that time registers in the labour office and meets all of the requirements to receive the unemployment benefit.

When are you eligible for the complementary benefit?

If you lose the status of an unemployed person for the period shorter than 365 days due to:

  • undertaking employment,
  • other paid work,
  • non-farming business activity,
  • obtaining income that exceeds half of the minimum monthly remuneration for work

and  register with the district labour office as an unemployed person within 14 days of the date when:

  • employment expired,
  • other paid work, non-agricultural activity, sickness allowance collection after expiration of employment was discontinued,
  • performance of other paid work, non-agricultural activity or receiving income that exceeds the half of the minimum monthly remuneration (see the current rate) for work was discontinued,

you will have the right to collect the benefit for a duration reduced by the benefit collection period prior to the losing the status of an unemployed person and by the periods of employment on the basis of intervention works or public works and by the period of apprenticeship, training or vocational training at the workplace.

If you lose the status of an unemployed person for a period not longer than 365 days, and on the day of next registration you meet the conditions to be granted the unemployment benefit you will be granted the right to benefit for a period reduced by the previous allowance collection period.

Useful information:

If you are entitled during the same period to a scholarship and an allowance you can choose which benefit you prefer to receive.

Periods of collection of unemployment benefit are counted in the work period required to acquire or preserve employee rights and contributory periods under the provisions on pensions from the Social Insurance Fund.

Periods of collection of unemployment benefit do not count in to:

  • periods required for entitlement to and duration of unemployment benefit;
  • period of employment upon which depends the entitlement to annual leave;
  • seniority as defined in separate regulations, required to perform certain jobs.

The allowances shall be paid in monthly periods in arrears. For an incomplete month, the benefit is determined by dividing the amount of benefit by 30 and multiplying the resulting figure by the number of calendar days in the period for which the benefit is granted.

Claims for due and uncollected unemployment allowances and other benefits financed from the Labour Fund shall be barred by limitation after 6 months from the date of making them available.
For the period of receiving scholarship the labour office will issue tax declaration PIT11.

Legal basis
Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (Article 41(1b), 71-73, 75, 76, 79)

Development: Editorial team of Zielona Linia


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