According to the survey report, ‘War Refugees from Ukraine. One Year in Poland’, conducted by the EWL Migration Platform and the Eastern European Studies at the University of Warsaw, already 82% of refugees from Ukraine have found work in Poland. This would not have been possible without the help of non-governmental organizations (e.g. in the form of Polish language courses and support in the process of looking for employment), favourable Polish legislation (i.e. facilitated procedure for employing people from Ukraine) and individual motivation of Ukrainians and Ukrainian women. Below is a collection of the most important information and advice on the labour market for the Ukrainian community in Poland.
How can the Mapuj Pomoc tool be used in the search for employment?
One of the available search categories in the Mapuj Pomoc database is ‘job search assistance’. If you select this option, you will see a list of organizations that provide activities such as:
- career and labour law guidance;
- educational initiatives in the area of the labour market in Poland (e.g. legalisation of employment, registration of economic activity in Poland, rights and obligations of the employee and the employer);
- variety of online platforms to support refugees in their job search;
- job search portals.
Poland opens its doors to refugees from Ukraine
The Act on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine of 12 March 2022 introduces the principle of general access of Ukrainian citizens to the Polish labour market. A Ukrainian citizen* who:
- is legally staying in Poland and has a valid residence title (i.e. permanent or temporary residence permit, passport in the case of entry and stay on the territory of Poland in visa-free traffic, certificate of temporary protection)
- arrived legally on the territory of Poland in the period from 24 February 2022 from the territory of Ukraine and declares his/her intention to stay in Poland.
*including the spouse of a Ukrainian citizen who does not have Ukrainian citizenship, provided that s/he arrived at Polish territory from the territory of Ukraine due to the warfare conducted in this area
*including a citizen of Ukraine holding a Pole’s Card and members of his/her immediate family (spouses, minor children of the citizen of Ukraine, minor children of the spouse of the citizen of Ukraine, other close relatives who lived together as a single family with the citizen of Ukraine or his/her spouse immediately before arriving in Poland and who were at that time fully or partially dependent on the citizen of Ukraine or his/her spouse).
It is additionally worth noting that the rule that a Ukrainian citizen who has crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border after 24 February 2022 will lose their legal right of residence if they leave Poland for more than 1 month does not apply to persons who are obliged to work or provide services outside Poland by companies operating on Polish territory.
To begin with — types of employment in Poland
When looking for a job in Poland, you will come across several types of contracts offered by employers. These differ from Ukrainian forms of employment, so it is necessary to familiarize yourself with their Polish equivalents. The necessary information can be found below:
- the article “Forms of employment in Poland” on the Pracuj.pl portal
- information on the employment contract and civil law forms of employment of the Chief Labour Inspectorate
- information prepared by the NGO “Unions Help Refugees”
An employer is obliged to treat a Ukrainian citizen in the same way as a Polish citizen in an employment relationship. Persons who are dealing with the Polish labour market for the first time are more vulnerable to abuse by dishonest employers – therefore, it is important to remember that:
- the salary of an employee from Ukraine cannot be lower than the minimum wage (employment contract – PLN 3490 gross and PLN 3600 gross from 1 July 2023) or the minimum hourly rate (PLN 22.80 gross and from 1 July 2023 PLN 23.50 gross)
- employment contract, contract of mandate, contract of specific work must be in writing
- your employer must provide you with a translation of the contract in a language you understand
- depending on the contract, the employee is covered by insurance — pension, disability pension, accident insurance, sickness insurance – and pays contributions together with the employer (information on how to check whether the employer fulfils its obligation can be found here)
Nostrification of Ukrainian diploma
Diploma nostrification is the process by which the administrative authority of the country of destination confirms the suitability and equivalence of the diploma obtained in the country of origin. The need for this procedure has become a barrier for refugees seeking work (due to the 3-month duration of nostrification). The most important information about this procedure can be found here
If your employer has treated you unlawfully, you can report this to the National Labour Inspectorate, simply write a complaint — this should be verified immediately (but no later than within 1 month). You can also enforce your rights through the courts.
More information on labour and employment law in Poland can be found in the additional materials below:
- The handbook “New employee. Employer’s responsibilities”
- Guidebook “Staying and working in Poland”.
- Unions Help Refugees Platform (there is the possibility of direct contact for a specific employment case)
- Guidebook “Living and working in Poland” of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy