Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology

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The employment contract (umowa o pracę) specifies the parties to the contract, type of the contract, date of signature, terms and conditions applicable work and remuneration, in particular: type of work, place of work, remuneration for a given type of work with specification of the remuneration components, working time and the date for commencing the work.

The employment contract may be concluded with a person aged 18 or older. Employment contracts may also be concluded with young workers aged 15-18. However, it is prohibited as a rule to employ persons younger than 15.

The employment contract may be concluded for a probation period, indefinite period or fixed period of time.

The employment contract for a probation period (umowa o pracę na okres próbny), not exceeding 3 months, is concluded in order to check the qualification of the worker and the possibility of his/her employment in order to perform a specific type of work. The contract for a probation period may be renewed with the same worker, if the worker is to perform a different type of work or (if the worker is to perform the same type of work) upon the lapse of 3 years from the date the previous employment contract was terminated or expired.

The employment period under an employment contract for a fixed period of time (umowa o pracę na czas określony), and the total employment period under employment contracts for a fixed period of time signed between the same parties to the employment relationship, must not exceed 33 months, and the total number of such contracts must not exceed three. If the employment period under an employment contract/contracts exceeds 33 months or if the number of contracts for a fixed period of time exceeds three, it is deemed - from the next day after the lapse of that period or from the date of the fourth employment contract for a fixed period of time - that the worker is employed under an employment contract for an indefinite period of time (umowa o pracę na czas nieokreślony).

The aforementioned restrictions do not apply to employment contracts for a fixed period of time signed to replace another worker during his/her justified absence from work, to perform an ad-hoc or seasonal work, to perform work during a term of office, and when the employer specifies objective reasons on its side for signing this type of a contract, provided that such contracts are signed to satisfy the actual temporary demand for workforce and are necessary in the light of any and all circumstance  under which the employment contract is signed. This also applies to the situation in which an employment contract for a fixed period of time has been extended until the date of childbirth (which otherwise would be terminated upon the lapse of the third month of pregnancy).

The provisions provide for a possibility to employ workers on a full-time or part-time basis. Part-time employment must not lead to establishing work and remuneration conditions that would be less favourable than those offered for the same or similar type of work performed on a full-time basis.

Within the framework of an employment relationship, a worker may also be employed on the basis of an appointment (powołanie), election (wybór), nomination (mianowanie) or a cooperative employment contract (spółdzielcza umowa o pracę).

An employment contract is concluded in writing, failing which the employer must give the employee a written confirmation of the agreed terms and conditions regarding the type and provisions of the contract before the employee is admitted to work.

Amendments to an employment contract must be in writing and may be effected either:

  • by mutual agreement of the parties – in which case the employer and the worker express their consent for amending the conditions of the contract and specify a day from which the amendments will enter into force, or
  • by the employer through a notice amending the work and/or remuneration conditions,

The amending notice is deemed to be effective if the employer has proposed the worker new conditions in writing. The notice should include an instruction regarding the right of the worker to accept or reject the new conditions. If no such instruction is given, the worker has time until the end of the notice period to submit his/her declaration on refusing to accept the proposed conditions .

If the worker receives a notice amending his/her work and/or remuneration conditions, he/she may:

  • make a declaration that he/she accepts the proposed conditions; the new conditions will then enter into force upon the lapse of the notice period,
  • submit a declaration that he/she refuses to accept the proposed conditions before the lapse of a half of the notice period; then the employment contract is terminated upon the lapse of the notice period,
  • submit no declaration, which is equivalent to his/her acceptance of the new conditions; the new conditions will then enter into force upon the lapse of the notice period.