Employees from Ukraine – how to hire them?
Published on 8th Apr 2022
Over 4 million people have already left the war-torn Ukraine in search of safety and shelter. Most of them – close to 2.5 million – came to Poland where they intend to stay longer. These plans are often associated with the possibility of working and enjoying support provided for Ukrainian citizens in the legalization of stay and work in Poland. Special rules governing the stay and work of Ukrainian citizens in Poland are introduced in the Act of 12 March 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with the armed conflict in the territory of that country.
Legal stay – a condition for legal work
Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland in connection with hostilities may stay here legally for 18 months (until 23 August 2023): they need no visas or residence permits in Poland. Their stay is legal if they entered Poland in the period from 24 February 2022 and declared intention to stay on the territory of the Republic of Poland. Ukrainian holders of the Pole’s Card should additionally leave the territory of Ukraine on 24 February or later. This right to legal stay will not be available to Ukrainian citizens who have a permanent or temporary residence permit in Poland or who have applied for international protection on Polish territory.
The above rules regarding the legalization of stay in Poland also apply to spouses of Ukrainian citizens who do not have Ukrainian citizenship and members of the immediate family of a Ukrainian citizen who has a Pole’s Card and who are not Ukrainian citizens (i.e. not only spouses but also for instance children) if these persons came to Poland in connection with hostilities in Ukraine.
Until now, in order to legally work in Poland, Ukrainian citizens had to obtain special documents (including a work permit). The new regulations have lifted these restrictions: to work legally in Poland (both under an employment contract and, for example, a mandate contract), Ukrainian citizens only need to be legally resident in Poland. Their employment requires no work permit or registering a declaration on entrusting them with work (there is no need to obtain documents legalizing work). The employer must only notify the district employment bureau about having hired such an employee. The notification is made using a dedicated electronic form within 14 days from the date of employment of a Ukrainian citizen.
Access to the labor market in Poland is available to all Ukrainian citizens legally residing in Poland – not only those who came to Poland in connection with hostilities. With the legalization of work made easier, Ukrainians can start working in Poland much faster and more employers decide to adapt their jobs for such employees.
Employment contract only?
On top of having free access to the labor market, Ukrainian citizens residing in Poland may also open business in Poland to a greater extent than other foreigners. Under special regulations, they can become self-employed on the same terms as Polish citizens – the only condition is that a Ukrainian citizen must obtain the Personal ID number (PESEL). As self-employed, Ukrainian citizens may cooperate with Polish businesses also under B2B contracts.
How can we help?
Osborne Clarke supports businesses in the process of hiring foreigners, including Ukrainian citizens. Our advisory includes:
- legal analysis of the legality of a foreigner’s stay in Poland;
- legalization of employment of a foreigner in Poland and complying with the related obligations (including the notification of the labor bureau);
- extending a foreigner’s legal stay and work in Poland, including representing him/her and the employer before the relevant offices;
- drafting an employment contract and other employment documents for a foreigner;
- legal and tax consultancy in the field of social insurance and employee taxes involved when a foreigner is hired.