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The autumn of 2022 is a period of intensive legislative work on changes to provisions on legality of employment and residence of foreigners, including on the Act on Aid to Citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine (further "the Act”). In today's post, we look at what will change in terms of the legality of Ukrainians' stay in Poland


Temporary residence permits and national visas valid only due to the current "covid-19" regulations will soon expire. Voivodship offices will be overwhelmed with an avalanche of applications to initiate legalization proceedings on the breakthrough of 2022 and 2023. Entrepreneurs must take action now to avoid negative consequences including deportation of employed foreigners. 

With the amendment to the Act on Aid to Citizens of Ukraine, which is currently being worked on, the government plans to repeal almost all of the provisions of the special covid-19 Act granting foreigners a number of rights with regard to their stay and work in Poland, particularly including those extending the validity of temporary residence permits residence cards and Polish national visas. 

The provision extending the deadline for applying for a temporary residence permit is also to be "deleted."

The above means that a temporary residence permit, which validity would normally have expired but was extended under special covid-19 Act, will expire on the date the planned amendments come into effect. The same applies to Polish national visas. The regulation will also apply to short-term residence titles (e.g. visa-free travel, Schengen visas, national visas of Schengen countries, residence permits of Schengen countries) on the basis of which foreigners stayed in Poland at the latest on the date from which an epidemic emergency was first declared in connection with covid-19 infections, and which expired while special covid-19 Act is into force.

The changes will take effect 30 days after the regulations will enter into force, which is expected to be in November or December 2022. Taking into account quick entry into force of the new regulations, and the limited efficiency of Voivodes in proceeding with residence permit applications, foreigners will have little time left to submit applications for new residence and labor titles. 

In the face of such significant changes, as a first step, it is necessary to verify the validity of the residence permits of foreign workers now, regardless validity extension by law under the special covid-19 Act.  


The first draft of the Polish Act on protection of whistleblowers, was published recently on the website of the Government Legislation Centre (RCL). Under the forthcoming regulations, new obligations will be imposed on employers. Some will have to adjust to them still this year.

The new act will implement the EU Whistleblowers Directive No 2019/1937 into the Polish legal system and, according to the calendar outlined by the Directive, should be implemented into the Polish legal system at the latest from 17 December 2021.

According to the regulations, employers hiring 250 people or more are required to introduce the internal regulations and tools provided by the act as early as 17 December 2021. On the other hand, entities hiring fewer than 250 people will only be required to comply with the provisions of the act from 17 December 2023.

The new regulations are to apply to both: persons employed under an employment relationship and persons working under civil law contracts.

The draft also provides that entities hiring less than 50 persons will be able to apply the provisions of the act on a voluntary basis. The exception is made for the entities in the financial sector, which will be obliged to apply the provisions of the act regardless of the number of employees working at the company.

The protection granted to the whistleblowers is one of the most important part of the act. This includes the prohibition of their unfavourable treatment - in particular through refusal of employment, termination or dismissal or reduction of remuneration. If such situations arise, the employer will be obliged to prove that there were objective reasons for the unfavourable treatment of the whistleblower.

Moreover, employers will be obliged to introduce the so-called internal notification regulations, specifying, i.a. the manner and procedure for making notifications. The content of the regulations will have to be consulted with the company’s trade union organisation, or in its absence - with employees’ representatives selected for this purpose. The regulations will come into force two weeks after being announced by the employer.

Whistleblowers will also be able to use an external reporting procedure, e.g. by reporting a violation to the Polish Ombudsman (Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich), or make a public disclosure, for example to the press.

The draft law provides for criminal sanction for persons reporting false information. In all the above cases the penalty is a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment for up to three years.

This is only the first version of the draft, but taking into account that there is little time left until 17 December 2021, i.e. less than two months, it is worth following the legislative work and preparing for the implementation of the new regulations.


Since the beginning of this year, following the UK's exit from the EU, employers who send workers to or from the UK no longer enjoy rights under the EU's freedom to provide services and freedom of movement, limiting work mobility. What exactly does this mean for posting businesses and will it involve additional difficulties?


Trade and cooperation agreement

On 24 December 2020 the European Union and the UK negotiated a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to govern cooperation after Brexit.

Three months after the rules for its continued operation have been agreed, the consequences of this historic event raise a number of issues, including the legalisation of employment and labour law. One particularly important area affected by Brexit is the rules on business travel and the posting of workers.

Continued residence permit after the transitional period

Until the end of the transitional period, the stay of UK citizens residing or working in Poland was legal. During this period, these persons could also apply for a dedicated residence permit. Such permit is valid for 5 years and also entitles to work in the territory of the country.

In other cases, e.g. when the temporary residence permit expires, citizens of the United Kingdom or their family members can legally perform work in the territory of Poland in accordance with general principles concerning third-country nationals, i.e. after obtaining an appropriate residence permit and a work permit or a seasonal work permit.

In terms of entry into Poland, after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, its citizens are also bound by the same rules of entry into the Schengen territory as citizens of other third countries.

The TCA does not contain provisions regulating the rules of posting British workers to the EU, or vice versa. However, it does include the possibility of natural persons temporarily residing within the territory of the Union in connection with the provision of services, e.g. in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer or the dispatch of persons performing work in the framework of cross-border services. Nevertheless, as a general rule, the exercise of work within the EU will require an appropriate authorisation.

Social security

The TCA also contains a number of provisions relating to the coordination of social security systems which aim to protect the rights of people moving between the UK and the Union after 1 January 2021.

This therefore applies to people who are legally resident in the EU or the UK after 1 January 2021 and whose social security situation is not limited to one country - including posted workers. The regulations also cover their family members and dependants.

The regulations on the coordination of social security systems also apply to health care. While additional requirements may be applicable under national immigration legislation, the TCA ensures that the country of insurance reimburses medical expenses to the country of residence. The same rules will therefore apply in this respect as before. These apply i.a. to persons moving for professional purposes.

As far as posted workers are concerned, as a general rule, they may be covered by the social security system of the sending country for a period not exceeding 24 months. However, the regulations in this subject are currently undergoing modifications in the European Parliament.

Member States may request, after prior notification to the Commission, that the continue to be covered by the social security system of the sending country in its current form. During this extended period, posted workers should continue to pay their social security contributions in the sending country, but the country concerned may decide to shorten the period.


Limit of three days as to inform the employer on being under quarantine, remote work, personal data of employees and candidates for work. All of this reviewed in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic. We have prepared a set of answers to the most frequently asked questions of employers – updated as of 25 March 2020.


Q1.           What are the employee’s obligations towards an employee if he/she has crossed the border and therefore has been directed to mandatory quarantine?

 The employee should immediately inform the employer about the quarantine he/she is subject to. The Regulation introducing the state of the epidemic[1] indicates that the employer should be notified 'remotely' via communication tools. Nothing stands in the way to provide such information by text message or e-mail.

 Q2.           What obligations do employees have when the quarantine is over?

 The employee should remember to provide the employer with a written statement that confirms he/she was under quarantine. This duty has to be fulfilled within three days after the quarantine ends. An example of statement is available on the Social Insurance Fund (ZUS) website. Similarly, information in this respect should be submitted electronically. It is recommended the employer collects such statements as to ensure overall correctness having in mind future settlements, inspections and records.

Q3.           What changes are envisaged by the amendment to the Regulation introducing a state of epidemics[2] with regard to the quarantine obligation?

The amendment provides that as of 27 March 2020, employees performing their professional activities in Poland or in a neighbouring country, will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The amendment removes so far existing exception stipulated for this group of persons.

Another change is that since 27 March 2020, an employee crossing the border in order to perform professional activities in Poland or in a neighbouring country, may apply for a certificate which confirms that they are subject to a mandatory quarantine. Such a document will be issued by the competent sanitary inspection authority at the employee's request.

To sum up, as of 27 March 2020 exempted from the quarantine obligation will be exclusively sea and aircraft crews, drivers of international transport, soldiers and Police, Border Guard, Fire Brigade and State Protection Service officers.

Please note that a sanitary inspector competent for the place of residence or stay of a person subject to the quarantine may fully exempt him/her from the obligation to undergo quarantine or shorten its 14-day duration, if there are any justified reasons.

Q4.           Is it possible to oblige an employee to take a leave if he or she is a roommate of person being quarantined?

You cannot oblige an employee to take his/her current leave. However, if the employee is able to work, then he/she can be commissioned to the remote work. Also the outstanding leave may be granted regardless of the employee’s consent.

Q5.           Is the employer obliged to adapt the employee's workplace to remote work that is performed from home, e.g. by providing desk lamps, additional monitor and other IT equipment, and to pay or participate in the costs of Internet connection (if the existing one is too slow)?

Currently there is no such duty, but it can be implemented by the employer and serve as a good practice. It is recommended to consult a tax advisor if you wish to participate in related fees or costs.

Q6.           While recruiting a foreign employee (EU citizen) will we encounter obstacles related to closing the border / quarantine obligation?

The EU citizen employee must demonstrate that he/she is working in Poland (an appropriate letter from an employer is required). After crossing the border he/she will be subject to a quarantine.

Q7.           Is the employer obliged to provide personal protective equipment, disinfectants etc. in case of remote work performed from home?

There is no such obligation.

Q8.           While recruiting, can the employer ask whether the candidate was abroad, had contact with someone who came back from abroad, or is he/she under quarantine?

Yes, you can. It is the employer's duty to ensure safe and safety work conditions. The proportionality and data minimization principles are particularly important here. The employer should require information related to health only to the extent necessary to counteract COVID-19, at the same time taking into account the rules arising from the Labour Code.

Q9.           Is it the employee's duty to inform the employer (or is it the employer's right to ask) where exactly the employee performs remote work?

Yes. The employer instructs an employee to perform work in a specific place, e.g. at home. The employee may not individually change this place. Working remotely is not possible if the employee has no conditions at home to work. In such a case the employer can indicate another place. If this is not possible, the employer will be able to require the employee to come to work or will release the employee from the obligation to perform work.

 Q10.        Would it be illegal to check the temperature before entering a building?

It would not be if it is justified by the circumstances of the case and is carried out in accordance with the rules arising from the Labour Code.


Co-authored by Natalia Nawrocka

[1] Regulation of Ministry of Health on introducing the state of epidemic of 20 March 2020 (O.J. 2020, item 491).

[2] Regulation of Ministry of Health amending regulation on introducing the state of epidemic of 24 March 2020 (O.J. 2020, item 522).

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We discuss the current labour law, legal judgments and interpretations issued
by the National Labor Inspectorate and the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.


We follow and comment on legislation and refer to the current problems
in the field of Polish labour law.

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