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Work in Poland: the main differences between Umowa o praczno and Umowa o dzieło

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Work in Poland: the main differences between Umowa o praczno and Umowa o dzieło

An employment contract and a contract for the performance of specific work, or a subcontract are among the most popular civil law contracts in Poland. Learn more about the main differences between the main documents for employment in the country

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Most of the Ukrainians who have come to Poland since the beginning of the full-scale war are already employed. It is possible to work officially in the country under two types of contracts: labor and civil law. We talk about the main differences between these contracts below.


An employment contract (Umowa o pracze) is a contract between an employee and the owner of a legal entity or a natural person.


Under this agreement, the employee undertakes to perform certain duties, work according to the work schedule, and the employer undertakes to pay wages and provide decent working conditions.

Also, the employer must establish clear limits of the working day, additionally pay overtime and work on weekends and holidays.


Civil law contracts are agreements between an enterprise and a person to perform certain work.


Importantly! Such agreements do not create employment relationships, and accordingly, labor legislation does not apply to the parties. This means that employees or contractors cannot receive vacation, sick pay, severance pay, etc.


There are several types of such contracts, among them: subcontract (umowa zlecenie), assignment contract (umowa o dzieło) and others.


The main differences between an employment contract and a civil law contract in Poland:


1. What legislation regulates relations? Remember that work under an employment contract is regulated by labor law, and under civil law - by civil law;

2. Content of the contract. The form of the employment contract is regulated by the Labor Code, so the document must contain the title of the position, duties, place and work schedule. Instead, a civil contract is not required to be signed in writing, a verbal agreement is sufficient;

3. Fixed place of work. The official employer fixes the place and time of work in the employment contract. However, if you work under a contract or other civil agreement, you can choose the workplace and time yourself;

4. Execution of management orders. As a contractor working under a civil law contract, you may not comply with additional requests from your supervisor. At the same time, the employment contract obliges to obey the orders of the management;

5. Social contributions. Contributions to the social insurance institution (ZUS) are paid by the employer for the employee who is employed under an employment contract. Civil legislation allows not to pay such contributions to employees younger than 26 years old who are still studying;

6. The right to vacation. The employment contract guarantees all benefits for the employee, including paid annual leave. According to the civil law contract, the employee and the employer can agree on vacation in person;

7. Who cannot be fired? The employment contract protects against dismissal of pregnant women, people with disabilities and citizens in the pre-retirement period. Other contracts do not protect anyone from termination of employment.

8. Material responsibility. If you work under an employment contract, financial liability is limited. Civil-law relations require delineation of the limits of material responsibility in the contract.


We will remind you! Ukrainians in Poland should know the main nuances of employment in the country. Learn more about the types of employment contracts in Poland, "gross" and "net" wages and payment of taxes in our material at the link.

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