Requirement for Foreign Employees to Work
The current regulations on employing foreigners in Poland differentiate between the legal situation of citizens of EU member states and the legal situation of citizens of the remaining countries. There are also differences in the scope of the kind of work performed by a foreigner. In case of some professions, the law does not require a permit, whereas other ones require a permit issuance procedure.
Foreigners from the EU member states and from a state within the European Economic Area as well as their family members have unlimited access to employment in Poland. Foreigners from other countries must obtain a work permit and, in some cases an entry visa, if they want to take a job in Poland.
A work permit is issued exclusively upon a written application of an entity, which commissions a foreigner to perform work. Such a permit is issued to a specific foreigner. Furthermore, it defines the entity which commissions a foreigner to perform the work and the position the foreigner is to hold or the kind of work he/she is to perform. The work permit is issued for a specific term, however not longer than three years, and can be extended. Besides the work permit, the entitlement of a foreigner to work in Poland also requires obtaining an appropriate visa unless the foreigner is staying in Poland legally by other means. In some cases, the immigration provisions waive the obligation of a work permit.
Does a Foreign Employer need to Establish or Work through a Local Entity to Hire an Employee?
No. In Poland, foreign employers are allowed to hire employees directly.
Limitations on Background Checks
In Polish law, there are strict limitations on background checks. An employer is only allowed to obtain the information concerning the candidate as indicated in legal acts – in the Labour Code or, if applicable, in other specific acts that may concern specific job positions. Some limited forms of background checks (such as verifying the references from the previous employer) might be possible after obtaining the candidate’s detailed and explicit consent. However, the lack of such consent or its withdrawal (and consequently – inability to process the verification) may not be the basis for disadvantageous treatment of the candidate and it may not cause any negative consequences for the persons, in particular, it may not constitute a reason justifying the refusal of employment.
Restrictions on Application/Interview Questions
An employer should demand an applicant to provide the following personal data only: name(s) and surname, date of birth, contact data indicated by such a person, and in the scope necessary to perform work of a specified type or in a given job position – education, professional experience and employment history. Personal data is provided to an employer in the form of a statement issued by the person whose data is provided. An employer may require the relevant documentation to confirm personal data of the persons. Employer may require the provision of personal data other than the data specified above pursuant to separate regulations.
The consent of a candidate may constitute the basis for processing their additional data by an employer, except for personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences. A lack of consent or its withdrawal may not be a basis for disadvantageous treatment of a candidate. Also, it may not cause any negative consequences for the person, in particular, it may not constitute a reason justifying the refusal of employment. It is important to note that the consent of the candidate does not justify processing any categories of personal data. Processing must always comply with basic principles arising from the GDPR, including the principle of adequacy and minimisation. Therefore additional questions that force the candidate to provide information about their personal life, especially those concerning the candidate’s family life and personal relationships, are strictly prohibited.