The geopolitical situation resulting from the armed conflict in Ukraine caused Ukrainian citizens to leave their country. A significant number of them came to Poland in search of housing and work. In this article, we present crucial information on the employment of Ukrainians in 2024. We will also review the employer’s obligations to check the legality of a foreigner’s stay in Poland. Find out what the employment of Ukrainians looks like in 2024.
Table of Contents
- Conditions of employment of Ukrainians in 2024
- Status of Ukrainian 2024 – the nature of the UKR status
- Validity period for legality of a Ukrainian’s stay in Poland
- Employment of Ukrainians in 2024
- Obligation to check the legality of a Ukrainian’s stay
- Employer’s obligations in connection with the employment of a Ukrainian in 2024
- Employment of a Ukrainian in 2024. Summary
Conditions of employment of Ukrainians in 2024
In Poland, a Ukrainian can be employed if:
- his stay in Poland is legal and his residence title (e.g. temporary residence permit, certificate of temporary protection issued by the Office for Foreigners) is valid or
- he has been residing in Poland since 24 February 2022 and declares intention to stay permanently.
The legislator allows for employing a Ukrainian on the basis of employment contract or civil law contract. Employment is also possible for spouse of a Ukrainian citizen without Ukrainian citizenship. This also relates to members of the immediate family of a Ukrainian who has the Pole’s Card. A prerequisite for employing a Ukrainian is the legality of stay.
Special terms and conditions of employment also apply to Ukrainians who didn’t get a residence title yet, but the procedure for obtaining it was started before 24 February 2022. The legality of stay counts from the date of submission of the application for:
- granting a temporary residence permit,
- extension of a Schengen visa or a national visa,
- granting a permanent residence permit and residence permit for a long-term resident of the EU
until the decision on the legal title becomes final. In such a situation, the Ukrainian citizen receives a stamp in his passport from the voivode. This confirms the initiation of the residence permit procedure.
Status of Ukrainian 2024 – the nature of the UKR status
The UKR status is granted to Ukrainian citizens on the basis of the so-called Assistance Act. It is connected with the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine. From 1 April 2023, Ukrainians staying on the territory of Poland can legally apply for a permit for:
- temporary residence and work,
- temporary residence to perform work in a profession requiring high qualifications,
- temporary residence in connection with running a business.
Validity period for legality of a Ukrainian’s stay in Poland
Ukrainians who stay in Poland from 24 February 2022, enjoy temporary protection. This protection is excluded if they are covered by it in another EU country.
The special act introduced changes that significantly influence the employment of Ukrainians. According to them, if the last day of validity of the document confirming the stay of a Ukrainian in Poland falls in the period after 24 February 2022, then
- the period of legal residence of the Ukrainian,
- validity of visas and temporary residence permits of a citizen of Ukraine
are extended until 4 March 2024.
Employment of Ukrainians in 2024
A Ukrainian may work in Poland without a visa or an equivalent document in two situations:
- he came to Poland after 24 February 2022, his stay is legal. Moreover, he declares his willingness to stay in Poland.
- he resides in Poland legally, although the above circumstances do not apply to him. He can demonstrate the legality of stay e.g. with a decision on granting a residence permit.
In such a situation, the employer must notify the competent District Labour Office about the commencement of work to a Ukrainian. You can do it via the praca.gov.pl portal, within 14 days. This is a necessary condition to confirm the legality of the Ukrainian’s employment.
The legislator allows for conducting business activity by Ukrainian citizens who meet the above-mentioned conditions. The terms and conditions applicable to Polish citizens apply to them as well. This also concerns the provision of services on a basis of cooperation (B2B). A precondition is that the Ukrainian obtains a PESEL number.
Obligation to check the legality of a Ukrainian’s stay
Employer, before hiring a Ukrainian, must check the legality of his stay. A Ukrainian who came to Poland after 24 February 2022, has legal stay and declares his willingness to stay in Poland, as well as the one who resides in Poland legally although the above circumstances do not apply to him, is obliged to present:
- a document confirming a PESEL number together with the UKR status or
- an electronic document diia.pl confirming the legality of stay in Poland. It also confirms the possibility of free movement, including crossing borders. The document is available in the mObywatel application.
The electronic form of proving the validity of the residence status of a citizen of Ukraine is more reliable. This is because of the immediate update of data in the system. Using the traditional form, there is a risk of misinformation about the status. This concerns situations in which a Ukrainian loses PESEL number with the UKR status. For example, in connection with leaving Poland for a period longer than 30 days.
In such case, he loses temporary protection and the related possibility of employment in Poland. The employer may not know about it, due to the time range between recording the fact and submitting the document. The legislator recommends the employer to periodically verify validity of the residence status. The regulations do not impose a specific period of time. The employer can specify such a period by himself, e.g. every month or every 3 months.
Employer’s obligations in connection with the employment of a Ukrainian in 2024
Employing a Ukrainian imposes a number of obligations on the employer. These include:
- paying remuneration in an amount not lower than the minimum wage or the minimum hourly rate,
- conclusion of a written contract. It must take into account the conditions set out in the agreement with PUP,
- submitting a translation of the contract to a Ukrainian citizen. Thanks to this he is fully aware of the conditions of employment,
- registration of a citizen of Ukraine for health and social insurance. It must be done within 7 days from commencement of work.
Employment of a Ukrainian in 2024. Summary
Employment of a citizen of Ukraine is subject to special regulations. The legislator precisely defines the basis, conditions and period of the legality of stay. The employer is obliged to systematically check the validity of stay. He must also provide a citizen of Ukraine with appropriate working conditions. The situation in Poland regarding the employment of Ukrainians is changing. It is worth following legal solutions on an ongoing basis.
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