For the majority of foreigners, especially those coming from outside of EU, Polish labour law might seem quite unclear. Complex and sophisticated vocabulary, contracts concluded very often only in Polish – this is a challenge for those who have only worked on their national market. This article will explain you the basic issues concerning working in Poland: types of contracts, remuneration, holidays etc.

Employment contract (umowa o pracę)

The employment contracts vary depending on their duration. In Poland we have:

  • indefinite term contracts (umowa na czas nieokreślony)
  • fixed term contracts (umowa na czas określony)
  • contracts for the time it takes to complete a specific task (umowa na czas wykonania określonej pracy)
  • contracts to replace an employee (umowa w celu zastępstwa pracownika)
  • However, if you sign the fixed term contract third time in a row with the same employer – it automatically equals signing an indefinite term contract.

The minimum monthly (gross) wage in Poland is 1750 PLN (which is about 1286 PLN net).

What are the rules when it comes to dissolving an employment contract?

Usually you are obliged to comply with so called “notice period”, and its length depends on the type of your contract and the time you have been working at the company. During the notice period, you keep working normally and receive your normal salary.

If you have an employment contract for an indefinite term and:

  • you have worked for the employer for not longer that 6 months: your notice period is 2 weeks
  • you have worked for the employer for more than 6 months but less than 3 years: your notice period is 1 month
  • you have worked for the employer for more than 3 years: your notice period is 3 months
  • If you have an employment contract for a fixed term, your notice period is 2 weeks (but only if the contract was signed for at least 6 months and if it is stated in the contract that it can be terminated with notice).

However, according to the Polish law, the employers cannot give notice to employees who are e.g.:

  • on holidays
  • pregnant or on maternity leave
  • on unpaid leave
  • on sick leave (confirmed by the doctor)


The amount of vacation days you are entitled to depends on how long you have been working during your entire career.

  • If you have been working for less than 10 years: you are entitled to 20 days
  • If you have been working for more than 10 years: you are entitled to 26 days

Note that these periods include the time you’ve spent at school. If you have e.g. graduated from a university, you are automaticaly awarded 8 years, which means that you only need to work for 2 more years to be entitled to 26 vacation days.

Non-employment contract (umowa cywilnoprawna)

Polish non-employment contracts are the following:

  • freelance agreement (umowa zlecenia, also referred to as: contract of mandate, civil contracts, casual work contract)
  • service agreement (umowa o świadczenie usług)
  • specific task agreement (umowa o dzieło)
  • agency agreement (umowa agencyjna)

With those contracts no minimum wage applies. The contractor (employee) is not entitled to vacation days or severance pay, and the ordered (employer) is not obliged to pay you the salary if you get sick. Those contracts ensure more flexibility for both parties (e.g. when it comes to terminating the contract), but also lack benefits that are ensured by the regular employment contracts. It is also hard to find their equivalents in countries other than Poland, and that is why it might be difficult for foreigners to understand their nature.

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Written by Karolina Kazmierska

Polish girl in love with Mexican culture and Spanish language. Experience in Marketing & HR, and also in Web Development.