If an employer infringes labour laws, for example does not pay the remuneration due, a worker posted to Poland may submit a complaint to the National Labour Inspectorate or seek redress in court.
Complaints may be submitted to the National Labour Inspectorate if employers posting workers infringe labour laws, including laws on occupational health and safety and on the legality of employment.
If a worker is posted for up to 12 months to Poland, he or she may submit a complaint if the employer fails to provide conditions of employment concerning:
- the standards for and duration of working time and daily and weekly rest periods,
- the duration of annual leave,
- remuneration for work, including remuneration for overtime,
- occupational health and safety,
- the protection of pregnant workers and during maternity leave,
- the employment of adolescents,
- the performance of work or other gainful activities by children,
- equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination in employment,
- reimbursement of the costs of business travel from the place of work in the territory of Poland to which the worker was posted to another place of work in the territory of Poland or outside it.
- at least as favourable as those arising from the Polish Labour Code and other provisions governing workers’ rights and obligations.
Important! The period of 12 months during which the employer posting the worker must provide the above conditions, no less favourable than those arising from the Polish legislation, will be extended to 18 months if the employer submits a motivated notification to the National Labour Inspectorate.
See how to submit a motivated notification to the National Labour Inspectorate.
In the case of long-term posting – over 18 months, a worker posted to Poland may submit a complaint to the National Labour Inspectorate if the employer fails to provide the same range of conditions of employment as that guaranteed to a worker employed by an employer in Poland under the generally applicable labour laws, excluding issues relating to:
- the rules and procedure for the conclusion and termination of employment contracts
- the rules and procedure for the use of non-competition clauses
- occupational pension schemes and employee capital plans.
A temporary agency worker posted to Poland may also submit a complaint against:
- a foreign temporary employment agency or placement agency which hired out that worker to a Polish user employer
- a user employer in Poland who uses that temporary agency worker posted to him or her by a foreign temporary employment agency or placement agency
- a foreign temporary employment agency or placement agency which hired out that worker to a user employer in the same or another Member State, in a situation where that user employer then refers that worker to Poland in the framework of services provided in the territory of Poland
- a foreign user employer who performs services in the territory of Poland using temporary agency workers hired out to him or her by a temporary employment agency or a placement agency and does not comply with the provisions on the assignment of work in the territory of Poland to workers hired out by a temporary employment agency or a placement agency.
Such a worker may complain if:
- the conditions of employment guaranteed by the Polish provisions on the employment of temporary agency workers were not provided to that posted temporary agency worker, or
- the same range of conditions of employment arising from collective agreements, and rules and statutes setting out the rights and obligations of the parties to the employment relationship as that applicable to domestic (Polish) temporary agency workers was not provided to that worker
- work was assigned in breach of the Polish provisions on the employment of temporary agency workers.
Please note! Complaints submitted by workers posted to Poland to the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP) may also concern:
- breach of the rule of law or the complainants’ interests by the National Labour Inspectorate or its employees,
- negligence or improper performance of tasks by National Labour Inspectorate authorities or employees
- cases being handled in a lengthy or bureaucratic manner.
Anyone may submit an application to the National Labour Inspectorate if they consider that the performance of its tasks may be improved. Applications may concern, in particular, improving organisation, strengthening the rule of law, streamlining performance and preventing abuse.
Complaints and applications may be submitted at any organisational unit of the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP):
- in writing
- by fax
- by electronic means: the e-complaint and e-application forms are available at www.pip.gov.pl
- orally: the person accepting a complaint or an application must draw up a report, which is signed by that person and the person submitting the complaint or application.
An application or a complaint submitted to the National Labour Inspectorate should contain the following information:
- the full name of the person submitting it
- the address (postal code, place, street, building number and flat number)
- the subject of the complaint or application.
Important! Complaints will not be handled if they do not contain the above data. The National Labour Inspectorate does not handle anonymous complaints (which do not contain the full name and address). If a complaint or an application is submitted on behalf of another person, the person submitting it must provide that person’s written consent.
Guarantee of anonymity
The National Labour Inspectorate ensures the anonymity of workers who submit complaints, unless they give their written consent for the disclosure of the information that a check is being conducted in connection with a complaint. In certain cases, the person submitting a complaint may be notified that the complaint will not be handled if the information that a check is being conducted following a complaint is not disclosed.
Procedure and deadline for handling complaints or applications
Complaints and applications are handled without undue delay, but not later than within 1 month from the date of receipt. In justified cases, this deadline may be extended to 2 months.
In most cases, the submission of a complaint to the National Labour Inspectorate results in Inspectorate authorities conducting a check on the entity to which the complaint relates.
Notification of the outcome of a case
Complaints and applications are handled in writing. After a check is concluded, the person submitting a complaint or an application will be notified of the outcome of the case. A notification of the outcome of a case brought by electronic means is sent to the correspondence address provided by the person submitting a complaint, unless that person has indicated that he or she wishes to receive this information by other means.
Please note! The submission of a complaint to the National Labour Inspectorate does not preclude the person submitting it from bringing a claim before a labour court.
Important! If you wish to consult someone about your legal situation before submitting a complaint or an application, you may refer to the National Labour Inspectorate, which provides free legal advice on the labour law.
Where to bring an action
In accordance with the Polish legislation, actions concerning the labour law may be brought either before the court having jurisdiction over the place of residence or registered office of the employer or before the court having jurisdiction over the place where the work is, was or was to be carried out.
If you are a foreign employer residing in an EU Member State, an action may be brought against you by a worker:
- before the courts of the Member State in which you reside or are established
- in another Member State:
- before the court having jurisdiction over the place where the worker normally works or the last place where he did so
- before the court of the place where the branch which employed the worker is or was located, if the worker does not work or did not normally work in one and the same country.
This means that a posted worker may bring an action against the employer posting him or her not only before the labour court having jurisdiction over the place of residence (registered office) of that employer, but also before a labour court in Poland. A Polish labour court will also be the competent court if an action is brought against a user employer (Polish or foreign) and concerns a specific claim of a worker temporarily posted to the territory of Poland.
How to bring an action
Model petitions to a labour court are available on the websites of district or regional courts (customer service offices).
Workers bringing actions or parties lodging appeals before labour and social security courts are exempt from court fees.
The exceptions are cases in which the value of the subject of the dispute exceeds PLN 50 000. In such a case, both the employer and the worker must pay a fee of 5% of the value of the subject of the dispute or the value of the subject of the case for all court documents subject to a fee, but not exceeding PLN 200 000.
Types of claims
Workers posted to the territory of an EU country may bring claims concerning the right to appropriate conditions of employment.
See more about appropriate conditions of employment
Important! In the case of claims for failure to pay remuneration for work to a worker posted to carry out construction work or building maintenance work in Poland, the worker may bring an action against:
- the employer posting that worker
- the Polish contractor who is the customer, in specific circumstances, on the basis of joint and several liability.
See more about joint and several liability
Statute of limitations for claims
A worker’s claim against the employer becomes, as rule, time-barred 3 years from the date on which that claim became due. A claim becomes due once the entitled person is able to request that the obligation be performed, i.e. once the employer is required to perform that obligation towards the worker.