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What is the best contract for the future employee?

When hiring a new employee, the company must enter into a contract with him. The contract contains a written agreement between the company and the employee: work goals and tasks, conditions and remuneration. In this article, we will understand how contracts differ and which one is better to choose.

The most popular form of employment of an employee in Poland is an employment contract (umowa o pracę). This is a written contract with a new employee hired by the company. The employment contract defines the rights and obligations of the employer and employee: what the employee must do for the company and what the company must do for the employee.

For example, an employee must perform his work qualitatively. If its task is to clean the office space, then there should be no stains, dust and other contaminants after cleaning.

The employment contract provides for: working hours, remuneration (equal to or higher than the minimum wage in Poland), the right to paid sick leave, as well as holiday and parental allowance.

If an employee falls ill and is unable to come to work, he or she receives a sick leave, i.e. L-4. The employer pays the employee sick leave and will not fire him for absence from work. However, if the worker is healthy, he or she must be at the workplace on a set schedule. In the event of systematic omissions and absences without just cause, the employee may be dismissed.

After the employment contract is signed by both parties, the company becomes an employer and a person becomes an employee. From that moment on, their relations were regulated by the norms of the Labor Code of the Republic of Poland.

The employment contract usually provides for a trial period, but not longer than three months. During the trial period, the employer checks the employee’s qualifications and the employee gets to know the working conditions better. After passing the trial period, the employee continues to work on the basis of another contract, for a specified period. This contract may be terminated before the end of the contract by mutual consent of the parties, by the employer, by the employee, or in the event of a major misconduct, immediately.


The contract is usually made for a definite period and then for an indefinite period
  • A fixed-term employment contract (umowa na czas określony):

The employer has the right to conclude this contract with the employee only 2 times and for a period not exceeding 33 months. Then the employer is obliged to offer the employee a contract for an indefinite period. The contract expires automatically on the date specified in the contract, but may be terminated earlier by mutual agreement of the parties.

  • An employment contract for an indefinite period (umowa na czas nieokreślony):

This type of contract is used to establish a long-term employment relationship between the employee and the employer. The contract may be terminated by mutual agreement of the parties, but also unilaterally by the employee or the employer.


Notice period (termin wypowiedzenia) 

The notice period for an employment contract concluded for an indefinite period is: 2 weeks, if the employee has worked for less than 6 months; 1 month if the employee has worked for more than 6 months and 3 months if the employee has worked for at least 3 years.

In addition to the standard contract, there is another option to establish an employment relationship – a сommission contract (umowa zlecenia). This contract is regulated not by the Labor Code, but by the Civil Code. This is the most common type of contract signed with foreigners in Poland. Although this contract is commonly understood to be worse than an employment contract, it is not true.

The benefits of this contract include:
  • flexibility in setting the terms of cooperation and working hours. Although the contract holder is not entitled to vacation, a rate high enough can be negotiated to compensate for the lack of vacation allowance.
  • the right to terminate the contract at any time. Unless the contract provides otherwise, the contractor has the right to terminate overnight and must meet the notice period only if it was provided for in the contract.
  • higher salaries for pupils and students. Pupils and students up to the age of 26 are not obliged to pay social security contributions. In this case, the right to healthcare reimbursed by the National Health Fund is to be ensured by parents, a university or a post-secondary school.

In Poland, there is also specific-task contract (umowa o dzieło), management contract (kontrakt menedżerski) and self-employment. For foreigners, this type of contract is extremely rare.

Choose the right type of contract for you based on their characteristics. Do not try to reach an agreement orally, thereby establishing the essential terms of the employment relationship. In the event of violation of employee rights, the employee has the right to lodge a complaint with the National Labor Inspectorate or the Labor Court.

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