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Unemployment Print E-mail

Unemployment is one of the most serious economic and social problems in Poland. Between 1998 and 2002, the unemployment rate successively rose: in 1998 it was 10.6%, and in 2002 almost 20%. That negative trend was reversed in 2003. The greatest drop in unemployment occurred in 2006, when the unemployment rate fell below 15%, reaching 8.9% in September 2008. This was an effect of the economic boom, which brought more jobs and increased the number of working persons. Due to the economic crisis, the unemployment rate has been following an upward trend since 2009. In January 2014, the unemployment rate was 14.0%. In the same period in the previous year, the unemployment rate was 14.2%.

A characteristic feature of unemployment in Poland is its regional diversification; for example, in January 2014, the unemployment rate in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship was 10.0%, while in Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship it was as much as 22.4%. Problems with finding a job are experienced by young people, women and the long-term unemployed (i.e. unemployed for over a year).

Voivodeship and poviat labour offices, which are the part of the Public Employment Services, provide assistance to the unemployed and job seekers in finding appropriate employment and to employers in finding appropriate employees. Therefore, labour offices provide a range of services, including: employment agency, vocational guidance or assistance in active job seeking. Labour offices also carry out various programmes which support local or regional labour markets, register the unemployed and job seekers, pay unemployment benefits, and organise trainings in order to improve the opportunities for the unemployed to find a job. The unemployed can participate in various activities which support their professional activation, such as intervention works, internships, on-the-job training, training loans, trainings or support for business activity.

As of 1 May 2004, Polish Public Employment Services became part of the network of European Employment Services – EURES. Labour offices and (since 1 January 2015) Voluntary Labour Corps operate within the EURES network, in particular with regard to international job placement services and consultancy on job mobility on the European labour market. Employment agency services can also be provided under EURES by entities having accreditation from the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy to provide such services.

EURES staff in Poland – EURES advisors and assistants in voivodeship offices and in Voluntary Labour Corps, as well as employment agents in poviat labour offices, assist EU citizens in finding appropriate employment in the EU/EEA.

 

More information:

http://www.eures.praca.gov.pl - information portal of Polish EURES services

http://www.eures.europa.eu – the European Job Mobility Portal

http://www.psz.praca.gov.pl - information portal of Public Employment Services

http://www.mpips.gov.pl - Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

NOTE:

EU citizens may use the services of voivodeship and poviat labour offices, as well as the services of the Voluntary Labour Corps (since 1 January 2015) on the same terms as the citizens of Poland.

 

Unemployment benefits

In order to receive unemployment benefit in Poland, the following conditions must be met:

  • registration in a poviat labour office competent for the place of residence (the list of poviat labour offices is available e.g. at http://www.psz.praca.gov.pl, tab Adresy UP,
  • lack of appropriate job opportunities or offers of internships, on-the-job training, trainings, intervention works or public works,
  • for the period of 18 months directly preceding the date of registration, for at least 365 days in total, the applicant:
    • was employed and received remuneration in the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work for which Labour Fund contributions must be paid,
    • worked under a contract for home based work, and generated income from such work in the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work,
    • provided services on the basis of an agency contract, contract of mandate or other service level agreement to which regulations relating to mandates apply in accordance with the Civil Code, or cooperated in the performance of such contracts; the assessment base for social insurance and Labour Fund contributions was the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work per full month,
    • paid social insurance contributions for the non-agricultural activity or cooperation; the assessment base for social insurance and Labour Fund contributions was the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work,
    • worked during temporary detention or imprisonment; the assessment base for social insurance and Labour Fund contributions was the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work,
    • worked in an agricultural cooperative, agricultural group cooperative or agricultural services cooperative as a member of such cooperative; the assessment base for social insurance and Labour Fund contributions was the amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work,
    • paid Labour Fund contributions due to employment or performance of other paid work in the EU/EEA,
    • was employed abroad and arrived in Poland as a repatriated person,
    • was employed, performed the service or performed other paid work and received remuneration or generated income in the amount for which Labour Fund contributions must be paid.

 

The period over which the unemployment benefit may be received depends mainly on the situation on the local labour market:

  • 180 days - for the unemployed who, in the period of receiving the benefit, resided in the poviat area, if the unemployment rate in that area as of 30 June of the year preceding the date of acquiring the right to the benefit was not higher than 150% of the average unemployment rate in Poland,
  • 365 days - for the unemployed who, in the period of receiving the benefit, resided in the poviat area, if the unemployment rate in that area as of 30 June of the year preceding the date of acquiring the right to the benefit was higher than 150% of the average unemployment rate in Poland, or if the unemployed was over 50 years old and had completed at least a 20-year period which entitled them for the benefit, or the unemployed supported at least one child younger than 15 years old, and the unemployed person’s spouse was also unemployed and had lost the right to the benefit as the period of collection had expired (after the date when the spouse acquired the right to the benefit).

The amount of the unemployment benefit also depends on the number of years of employment and on fulfilling additional conditions:

a)    PLN 823.60 (ca. EUR 184) per month in the first 90 days after acquiring the right to the benefit,

b)   PLN 664.70 (ca. EUR 144) per month in the next months of the right to the benefit,

c)    80% of the amount of the benefit referred to in (a) can be paid in the total period of entitlement to the benefit, which is less than 5,

d)   120% of the amount of the benefit referred to in (a) can be paid when period of entitlement to the benefit is at least 20 years.

NOTE:

The period which is required for acquisition of the right to the benefit in Poland also includes the periods of employment in other EU Member States.

More information:

http://www.mpips.gov.pl - Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

http://zielonalinia.gov.pl - Information and Consultation Centre of Employment Services,

www.psz.praca.gov.pl - Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

www.praca.gov.pl – Public Employment Services online

 

Possibility to transfer to Poland the unemployment benefit granted in other EU/EEA Member State or in Switzerland

 

A person who has acquired the right to the unemployment benefit in one of the EU/EEA Member States or in Switzerland may transfer that benefit to Poland. The benefit is transferred on the basis of the PD U2 form and allows the unemployed person to seek jobs in other EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland, e.g. in Poland, while receiving the unemployment benefit from the country which has awarded the benefit, for 3 months. In special cases that period may be prolonged upon approval of the competent institution.

An unemployed person who would like to seek a job in Poland and collect the unemployment benefit in another EU Member State or in Switzerland should:

  • apply for the issuance of the PD U2 document to the competent institution of the country which granted the right to the benefit. The application may be lodged with the competent institution 4 weeks after the date of registration. In special cases that period may be prolonged upon approval of the competent institution, upon request of the unemployed,
  • remain at the disposal of employment services for at least 4 weeks before leaving the country in which they have the right to the benefit,
  • after arriving in Poland, register as a job seeker in the poviat labour office competent for the place of residence in Poland, within seven days from the date of leaving the country of the last employment,
  • go to the labour office competent for the place of residence in Poland (depending on regional solutions, this may be a poviat labour office or the voivodeship labour office) in order to submit the PD U2 form there. In Poland, the voivodeship labour office competent for the place of residence submits to the competent institution of the country of the last employment the SED U009 document with information that the unemployed person has fulfilled the obligation to register with Polish employment services and that they are under supervision,
  • remain at the disposal of the Polish labour office and comply with the conditions specified in legislation with regard to unemployed persons.

The unemployment benefit will be paid directly by the competent institution of the country of the last employment to the unemployed, e.g. to the relevant bank account. The unemployed person may collect the benefit for three months after leaving the country of the last employment, but, upon the request of the unemployed, the competent institution which awarded the right to the benefit may extend that period up to six months. If the unemployed person fails to find a job within that period and still has the right to the benefit, in order not to lose it they should return to the country of the last employment before the end of that period.

 
Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Labour Market Department © 2011