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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 increased: in 1998 it was 10.6%, and in 2002 almost 20%. That unfavourable trend changed in 2003. The biggest 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 showing an upward trend since 2009. In January 2013, the unemployment rate amounted to 14.2%. In an analogous period of the previous year, the unemployment rate was 13.2%.

One characteristic feature of unemployment in Poland is that it varies among regions; for example, in January 2013 in the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship the unemployment rate was 10.6%, while in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship – 22.2%. Problems with finding a job are experienced by young people, women and the long-term unemployed (for more than a year).

Public Employment Services (the network of voivodeship and poviat labour offices) are there to help and give advice to the unemployed and job-seekers in finding appropriate employment and to employers in finding appropriate employees. Therefore, employment services provide a range of services, including: job placement, vocational guidance or active job search assistance. Labour offices also carry out various programmes in support of local or regional labour markets, register the unemployed and job-seekers, pay unemployment benefits, organise trainings in order to give the unemployed greater chances to find a job. The unemployed can take part in various activities which facilitate their professional activation, inter alia, intervention works, internship, 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 pursue activities within the EURES network, in particular the international employment services along with consultancy on occupational mobility in the European labour market.

EURES staff – EURES advisors and assistants in voivodeship offices, and employment agents in poviat labour offices assist EU citizens in finding appropriate employment.

More information at:

http://www.eures.praca.gov.pl – the information service of Polish EURES,

http://www.psz.praca.gov.pl – the information service of public employment services,

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

IMPORTANT!

EU citizens may use the services of voivodeship and poviat labour offices on the same terms as the citizens of Poland.

Unemployment benefits

The following conditions must be met to allow for obtaining the unemployment benefit in Poland:

  • registration in a poviat labour office of proper jurisdiction for the place of residence (the list of poviat labour offices is e.g. on the webpage http://www.psz.praca.gov.pl in the section “Adresy powiatowych urzędów pracy” (Addresses of poviat labour offices),
  • having worked (on the basis of an employment contract, a contract of mandate, business activity, etc.) for a total of at least 365 days in the period of 18 months before the day of registration and receiving during that period income which is at least equivalent to the minimum remuneration, from which premiums for social security and the Labour Fund were paid,
  • lack of offers of employment or other paid work subject to social insurance and for which the person being registered has sufficient qualifications or professional experience or may perform them after training or vocational preparation of adults,
  • lack of offers of internships, vocational preparation of adults, training, intervention works or public works.

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

  • 6 month - for the unemployed who, during the period of receiving the benefit, live in a poviat area if the unemployment rate in that area as of 30 June of the year preceding the day of achieving the right to the benefit was not higher than 150% of the average national unemployment rate,
  • 12 monthsfor the unemployed who, during the period of receiving the benefit, live in the poviat area, if the unemployment rate in that area as of 30 June of the year preceding the day of achieving the right to the benefit was higher than 150% of the average national unemployment rate or if the unemployed person is over 50 years old and has at least 20-year period which entitles them for the benefit, or the unemployed person supports at least one child less than 15 years of age, and the unemployed person’s spouse is also unemployed and has lost the right to the benefit since the period of taking it has finished (after the day when the spouse has achieved the right to the benefit).

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

  • basic benefit (100%) in the period of the first three months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 823.60 (ca. EUR 184),
  • basic benefit (100%) in the period of subsequent months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 664.70 (ca. EUR 144),
  • reduced benefit (80%) in the period of the first three months – PLN 658.90 (ca. EUR 146),
  • reduced benefit (80%) in the period of the subsequent months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 517.40 (ca. EUR 115),
  • higher benefit (120%) in the period of the first three months – PLN 988.40 (ca. EUR 220),
  • higher benefit (120%) in the period of the next months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 776.10 (ca. EUR 172).

IMPORTANT!

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

More information at:

http://www.mpips.gov.pl – the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy,

http://zielonalinia.gov.pl – Employment Services Centre for Information and Consultation,

www.psz.praca.gov.pl – the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy,

www.praca.gov.pl – electronic services of the Public Employment Services.

The possibility to transfer to Poland the unemployment benefit granted in another EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland

A person who has obtained 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 search for employment in another EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland, e.g. in Poland, while at the same time 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 look for a job in Poland and receive the unemployment benefit which is granted to them in another EU Member State or Switzerland should:

  • apply to the competent institution of the state which has granted the right to the benefit, for the issuance of the PD U2 form. The application may be lodged with the competent institution after 4 weeks from the date of registration. The period of 4 weeks may be shortened in special cases upon approval from the competent institution, at the request of the unemployed person,
  • remain at the disposal of employment services for the period of at least 4 weeks before leaving the country in which they have the right to the benefit,
  • after arriving in Poland, register as a person who looks for a job in the poviat labour office of proper jurisdiction for the place of living in Poland – within up to seven days from the date of leaving the country of the last employment,
  • go to the labour office of proper jurisdiction for the place of living 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 of proper jurisdiction for the place of living submits to the proper 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 by legislation as regards unemployed persons.

The unemployment benefit will be paid directly by the proper institution of the country of the last employment to the unemployed person, for example to a bank account. The unemployed person may receive that benefit for a period of three months after leaving the country of the last employment but upon the request of the unemployed person the proper institution which granted the right to the benefit may prolong that period to six months. If the unemployed person does not find a job within that period and still has the right to the benefit, in order not to lose it they should come back to the country of the last employment before the period has finished.

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