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.
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.
The following conditions must be met to allow for obtaining the unemployment benefit in Poland:
The period over which the unemployment benefit may be received depends mainly on the situation in the local labour market:
The amount of the unemployment benefit also depends on the number of years worked and on fulfilling additional conditions:
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:
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.