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Unemployment Print E-mail

Unemployment is one of the most serious economic and social problems in Poland. The unemployment rate has been growing successively in the recent years: in 1998 it was 10.6 %, and in 2002 almost 20%. That unfavourable trend changed in 2003. The biggest drop of the unemployment rate took place, however, in 2006 when the unemployment rate fell below 15%, reaching 8.9% in September 2008. It was the effect of an economic boom which brought more work offers and the growth of the number of working persons. In January 2012 the unemployment rate amounted to 13.2%. In an analogous period of the previous year the unemployment rate amounted to 13.1%.

The characteristic feature of unemployment in Poland is its regional diversification, for example, in the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship the unemployment rate in January 2012 was 9.8%, and in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship – 21.1%. Problems with finding a job are experienced by young people, women and the long-term (over a year) unemployed.

Public Employment Services (the network of voivodeship and poviat labour offices) are there to help and give advice to the unemployed and persons who look for a job in order to get an appropriate employment and to employers to find appropriate employees. Therefore, employment services provide a range of services, including: job agency, professional agency or help in active job seeking. Labour offices also carry out various programmes which support local or regional labour markets, register the unemployed and persons looking for a job, 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, traineeship, on-the-job training, training loans, trainings or support for business activity.

As of 1 May 2004 Polish Public Employment Services became the member of the European Employment Services – EURES. Labour offices carry out activities for EURES, especially, international employment agency along with advisory in the field of earning mobility on the European labour market.

EURES employees – EURES advisors and assistants help the EU citizens in labour offices to find an appropriate job. 

More information:
http://www.eures.praca.gov.pl - news bulletin of Polish EURES services
http://www.psz.praca.gov.pl - news bulletin of public employment services

NOTE

The EU citizens can benefit from the services of voivodeship and poviat labour offices on the same basis as Polish citizens.

Unemployment benefits

The following conditions have to be fulfilled in order to be granted 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),
  • working (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 this 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 the possibility to be employed or to be professionally activated within the field of activities proposed by a poviat labour office (in the form of, for example, intervention works, public works, traineeship, a proposed job offer).

The period of being granted unemployment benefit depends mainly on the situation on the local labour market:

  • 6 months – for the unemployed who, during the period of taking the benefit, live in the poviat area, if the unemployment rate in this 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 months – for the unemployed who, during the period of taking the benefit, live in the poviat area, if the unemployment rate in this 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 and has at least 20-year period which entitles them for the benefit, or the unemployed person supports at least one child below 15, 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 of achieving the right to the benefit by the spouse).

The amount of unemployment benefit depends also on work experience and fulfilling additional conditions:

  • basic benefit (100%) in the period of the first three months – PLN 761.40 (ca. EUR 183),
  • basic benefit (100%) in the period of next months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 597.90 (ca. EUR 144),
  • reduced benefit (80%) in the period of the first three months – PLN 609.20 (ca. EUR 146),
  • reduced benefit (80%) in the period of the next months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 478.40 (ca. EUR 115),
  • higher benefit (120%) in the period of the first three months – PLN 913.70 (ca. EUR 220),
  • higher benefit (120%) in the period of the next months of having the right to the benefit - PLN 717.50 (ca. EUR 172).

NOTE

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

More information:
http://www.mpips.gov.pl – The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
http://zielonalinia.gov.pl – Employment Services Centre for Information and Consultation

The possibility to transfer to Poland unemployment benefit granted in an EEA country (Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway)
An unemployed person who would like to look for a job in Poland and take unemployment benefit which is granted to them in another EEA country (Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway) should:

  • stay 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,
  • before going to Poland, take the E-303 form which concerns keeping the right to the unemployment 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 – in the period of up to seven days from the date of leaving the country of the last employment,
  • go to a voivodeship labour office of proper jurisdiction for the place of living in Poland in order to submit the E-303 form there (the voivodeship labour office then informs the poviat labour office about the decision concerning keeping the right to the unemployment benefit gained in the EEA country)
  • stay at the Polish labour office’s disposal.

The unemployment benefit is paid to the beneficiary by the poviat labour office in an amount in which it is given to them in a country in which it was granted – after calculating it into the Polish currency. The benefit can be taken for the period for which it is granted to them but not longer than for three months from leaving the country of the last employment. If the unemployed person does not find a job within this 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.

The possibility to transfer to Poland the unemployment benefit granted in another EU country or Switzerland
An unemployed person who would like to look for a job in Poland and take unemployment benefit which is granted to them in another EU state or Switzerland should:

  • stay 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,
  • before going to Poland, take the PD-U2 form which concerns keeping the right to the unemployment 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 – in the period of up to seven days from the date of leaving the country of the last employment,
  • go to the voivodeship labour office of proper jurisdiction for the place of living in Poland in order to submit the PD U2 document there (then the voivodeship labour office gives to the proper institution of the country of the last employment the SED U009 document with information that the unemployed person fulfilled the obligation to register with Polish employment services and that they are under control),
  • stay at the Polish labour office’s disposal.

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 can take that benefit for a period of three months from 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 can lengthen this period to six months. If the unemployed person does not find a job within this 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