Evaluating Employment and Collaboration Models in Poland: A Comprehensive Analysis

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In Poland’s diverse work environment, choosing the right employment or collaboration model is crucial for business success. This article covers the essentials—from permanent and fixed-term contracts to civil law agreements and B2B collaborations. Each offers different advantages and compliances. We’ll guide you through these options to help you find the best fit for your business needs.

1. Employment Contracts

  • a. Permanent Employment Contract (Umowa o pracę na czas nieokreślony)
  • b. Fixed-Term Employment Contract (Umowa o pracę na czas określony)

Employment contracts, governed by the Polish Labour Code, provide employees with a range of benefits and protections, such as paid leave, sick leave, minimum wage and guaranteed notice periods. These contracts also offer stability and long-term security for employees. However, they come with higher costs and less flexibility for employers. Entering into an employment relationship entails numerous obligations for the employer, including but not limited to: Providing preliminary and periodic medical examinations, ensuring workplace safety and hygiene with mandatory training on occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations, mandatory health and social insurance for employees, withholding income tax advances, and maintaining employee files. Also employee dismissal regulations are tightly constrained and explicitly outlined within the labor code.

2. Civil Law Contracts

  • a. Contract of Mandate (Umowa zlecenie) –
  • b. Contract for Specific Work (Umowa o dzieło) –

Civil law contracts, regulated by the Polish Civil Code, offer more flexibility for both parties. These contracts are often used for short-term projects or when hiring specialists for specific tasks. While they provide less stability and fewer benefits for the contractor, they also come with lower costs and more flexibility for the company.

3. B2B Collaboration

(PL:Samozatrudnienie) B2B collaboration, or self-employment, is a popular form of cooperation in Poland, especialy for IT sector. In this arrangement, a self-employed individual (a sole proprietor) provides services to a company based on a civil law contract. This form of collaboration offers flexibility and tax optimization opportunities for both parties but lacks the benefits and protections of traditional employment contracts.

When entering into a b2b contract, attention must be paid to the provisions regarding liability towards principal for the actions taken and their outcomes, as well as bearing the economic risk associated with the conducted activities. It is crucial to carefully review the contract’s clauses, as the State Labour Inspection (PIP) and the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) have the right to inspect these. If these bodies determine that the contract’s terms suggest an actual employment relationship, they may impose fines and require payment of outstanding contributions. We recommend consulting with Attorney before deciding on specifc form of colaboration or employment.

Overview summary:

Example estimated cost comparison for given remuneration:


Jerzy Gaweł
Partner – Tax Advisor

Yevheniia Humeniak

Yevheniia Humeniak
Senior Accountant