Bridging the gap between legislation and practice in the posting of workers: Poland Country Report
Poland is one of the key member states issuing portable documents A1, although the numbers declined since 2016. In 2018, Poland issued 238,525 PDs A1 under Article 12 of the Basic Regulation, with the highest number of postings directed at Germany, France, and Belgium. Poland is also a receiving country of posted workers, albeit to a lesser extent (26,714 in 2018), experiencing an increase in the numbers since 2016. This report focuses on the posting of workers based on the review of relevant legislation, literature, and available statistics. We also gathered qualitative data with representatives of employers, employment agencies, social partners, and public authorities to better understand the gap between legislation and practices in the posting of workers. We mostly focused on the posting of workers in the construction and care sectors.
We describe the Polish context’s specifics and its regulatory framework regarding posting and cross-border mobility, temporary agency work, social security, health insurance coverage, and others. We outline the roles of the National Labour Inspectorate and Social Insurance Institution. On the employers’ side, we describe companies operating according to the rules and the ones operating in the grey zone. While the former learn how to navigate the legal framework of sending and receiving countries using support from legal companies or employers’ networks, the latter use ambiguities in the laws to misuse the system. Among these, the interviewees reported how the companies might misuse portable documents A1, pay social insurance contributions from understated rates of salary or try to bypass the provisions on the posting by applying financially more ‘beneficial’ regulations on business trips and pay a part of the salary as a travel allowance. In particular, employers who operate in the grey zone pose a threat to workers’ rights. Hence the workers’ protection initiatives should address the persistently low levels of knowledge of the rules and issues related to the contracts, taxes, and social insurance contributions among posted workers.
We conclude this report with several recommendations on EU and national levels regarding industries, enforcement agencies, and social partners.
This publication has received financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014- 2020), Agreement No. VS/2019/0396. For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi