Running a Temporary Employment Agency – Key Issues

Running a Temporary Employment Agency – Key Issues
Marek Cieślak

Marek Cieślak

CEO CGO Finance

Running a Temporary Employment Agency in Poland involves numerous responsibilities aimed at ensuring legality, safety of operations and the protection of temporary workers. In this article, we will present the key issues and obligations that temporary employment agencies bear.

Table of Contents

Temporary work – benefits for employers and employees

Temporary employment is becoming increasingly popular. It is a response to various needs observed in companies. Among the crucial factors, we can name freezing positions, increased demand for products or services, the need for specific qualifications for the duration of certain projects, or long-term absences of permanent employees. As a result, companies decide to hire temporary workers through temporary employment agencies.

Benefits for employers:

  • Flexibility – Employers can use temporary workers for high season and temporary projects. They can also replace absent employees or those who have been dismissed.
  • No long-term commitments – hiring temporary workers allows employers to avoid long commitments. This minimizes the risk of losing expenses associated with ending employment.
  • Time saving – renting temporary workers from a temporary employment agency is easier and faster. Conducting the entire recruitment process requires a lot of time and resources.
  • Minimal training costs – temporary workers usually already have the required qualifications. Employers can save money on training costs.

Benefits for employees:

  • Flexibility – temporary work gives employees the opportunity to adjust their work schedule to their needs. They can decide how many hours they want to work and on which days.
  • Easy access to work – temporary employment agencies usually seek temporary workers for their clients. This means that they can quickly find work. Usually, there is no need to go through a long recruitment process.
  • Development of skills – temporary workers usually work in different places and for different employers. This allows them to gain new skills and professional experience.
  • Attractive salary – temporary employment may offer higher remuneration than permanent positions.

Registering a temporary employment agency – required documents and procedures

The Act on Entrepreneur’s Law regulates services in the field of job placement, career guidance, personal counseling and temporary work. To conduct such an activity, it is necessary to register the employment agency. Agencies are entered into the register maintained by the Province Marshal. An application for registration must be submitted to the relevant  Provincial Labour Office. Along with the application, one should submit a declaration and proof of payment. The Province Marshal issues a certificate confirming the entry in the register. This allows the employment agency to conduct its business activity. The register is publicly available. It serves to verify entities that have the status of an employment agency.

Foreign entrepreneurs who have the right to legally conduct activities in the field of job placement, career guidance, or personal counseling in the European Union or the European Economic Area do not have to register their employment agency in Poland. Yet,  before starting activity in Poland, they should notify the adequate province marshal. This obligation results from the Act on the Promotion of Employment and Labor Market Institutions.

The Act on the employment of temporary workers – basic rules and regulations

Responsibilities of the agency towards temporary workers: contracts, salaries, and social benefits

The Act of 9 July 2003 on the employment of temporary workers establishes the rules for the employment of temporary workers by temporary employment agencies. The Act defines the obligations of the agency and of the employers who use its services. In cases not covered by the Act, the rules of the Labor Code and other regulations on the relations of employer and employee shall apply.

Responsibilities of temporary employment agency

Within 7 days of concluding the employment contract or in the event of a change, the employer must provide temporary employee with direct contact information to the temporary employment agency. This should include an address, phone number, email, and days and hours when one can contact the agency.

The temporary employment agency and the user employer must agree on the arrangements in writing. These arrangements should be also forwarded to the temporary worker.

The agency must inform the temporary worker in writing about the obligations of the user employer regarding occupational health and safety.

The employer must properly calculate and pay the temporary worker’s salary on time.

The temporary worker must have an appropriate type of contract with the employer. Namely, an employment contract or a civil law contract.

The employer must comply with the limit on temporary work performed by one employee for one user employer.

The employer must compensate for any damage caused by the temporary worker to the user employer. This stems from the provisions of the  Labor Code.

The user employer should take over the OHS obligations towards temporary worker. If he does not, the temporary employment agency must fulfill them.

The employer must keep documentation related to the employment relationship. This includes personnel files, but not the records of working time.

After the end of the employment or civil law contract, the temporary worker has the right to receive appropriate documents.

On the other hand, the user employer’s obligations towards the temporary worker include: 

  • Introducing the temporary worker to his duties and method of performing work at the designated position.
  • Providing the temporary worker with safe and hygienic working conditions. This concerns also workwear and safety equipment, supportive drinks and meals, and OHS training.
  • Keeping records of the temporary worker’s working hours. Granting the temporary worker leave on agreed terms.
  • Providing temporary workers with social facilities on the same terms as their own employees.
  • Informing temporary workers of available job vacancies that the employer intends to fill.
  • Observing the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination of the temporary worker in employment and training. The exception is a temporary worker who works for a period of up to 6 weeks for the employer in the case of training aimed at improving qualifications.

Is it possible to work for another employer in Poland? Find answer to this question in our article

Rights of temporary workers – equal treatment, working conditions, and safety

A temporary worker working for a user employer must be treated equally to directly employed workers in similar positions. This applies to both working conditions and terms of employment. If the user employer violates this principle, the temporary worker can seek compensation from his employment agency. This results from the provisions of the Labor Code. A temporary employment agency can demand from the user employer a refund of the compensation paid to the worker. This ensures equal treatment of temporary workers and protects their workplace rights.

Obligation to inform – how do agencies have to inform employers and employees?

An employer who hires a temporary worker must provide the employment agency with information on several issues. They must be confirmed in writing. Firstly, employer must specify remuneration of the temporary worker for performing his duties. He must also provide in writing his internal regulations applying to remuneration. For shift work, the employer must inform the agency about break rules, shift transitions, pay, and benefits. If internal regulations regarding pay change, the employer must inform about it in writing.

User employer must inform the agency in writing about the applicable safety and hygiene conditions. He must also confirm that he is not using the temporary worker in place of another person whose employment relationship ended for reasons unrelated to employees in the last 3 months before the date of temporary work commencement. The user employer may intend to end the agreement with the temporary worker earlier. In such a case, he must inform the agency of the expected termination date in writing.

If a temporary worker actually stops working, the employer must notify the agency. He must immediately inform about the date and circumstances under which temporary worker ceased to work. The employer must also provide written information about the type of offense committed by the temporary worker. Moreover, he should indicate disciplinary action that the temporary work agency should impose.

Documentation and data record – what do agencies have to document and store?

As a user employer, you have to maintain a register of temporary employees. It must include information on the start and end date of the temporary work performed within a period of 36 consecutive months. The document should be kept for 36 months following the end of the temporary work. The register can be in paper or electronic form. It should be separate for each temporary worker.

Liability of temporary employment agency – penalties for non-compliance with obligations

If the temporary employment agency or its representative assigns the temporary worker to work that is particularly dangerous, in a position where the user employer’s worker is on strike, or if the temporary worker is to perform the same type of work as the user employer’s worker with whom he has recently ended his employment relationship for reasons not related to employee, and such work is to be performed in the municipality where the dismissed employee was employed and requires the use of firearms or items for immobilizing persons using electrical energy, then the agency or its representative commits an offense. It may be subject to a fine in the amount of 1000 PLN to 30 000 PLN. Moreover, if a temporary employee works for one employer for more than 18 months (in total) within 36 consecutive months or for more than 36 months and continuously performs tasks that belong to the duties of an absent employee employed by a particular employer, the temporary work agency or its representative also commits an offense.

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Role of the National Labor Inspectorate: inspection of agencies and enforcement of regulations

Temporary employment agencies and user employers must comply with the law that sets out their obligations. The Labour Inspectorate monitors whether they fulfill their responsibilities towards temporary workers. It also verifies whether the rights of temporary employees and persons who perform temporary work based on different contracts are respected.

If there are irregularities regarding the protection of employee rights and safety at work detected in:

  • the controlled institution,
  • temporary employment agency or
  • employer whose services are used,

an adequate inspection report will be prepared.

This refers also to irregularities connected with hiring temporary workers. This means, among others, the terms for concluding a temporary employment contract and the employment record.

Legal advice for a temporary employment agency: how to ensure compliance with regulations and avoid problems

If employers and temporary employment agencies comply with the Act on Temporary Employment of Workers, they don’t need to worry about National Labour Inspectorate controls. Common situations where temporary agencies don’t meet Inspectorate’s approval include:

  • Problems with concluding temporary employment contracts. The rules governing such contracts are often not respected.
  • Hiring employees on the basis of civil law contracts, but under conditions that correspond to the employment contract.
  • There are frequent situations where employees are not paid salaries and other benefits. The laws on granting holiday leaves and remuneration for the time of leave or unused leave are often violated.
  • Temporary employment agencies also fail to issue labor certificates to employees.
  • Preventive medical examinations for temporary workers are carried out incorrectly.
  • Many temporary employment agencies fail to agree in writing on the terms of temporary employment with the user employer.

Certainly, these are examples of unaccepted situations. Avoiding them will help avoid problems with the National Labour Inspectorate.

Summary: the most important responsibilities of temporary employment agency in Poland

In summary, temporary employment agencies in Poland have many important obligations. One of the most important is to comply with regulations regarding employment contracts. Ensuring that employees receive suitable working conditions under such contracts is crucial. Temporary employment agencies must also ensure that employees are paid a salary. Other benefits, such as vacation time need to be respected as well. Additionally, agencies have an obligation to conduct preventive medical examinations for temporary employees. Another essential obligation is to issue them employment certificates. An important duty of a temporary employment agency is also to agree on the conditions of temporary workers’ employment in writing with the user employer. All of these obligations are crucial. They allow to provide temporary workers with suitable working conditions. The regulations also ensure the protection of temporary workers’ rights.

Are you looking for an accountant in Poland or a payroll services provider in Poland? Specialists from our accounting firm in Poland, Warsaw will be happy to help. If you are interested in company registration in Poland visit our dedicated landing page.

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Marek Cieślak

CEO CGO Finance