Controls conducted by the Supreme Audit Office show that state administration is widely using civil contracts. They are often signed in place of contracts of employment which is an illegal practice. Therefore, rather than set an example for employers, the administration uses solutions considered pathological – even by the administration itself.
According to the report, the most civil contracts were signed in the Chancellery of the Sejm – 2565, Chancellery of the Senate – 1275, Ministry of Education – 1165, National Bank of Poland – 966, Ministry of Health – 848 and the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy – 764. The record number of civil contracts signed with the same person is held by the Ministry of Agriculture with 33 such contracts with the same person. All in all, over 17 500 civil contracts were in place in the institutions under study in 2014. In 2014 and in the first half of 2015, over 409 mln PLN were spent on remuneration for employees on civil contracts. Controls have also revealed cases in which civil contracts were used where contracts of employment should apply. Almost 30 percent of the contracts were signed with people who were not employed anywhere else.
One cannot forget that the main cause of the increased popularity of civil contracts in recent years is the deficient Public Procurement Law, particularly the lowest price criterion. It is the tenders that forced cost-based competition. The administration also justifies the use of civil contracts with lower costs. It is the administration as the procuring entity, particularly in the basic services sector, consents to contractors using civil contracts and low remuneration. The so-called social clauses are seldom used. Hopefully, this will be changed by the recent amendment to the Public Procurement Law – however, the effectiveness of these changes will depend on the procuring parties.
The government proposes a number of solutions aimed at restricting civil contract abuses. Since January 2016, new regulations on contributions in contracts of order are in place, and the Ministry of Family intends to introduce a 12 PLN per hour minimum wage for such employees and for the self-employed before the end of the year. It is a shame that stet administration does not try to solve the problem starting with itself. The Parliament, ministries and courts should set an example for employers. Meanwhile, they are engaged in practices they themselves are trying to combat at all costs.
Arkadiusz Pączka, Director of the Legislation Monitoring Centre
of Employers of Poland