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Legislation Monitoring Centre
In Poland there is neither an internet portal nor an institution for employers responsible for monitoring the legislation process of regulations that determine the rules for business activity. At present employers  learn about changes in the law mainly from mass media or simply through the grapevine, usually with delay.



Employers’ of Poland prognoses for 2015


Labour law and social dialog


  • In 2015, changes in Labour Code regarding fixed-term contracts, aimed at stabilizing employment will be introduced. It will be a true revolution in the functioning of fixed-term contracts, as according to propositions of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy a limit will be imposed both on their duration (33 months) and the number of contracts signed by the same employee (3 contracts). If the project passes the legislative process without obstruction, new regulations may come into force in the summer of 2015 (due to the 6-month period of vacatio legis). The amendment in question is particularly important for employers, as it may also have an impact on contracts signed before its coming into force and result in changing the into non-fixed-term contracts.


  • Possible changes in labour law will also depend on activities of the Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs. As the trade unions have not participated in its works for one and a half years, social dialog on a number of important issues has been obstructed.  At the same time, social partners are working on a new act regarding the functioning of the tripartite dialog institution. We hope that solutions based on consensus will be elaborated quickly so that the current impasse in social dialog in Poland will be overcome.   


  • In 2015, changes in temporary employment will also be a subject of interest. Abuses on the market call for appropriate actions, including changes in legislation. However, the need for proper protection of employees’ interests and increased legal requirements for temporary employment agencies should not restrict the flexibility of the use temporary employments by employers. This issue is undoubtedly problematic, but social partners and the government will have to face it in the coming year.   


                   Energy and mining


  • The future of Kompania Węglowa will be decided. The biggest coal company in Europe is on the brink of bankruptcy and 2014 brought no solutions in terms of restructuring. Although politicians would like to have peace and quiet in election time ­– as 2015 is an election year – delaying changes for a further 12  months is out of the question. One has to keep in mind that low crude oil prices will create high price pressure on coal on global markets.


  • The Renewable Energy Sources Act which has been in the works for several years will come into force. If the European Commission does not declare it inconsistent with EU law, the new tender system for green energy will start working in 2015. New regulations for the industry will enable companies to plan long-term development.


  • The LNG terminal in Świnoujście should be ready in mid 2015. It will give Poland an opportunity  to import liquefied gas from world markets, where prices are sometimes better than those included in the contract with Gazprom. Poland is diversifying its sources of gas import and Polish companies can hope for gas supplies at a lower price, which will improve the competitiveness and profitability.   


Economic activity


  • Due to next year’s double election, we should not expect significant legal changes. We do not know what form the Economic Activity Act will assume – one of the key announcements made by PM Kopacz in her exposé – but the guidelines of the draft are not game-changing. They are rather an admission on the officials part that law in Poland is not abided – the letter of the law is one thing and the practice of officials’ everyday work quite another. However, acts will not change the mentality and practices of officials.


  • Work on a completely new Public Procurement Act will commence. The draft is currently being elaborated by the Public Procurement Office. The main objective of the new act is to improve the system (too often the lowest price criterion is the decisive factor in the choice of a contract) and implement the directives passed by the EU in early 2014 (the deadline for implementation is set in the first half of 2016 and the elections may cause Poland to be too slow in conducting transposition yet again. However, the new Public Procurement Act is indispensable for the market to function properly.   


  • The deregulation and dereglamentation will largely lay idle. There is no time for the fifth deregulation act. However, it is possible that the parliament will pass another act opening the access to regulated professions.


Economy and public finances


  • Polish economy should grow a little faster than last year. The economic upturn of 2014 has been slightly slowed by the stagnation in the eurozone and the conflict in the East – we are now slowly coming back to normal which will be aided by decreasing crude oil price and their positive impact on supply.


  • In the first months of 2015, we will still be dealing with deflation, but it will gradually decrease. This will have a positive influence on consumers’ purchasing power – thus also on internal demand – although if the conviction that prices will be falling for an extended time becomes widespread,  the impact of this phenomenon on the economy will prove to be negative.


  • The new year will see growth in investment and employment. Entrepreneurs are now through with a tie of restructuring and will want to take advantage of the coming economic upturn, a.o. through developing production capacity. The high involvement of investment in GDP growth is a confirmation of the durability of positive tendencies in Polish economy.


  • Next year’s budget does not include many surprises which is a positive sign in itself, as in recent years the passing of the budge often meant the introduction of changes unfavorable for entrepreneurs.


  • Even though the government is preparing several pre-election presents for the citizens, a.o. a higher pension valorization, the situation of public finances should improve, mostly tanks to solid economic growth. Next year, the Council of the EU will most likely remove the excessive deficit procedure imposed in 2009. However, it is hard to see this as a significant success, considering how much time Poland spent on consolidating its finances – decreasing deficit in times of economic upturn is not an extraordinary achievement.


Labour market


  • The situation on the labour market will improve in terms of the number of jobs and, thus, their accessibility. On the other hand,  employers may have more problems recruiting employees, as a consequence of a.o. the immigration of a. 2 mln Poles, long-standing negligence in vocational education and the lack of cohesion between supply and demand on the Polish labour market


  • Demand for specialists, engineers, qualified physical workers and high-ranking managers will be big. Sectors where employment will be easiest to come by will be production, trade, construction, gastronomy, hotels and TSL services.  Business service centers will grow rapidly, as will the demand for care for the elderly, sick and for children.


  • Employers will use the services of employment agencies more often and look for employees abroad. The shortage of qualified employees has increased the awareness of the importance of professional human resources management.


  • In order to maintain competitiveness, more and more companies get involved in cooperation with schools and research centers, both in Poland  and abroad.


  • The awareness of services offered by  Labour Offices and employment support instrument s will also be improved thanks a.o. to promotional activity conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.




  • 2015 will an important year for healthcare. On January 1st, the so-called queue and oncology package will come into force. Apart from a few widely publicized changes regarding the accessibility of oncological treatment and different procedures for keeping queue lists (intended to reduce the waiting time), it introduces many systemic changes. The current conflict between representatives of basic Healthcare with the Ministry of Health or the hospitals’ discontent caused by the lack of information on financing diagnostic research  are responses of  professionals to only a part of the changes. What is more, only to those changes which will not have  a substantial long-term impact on the functioning of the system as a whole.


  • The turn of the year may be a turbulent time in healthcare, depending on whether a compromise between family doctors and the Ministry of Health can be reached. Should an agreement not be reached, problems with access to Basic Healthcare doctors will arise.  


  • However, the package also includes changes as important as new rules of contract planning (a map of healthcare needs will be introduced ­– a purchase plan which will also include the limit on contracts signed in particular regions). The Medical technology Protection Agency will receive tools for systemic pricing of medical services and the next contracting (which will most likely take place in early 2016) will enable NFZ directors in voivodeships to sign long-term contracts (for as long as 10 years in the case of hospitals  2015 is also the last year in which strategic decisions on development and preparation for contracts for 2016-2026 can be made.  It is imperative to secure as many points as possible (e.g. by getting a certificate from the Ministry of Health). One can assume that failure to prepare properly will leave the entity outside of the public system – vulnerable to imminent bankruptcy.


  • The changes outlined above will be of fundamental importance for investors. It appears that the first half of 2015 might see many takeovers, alliances and consolidations (of smaller, mainly private hospitals) in the healthcare sector, as  such actions may increase their chances of getting contracts and staying in the system. Long-term contracts will also ensure stability for investors who will be increasingly willing to locate their funds in this sector. One can assume that long contracts will also result in the Public-Private Partnership Model.


  • Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the queue and oncology package introduces the obligation to get a o permit for new investments in healthcare (their usefulness will be assessed by the voivode). The obligation will be restricted to investments for which a healthcare entity will later attempt to get financing of more than 3 mln PLN in 2 years for hospitals and 2 mln PLN for Ambulatory Specialist Care  from the NFZ. Thus, next year is the last chance to start building medical infrastructure without having to apply for a permit (an administrative decision of the voivode).   


  • Early January will also be a time for changes in  the  Pharmaceutical Law Act, aimed at restricting the practice of removing drugs from Polish market which restricts their accessibility to patients.


  • As 2015 will be a year of two election campaigns, one should not expect any additional changes in the healthcare system. We will have to wait for solutions such as additional health insurance or the discussion on subventions for treatment or other mechanisms restricting demand.


Tax law


  • The amendment of the Tax Ordinance presented by the Ministry of Finance includes many changes important for entrepreneurs. The objective was, as always, to simplify and facilitate taxation procedures. Sadly, only a small part of the amendments will serve this goal. The anti-tax evasion clause is obviously the most controversial and clearly unfavourable to entrepreneurs.


  • Moreover, one should note that an attempt to introduce such a clause was made in 2003 and resulted in a Constitutional Tribunal ruling declaring it unconstitutional. The Tribunal pointed out a.o. that there were no grounds to adopt the principle that the taxpayer should always regulate its civil law obligation in a manner most fiscally profitable for the state  .


  • Other unfavourable changes in the Tax Ordinance include a.o. an increased interest rates for late payment (200% of the basic rate) for VAT and excise payers who do not file their declarations or  reduce the declared obligation by over 25% of the due value and restricting the importance of individual tax law interpretations.  


  • However, changes such as a.o. the possibility of paying tax with a credit card and facilitations in nominating plenipotentiaries representing taxpayers before tax authorities.


  • As far as procedural Tax Law regulations are concerned, one cannot forget the residential project in which Bronisław Komorowski proposed the institution of resolving ambiguities in favor of the taxpayer (lat: in dubio pro tributario). The objective of such a solution is to restrict the transfer of risks caused by imprecise regulations and the resulting costs to taxpayers. The obligation to resolve ambiguities in favor of taxpayers is also intended to improve the relationship between the taxpayers and tax authorities.



Employers of Poland