Temporary employment agencies and their employees without support in times of pandemic
Polish employers are increasingly willing to use the services offered by temporary employment agencies. In particular, in the case of simple, seasonal or directly order-related work, the use of temporary workers allows employers to flexibly adjust the level of employment to current needs. The temporary work sector currently employs over 700,000 people per year.
Unfortunately, the solutions included in the package of acts commonly referred to as the “Anti-Crisis Shield” do not include the state aid system of temporary employment agencies and employees employed by them. This is due to the fact that temporary work is based on the cooperation of three entities – the temporary employment agency, which is the employer, the temporary employee who is employed by the agency, and the user employer for whom the temporary employee works.
Employers of users who have experienced a decrease in turnover and meet the other criteria for state support cannot include temporary agency workers in this aid because it is not them but the temporary employment agency that is their employer (art. 15 g Special Act of the speculation applies only to the employer’s own employees). On the other hand, temporary work agencies are only theoretically (after meeting the basic condition of decrease in turnover) entitled to submit an application for a subsidy to employees salaries, because such subsidy is granted either in connection with the introduction of downtime or reduction of working time, and the introduction of both these instruments is the user’s employer, not the agency. Furthermore, the condition of introducing a stoppage or reduction in working hours by means of an agreement with the employees representatives corresponds to the reality of the work performed in typical employment and not that performed by the private employment agencies.
In view of the above, in the long run, temporary work agencies are either liquidated or declared bankrupt or the employees are put into economic downturn, the costs of which will be borne entirely by the agencies themselves. This could have a serious impact on the entire temporary work sector in Poland.