Remote work of Ukrainian citizens residing in Poland for foreign entities
“Ukrainian Special Law” introduced regulations for Ukrainian refugees, especially on issues of legal residence and work. Since its entry into force, lawyers have drawn attention to the gaps present in this law, which have not been remedied to date.
Legal work of Ukrainians in scope of the Special Law
Ukrainian citizens who legally reside on the territory of Poland may take up employment without the need to obtain a work permit or other documents that allow them to work on the territory of Poland in a legal manner. The only obligation imposed by the Special Law is on the side of employer who employs a Ukrainian citizen. The employer is obliged to notify the locally competent Labour Office about the commencement of work by the Ukrainian, within 14 days from the commencement of work of the foreigner.
The notification can only be submitted by the employer via an electronic form that is available in the teleinformatic system of the labour offices (praca.gov.pl).
Problem of remote work of Ukrainian citizens
The aforementioned electronic form made specifically for the notification on the commencement of work by a Ukrainian citizen contains a number of fields to be completed. Among others, the notifying entity must indicate its NIP and REGON identification numbers (or PESEL number, in the case of employers who are natural persons).
If the Ukrainian citizen performs remote work for a Polish entity, this problem does not arise, as these entities should have mentioned identification numbers. However, it often happens that Ukrainians who fled to Poland from the ongoing war continue to work for their Ukrainian employers, providing remote work due to their unanticipated change of country of residence. These subjects do not have Polish identification numbers and therefore it is not possible to submit a notification that they have started working on the territory of Poland.
Potential solutions to the problem
In a situation where it is not possible for the employer to submit a notification on work commencement by a Ukrainian citizen, at first glance the safest solution would be to apply for a Type E work permit, applicable in the case of a delegation to the territory of Poland of an employee working for a foreign employer.
An unpublished statement on this issue was presented by the Labour Market Department of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, which indicated that these cases cannot have the character of a delegation, as Ukrainians reside in Poland for a different reason than performance of work for a foreign employer. On this basis, a conclusion had been drawn that in the presented situations foreigners are not obliged to obtain a work permit.
The abovementioned view is accurate in scope of presented situation. However, an appropriate intervention of the legislative authority is necessary in order to eliminate the existing legal loophole in the Special Law, causing doubts on the part of lawyers, employers as well as refugees from Ukraine themselves.
In cases related to the legalisation of foreigners’ work, please contact the migration department of our Law Firm, which will answer questions related to your case