|Function:||prezes Polsko-Ukraińskiej Izby Gospodarczej|
Red tape makes it difficult to hire Ukrainian workers in Poland. Employment agencies can’t keep up with issuing permits.
The record-low unemployment results in the consistently growing demand for human resources from behind our eastern border. The new regulations, in force since January of this year, and the new category of simplified seasonal work permit were supposed to assist employers. However, it turned out that employment agencies are not yet ready to embrace the changes. The number of declarations processed every day can sometimes be ten times lower than before.
“The Polish economy clearly needs employees from abroad. It’s good that the Government is aware of these challenges and that new solutions are being developed in this field. It is necessary to enhance the whole registration process for work permits which are applied for by employers and employment agencies and to strengthen the administration dealing with these matters,” Jacek Piechota, President of the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce told the Newseria Biznes press agency.
According to the data from the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, over 1.8 million declarations of intention to provide work to a foreigner were issued in 2017 (an increase of 39 percent year-on-year). The vast majority, that is 94 percent of all declarations involved Ukrainian citizens as the demand for them grew by 36 percent year-on-year.
The demand for employees from behind the eastern border is increasing due to the situation on the Polish labour market – the historical low unemployment rate that has lasted a number of months thwarts the development of companies. As seen in the “Economic Immigration Barometer” prepared by Kantar Millward Brown and commissioned by Personnel Service, nearly one in five companies in Poland (19 percent) are planning to recruit Ukrainians in the near future. Among big companies, this percentage is much higher, reaching 42 percent.
Employers were supposed to receive assistance thanks to new regulations which entered into force in January 2018. A new category of a simplified seasonal work permit was introduced (allowing a legal stay and work in Poland not for six, but for nine months during the year), along with a charge for registering a declaration on the intention to provide work to a foreigner. Another change is the employer’s obligation to report, whether a foreigner who received a new, simplified seasonal work permit, actually took on work.
“We’ve introduced certain regulations, which eliminate the black market for employer declarations, but we failed to strengthen the agencies managing the whole process. Unfortunately, the activities of voivodeship offices is also a bottleneck. Civil servants who verify the documents and prepare decisions for temporary stays and work permits are simply flooded with work resulting from the current demand. That is why we need to strengthen the administration in this respect,” stressed Jacek Piechota.
Data from the Personnel Service agency, which specialises in the recruitment of foreigners, show that since the new regulations were introduced, each day there are up to ten times fewer declarations registered than before. The difficulties are caused by, among other things, the extension of the procedure of verifying declarations and an increased number of appendices.
In the previous system, the number of documents was limited to a single page of the declaration for the employment agency and a single page to be filled in by the employer. Now, the employer has to submit eight different documents, including the completed declaration on the intention to provide a job, confirmation of payment of PLN 30 for registration and a photocopy of the foreigner’s passport with all stamped pages. If an error is found in the documentation, the time for registering the declaration is extended to 30 days.
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