|Function:||BCC legal expert, Kancelaria Sadkowski i Wspólnicywny BCC, Kancelaria Sadkowski i Wspólnicy|
Workforce from the Far East and Asia coming to the rescue of the Polish labour market. Companies are looking forward to easier recruitment and simpler procedures
The number of vacancies is growing, having reached nearly 120,000 jobs by late 2017. Employees from the East are no longer able to make up for this shortage. That’s why more and more businesses are recruiting employees from such Asian countries as Nepal, India or Bangladesh. But experts suggest we need changes in employment procedures for foreign nationals, e.g. harmonised requirements across government agencies, streamlined visa-application procedures, and the shortened processing of work permits.
“Poland should open as much as possible to foreign workforce. This is motivated by employers’ interest in hiring foreign nationals and by labour shortages in Poland. We should make it easier to hire foreigners, and I mean not only Ukrainians, because, as it turns out, they are no longer that keen on coming to Poland. But we should be opening to the Far East and Asia, to regions such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and even Korea, making it easier to hire foreigners, while of course keeping in mind our country’s security,” Michał Wysłocki, Business Centre Club’s legal expert from Kancelaria Sadkowski i Wspólnicy (Sadkowski and Partners Law Firm), told Newseria Biznes.
Despite the record number of working Poles (16.5 m in Q3 2017), there were still 120,000 vacancies at the end of the previous year. Foreigners could ameliorate the situation, but those who are the most likely to be employed, Ukrainians and Belarusians, no longer suffice.
The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy has reported that in 2017 employers made 1.8 million declarations on their intention to hire foreigners (an increase by almost 40%). Based on such declarations, they can hire workforce from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Georgia and Armenia for six months over a period of 12 consecutive months. Employers who wish to employ non-Europeans for longer periods of time must obtain a consent from the Voivode (Province Governor). In 2017, nearly 234,000 such consents were issued, meaning a nearly twofold increase compared to the year before.
“Employers want to hire foreign nationals because of labour shortages. This is true not only for low-skilled or manufacturing jobs, but also applies to highly trained staff, especially from the IT sector, where the demand for new employees is very high. So employers are somewhat forced to look abroad. Some nations seem to be more predisposed to specific professions too. For instance, Indians or Nepalese make great production workers, as they have excellent manual skills and are thorough,” Wysłocki explains.
At the same time, however, experts suggest that certain aid measures be introduced to make the hiring process easier and faster, e.g., to encourage the hiring of in-demand professionals from abroad or to issue work permits to foreigners without labour market tests (i.e. tests aimed to check whether there are actually no Poles who could take the job).
In addition, some experts propose that the list of countries from which employees can be hired in Poland under a simplified procedure be expanded from six to over a dozen. This could apply to the nations which have already been represented in Poland in largest numbers. In 2017, work permits were obtained by more than 7,000 people from Nepal (compared to 1,200 a year before), about 4,000 from India (1,700 in 2016), and 2,400 from Bangladesh (compared to some 700 a year before). There could be much more if only simplified procedures could be followed to hire them.
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