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Ministry makes permanent relaxed work rules for workers from five Eastern Europe countries


The Labour Ministry has extended indefinitely regulations easing access to Poland’s labour market for the nationals of Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia, Russia and Ukraine. At the same, however, another change made it more difficult to grant similar rights to the nationals of other countries.

Under the relaxed rules – which were enacted in 2009 and were originally due to expire on 31 December 2010 – workers from the five countries do not need a work permit to work legally in Poland. Instead, it is sufficient for the employer to notify their district labour office about an intention to take on a worker from one of those countries, and to fill out a special declaration.

The liberalised rules were popular with employers, who in 2009 submitted a total of 191,500 declarations, mainly involving workers from Belarus and Ukraine (the actual number of workers hired was probably lower, as several documents may apply to the same individual). The decision to extend their lifetime is seen as particularly important given the possibility of increased economic migration from Poland when Germany opens up its labour market to workers from new EU member states after 1 May 2011.

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