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About taxes ("Umowa o dzielo") and minimum wage in Poland


kloot
29 Jul 2013  #1
Hello everybody!

In less than a week I'll start living in Poland and looking for a job. First of all, I know I need to register in the city as living there, right? Then, I found an offer of "umowa o dzielo". I was wondering what kind of taxes should I have to pay, and whether I should register as freelancer. What if I don't earn more than the minimum wage? I'm kind of lost with all these formalities.

Secondly, I guess I need to have a Social Security number, even if I don't have a job yet, right? Where should I get it, and do I have to pay anything even if I don't have a job?

Thanks for your answers!
polforeigner
29 Jul 2013  #2
A umowa o dzielo is not a work contract since it's a contract of civil law. Therefore, although you shall pay tax, you'll have no health coverage (you'll have to buy one yourself), no paid holidays, no retirement, no sick pay, etc.... In fact, you are paid only when working and honestly the worst situation to work.
OP kloot
29 Jul 2013  #3
I know it's not the best situation, but I'm young and I have to start with something. probably I'll have two kinds of jobs/contracts, since that umowa o dzieło thing won't be enough money. Rome wasn't built in a day ;)
Monitor 14 | 1,821
29 Jul 2013  #4
So here you have sample Umowa o dzieło. See what you need: web-future.pl/pdf/wzor_umowy.pdf

Here you have table explaining when employer and when employee has to pay for various insurances based on type of work/project agreement:

So as you can see:

Osoby, które nie są zatrudnione na umowę o pracę u zamawiającego dzieło
Umowa o dzieło N N N N N

you have to pay ZUS (retirement and other) and NFZ (health) yourself.

Here: zus.pl/default.asp?p=3&id=113

Chapter "Ubezpieczenia dobrowolne" in linked pdfs you have explained how can you register yourself for paying ZUS fees.

Here the same about NFZ: nfz.gov.pl/new/index.php?katnr=2&dzialnr=1&artnr=1443

If I am not mistaken you're not obligated to registrar and pay these insurances when you work with Umowa o Dzieło. Can somebody confirm or deny?

Where should I get it, and do I have to pay anything even if I don't have a job

Everybody in Poland has PESEL - it's citizen's number ;) I've seen in Umowa o Dzieło example that you will need it.

Here you have application form:

secure.e-konsulat.gov.pl/WizytyPlikiDoPobrania/Paszportowe/Wniosek_o_nadanie_numeru_PESEL.pdf

Because Umowa o Dzieło is not work agreement then it doesn't matter weather you earn less or more than minimum salary. It's up to you weather you pay for retirement found and health insurance. But if you're foreigner it may be required for you to have health insurenace - then you have to pay. When you have no job you may register yourself as unemployed, then state will pay your health insurance. But as long as you get ANY income it's impossible, you must pay yourself.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
29 Jul 2013  #5
If I am not mistaken you're not obligated to registrar and pay these insurances when you work with Umowa o Dzieło. Can somebody confirm or deny?

Confirmed. No obligation exists to do so, but I believe that the tax offices are starting to take a much closer look at the use of these contracts when someone is working full time in a company.
OP kloot
29 Jul 2013  #6
Thank you very much everybody, that clarifies it all. I assume that having the European Health Insurance card I need no further coverage.
Cardno85 31 | 976
29 Jul 2013  #7
I assume that having the European Health Insurance card I need no further coverage.

This is a wrong assumption.

Having a EHI card has a whole lot of issues involved. I had loads of trouble trying to get treated by a doctor before I got my PESEL through and was in the system. Your EHI card, like the E1-11 form before it entitles you to emergency care at the cost of your home country. You will notice it says on the card that you should also have adequate travel insurance. If you don't pay ZUS then you will have to pay full price for prescriptions and you will bounce from office to office to see a doctor. Pay your ZUS, it makes it easier in the long run.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
29 Jul 2013  #8
I assume that having the European Health Insurance card I need no further coverage.

Usually (at least in Poland) this card doesn't cover you abroad when you work there. (if they find out) I mean it can cover you, but then you should be delegate worker of your national company for some short period.

And yes like written above it's for an emergency only. Anyway if I were you I would buy some cheap student's insurance like:

planetamlodych.com.pl
mastertravel.pl/ubezpieczenie,euro26_classic.html

and keep finger crossed that I would not get some cancer or one of many not covered cases like getting injured while being drunk.
OP kloot
29 Jul 2013  #9
Pay your ZUS, it makes it easier in the long run.

Probably it does, but in the first few months I don't think I'll be making enough money to pay for it. And yes, I do have a travel insurance as well.

For the time being I'll just find the local office in Poznan for the PESEL.

P.S. These are all suppositions, I have no clue what my job will be if I find any, I just wanted some light on this complicated subject. Thanks again!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
29 Jul 2013  #10
And yes, I do have a travel insurance as well.

I can tell you with complete certainty that they won't pay out if they even suspect that you're resident in Poland.

I have no clue what my job will be if I find any

You're moving to Poznan without any clue about the local job market?

What's your background?
Monitor 14 | 1,821
29 Jul 2013  #11
I can tell you with complete certainty that they won't pay out if they even suspect that you're resident in Poland.

I think that this planetamlodych.com.pl is not a travel insurance:

"» ubezpieczenie w podróży, w pracy i w trakcie nauki "
and it costs funny money.

---edit:
You're right. I see in the table that it covers hospitalization costs only in Travel option.
Cardno85 31 | 976
29 Jul 2013  #12
I can tell you with complete certainty that they won't pay out if they even suspect that you're resident in Poland.

And yes like written above it's for an emergency only

You're right. I see in the table that it covers hospitalization costs only in Travel option.

In other words:

Pay your ZUS, it makes it easier in the long run.

If you can't afford it then how do you expect to afford private medical insurance. I think you really need to assess your options about the move.
OP kloot
29 Jul 2013  #13
I can tell you with complete certainty that they won't pay out if they even suspect that you're resident in Poland

The costs of hospitalization and so on are covered by the private insurance my family is paying in Spain. It covers any kind of illness except for sport injuries abroad. They'll probably charge me in Poland, but they will refund it in Spain. So that's not a concern for me.

You're moving to Poznan without any clue about the local job market?

What's your background?

I do have a clue, I've been looking at job offers for several months now before moving. I studied Translation and Interpreting and worked in England as a language assistant last year. I have a B1/B2 in Polish, so I can manage in everyday situations. I know I can find a job as a teacher, the point is that right now, in the middle of Summer, it's not the best moment to find any offers.

On the other hand, I know there are some international companies looking for Customer service employees with languages. I have a little budget to survive during 3 or 4 months, period which I expect to be enough to find something worthy.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
29 Jul 2013  #14
The costs of hospitalization and so on are covered by the private insurance my family is paying in Spain. It covers any kind of illness except for sport injuries abroad. They'll probably charge me in Poland, but they will refund it in Spain. So that's not a concern for me.

You do realise that hospital costs in Poland (if you have to pay on the spot) could easily exceed 25,000 Euro, particularly if you want to go to a decent hospital?

I do have a clue, I've been looking at job offers for several months now before moving. I studied Translation and Interpreting and worked in England as a language assistant last year. I have a B1/B2 in Polish, so I can manage in everyday situations. I know I can find a job as a teacher, the point is that right now, in the middle of Summer, it's not the best moment to find any offers.

Ah, you're Spanish. There are a lot of Spanish guys in the same position as you - they've driven down the rates for translation and teaching to the point where I can get a fully qualified Spanish native teacher to work for me for 6 euro an hour. It's an employers market, and furthermore, Spanish is seen as something for 'fun'.

I have a little budget to survive during 3 or 4 months, period which I expect to be enough to find something worthy.

Please don't assume it'll be that easy. I've met quite a few foreigners in Poznan who are really struggling to find work, and you're up against some very very very highly skilled Spanish graduates in Poland who already speak the language.

I can tell you from first hand evidence that there are many, many Spanish native speakers in Poznan in a similar position to you.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
29 Jul 2013  #15
The costs of hospitalization and so on are covered by the private insurance my family is paying in Spain. It covers any kind of illness except for sport injuries abroad. They'll probably charge me in Poland, but they will refund it in Spain. So that's not a concern for me.

Are you sure? You've just mentioned EHI before. EHI is only for travel, will not work when you start working in Poland. Except if you have some other insurance, but then I would suggest you to read terms of condition carefully, because most likely an insurance costing less than 100 euro per month will not cover person working (residing) in Poland.
OP kloot
29 Jul 2013  #16
I didn't know about those costs, 25000 euros? Are they insane? So you're telling me that if I'm on holiday in Poland and I get hit by a car, I have to pay that amount on the spot? I seriously doubt it.

Ah, you're Spanish

That sounds condescending...

I never said it was going to be easy. I just believe in my skills and experience, and I'm serious about this. I'm not underqualified. About driving down the rates, I know, that sucks. I've been told about that problem by many teachers and I don't know how I'll be able to provide quality translations (in its due time) at a fair price.

I know there are some Spaniards there (one of my friends is working as a programmer in Poznan and I met three or four in my last visit), I checked some teaching websites, adds and language schools, even at UAM there are Spanish teachers. I know all that, but honestly, I believe it's easier to "compete" against that than to compete against 10 times more people in a dead market as Spain right now.

Are you sure? You've just mentioned EHI before. EHI is only for travel, will not work when you start working in Poland. Except if you have some other insurance

That's what I meant, I have another extra insurance paid by my family apart from EHI.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
29 Jul 2013  #17
I didn't know about those costs, 25000 euros? Are they insane? So you're telling me that if I'm on holiday in Poland and I get hit by a car, I have to pay that amount on the spot? I seriously doubt it.

If you're on holiday and you're not insured in Spain, then they will heal you and later issue the bill. But when you're insured in Spain, then thanks to EHI your Spanish insurer will pay. But if you were working in Poland before traveling with this car, then your Spanish insurer will object to pay your bill based on terms and conditions of EHI insurance.

That's what I meant, I have another extra insurance paid by my family apart from EHI.

Then read terms and conditions of it, because it's most likely Travel insurance.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
29 Jul 2013  #18
I didn't know about those costs, 25000 euros? Are they insane? So you're telling me that if I'm on holiday in Poland and I get hit by a car, I have to pay that amount on the spot? I seriously doubt it.

Depends how your Spanish insurance works. You'll be treated in Poland, but the normal procedure here (with the EHIC) is to get you stabilised, then when you're awake and aware of what's going on, they will want insurance details or payment towards your care. A Polish citizen would be treated exactly the same way - no insurance, no treatment.

But as I said - if your insurance works on the principle of getting the bill and then being refunded, you need to expect surprises.

I never said it was going to be easy. I just believe in my skills and experience, and I'm serious about this. I'm not underqualified. About driving down the rates, I know, that sucks. I've been told about that problem by many teachers and I don't know how I'll be able to provide quality translations (in its due time) at a fair price.

In the teaching market, rates are more or less rock bottom for natives. It's actually more expensive now to hire a good Polish Spanish teacher than it is to get a native. There are so many men here who 'met a girl' and moved here to be with her - and they need money to live, so they're willing to teach for a minimal price.

As far as translation goes, there won't be much demand for Spanish-English translation here. Same probem as teaching - too many natives, too little work.

I know there are some Spaniards there (one of my friends is working as a programmer in Poznan and I met three or four in my last visit), I checked some teaching websites, adds and language schools, even at UAM there are Spanish teachers. I know all that, but honestly, I believe it's easier to "compete" against that than to compete against 10 times more people in a dead market as Spain right now.

Bear in mind that you're not only competing against them as people, but also about their expectations. There's plenty of Spanish dudes here willing to work for next to nothing - how can you compete against them? I've met Spanish guys even working in kitchens and such like for pathetic wages - there just isn't much work for those who can't do something in need (such as programming).

Out of interest, how old are you?
sobieski 107 | 2,128
29 Jul 2013  #19
You have to go to your local NFZ office, and underwrite a "Voluntary Health Insurance Contract". Every month you pay to ZUS and you are insured as all Poles are.

The amount to be paid is changing every 3 months. At the moment it is 340 PLN.
polforeigner
29 Jul 2013  #20
After tax, if you are lucky you are going to make let's say maximum some 30-35 zl/hour and what about if you only have a few lessons per week (most likely) and no school can guarantee a number of hours or anything, how in the world are you going to pay for NFZ, not to mention pay rent, eat, go out, buy clothes..? There is no way one can live on that? And don't rely on translations, first of all, 99% of them are from or into Polish and second it's awfully badly paid and besides you need to be known. Be aware that under such contract, you are paid ONLY when you work and therefore no pay for the 2 weeks clients take for Christmas, for their winter, Easter and Polish holidays as well as when the clients or you have flu. Do find out about umowa o dzielo and about the situation of Spanish teaching in Poland beforehand in order to avoid a huge mess...

+ of course no lesson or hardly any in July, August and very often till October. Umowa o dzielo has nothing to do with minimum wage since first of all not a work contract; under umowa o dzielo, lektorzy are paid by the hour and salary depends on number of hours, so no minimum.
OP kloot
29 Jul 2013  #21
Bit by bit:

The umowa o dzielo job is writing articles in Spanish for a Polish blog. It has nothing to do with teaching, but it can help with some extra money until I find something more stable.

I'll turn 23 years old in two weeks. I'm not expecting to translate from English to Spanish in Poland, that's impossible. My main objective in Poland isn't making money - not now. I want to learn Polish to an extent I can translate from Polish into Spanish (that would be my third language after English and French). A translator with three foreign languages would be an asset for any agency, be it in Poland or rather in Spain. Given the fact that I already have a comprehensive level of B1/B2, I reckon it will take two years at the most.

Obviously, the best way to learn it is living amongst Poles and taking lessons in Poland. That's why I want to move there and find a job, lessons won't pay themselves. Of course, another reason is that I have some friends in Poznan (not a girlfriend so far :P) and that will help me adapt better to the environment.

For all those reasons I don't consider myself another typical Spaniard :D

P.S. My Polish friends advised me not to pay ZUS :P but I wanted a second opinion on the matter.
jack010 2 | 18
30 Jul 2013  #22
Everybody in Poland has PESEL

Ive been working here for 3 years with umowa o pracy, I don't have a PESEL

oh and kloot, I wouldn't spend too much of your time on here speaking to this pessimistic bunch, they all told me the same **** when I first came here, I've had no problems, and from reading your posts you're more qualified than I ever was to find a job, you'll be fine!

I didn't know about those costs, 25000 euros?

I spent 1 week in hospital, including surgery, my on the spot bill was 2500zl
Cardno85 31 | 976
30 Jul 2013  #23
Ive been working here for 3 years with umowa o pracy, I don't have a PESEL

I worked for a while without a PESEL and it was fine, but I never got sick and never wanted to buy anything that might require credit. I am currently working for a company where I get private healthcare, but prescriptions are still extortionate. First thing I did once I had a contract for a flat was got a PESEL and it has made life much easier.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
30 Jul 2013  #24
Given the fact that I already have a comprehensive level of B1/B2, I reckon it will take two years at the most.

Well, there's a State exam in Polish available at C2 level. You'll need it if you want to be taken seriously as a translator - all the non-Polish translators I know have passed that exam.

The umowa o dzielo job is writing articles in Spanish for a Polish blog. It has nothing to do with teaching, but it can help with some extra money until I find something more stable.

Sounds incredibly dubious if you ask me.
OP kloot
30 Jul 2013  #25
And I'll take it in its due time :) so far, I want to pass the B2 before the end of this year.

Sounds incredibly dubious if you ask me.

It might, but a friend of mine started doing something similar for a magazine (they only had a blog by then) and now he's one of the main journalists of a well-known cars magazine in Spain. You never know!

BTW thanks Jack, that's rather comforting :P
OP kloot
15 Aug 2013  #26
Well, I just drop by to say that I got a job after 10 days in Poland :) Umowa o prace, and they will take care of my PESEL and that stuff. I'm a happy man!
Monitor 14 | 1,821
16 Aug 2013  #27
Don't say like that. We have a crisis and anyway probably it will be minimum salary ;) But seriously congratulation.
bullfrog 6 | 603
16 Aug 2013  #28
Well done, and deserved may I say given the positive attitude shown through your postings (recently tumbled accross a definition of optimist vs pessimist that made me smile: an optimist is someone who thinks a night is sandwiched between 2 days, a pessimist someone who thinks a day is sandwiched between 2 nights..)
Cardno85 31 | 976
24 Jan 2015  #29
Hey All, just thought this would be more relevant to discusse the below quote:

8 PLN is minimum wage and not worth moving for.

Since when was 8PLN per hour minimum wage. A few years ago I was on 7PLN per hour in a bar and waitresses were between 4 and 5PLN. I heard up to last year waitresses were still on 5-6PLN per hour in a famour Kraków place.

Is 8PLN per hour a new development? If so it's a great thing! Maybe now people in hospitality will be able to make ends meet.
cms 9 | 1,272
25 Jan 2015  #30
I think it is more - its 1750 per month - divided by 168 hours that is 10.41.

But maybe there are some special rates for new hires ?


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