Looking for a Job
According to Central Statistical Office unemployment among young people in Poland reaches 27.8% (2012). There are several reasons for that. Entrepreneurs blame barriers that hinder economic activity and too low qualifications of the candidates. On the other hand, young people say that employers want too much; they expect recent graduates to display professional experience. Polish Ministry of Higher Education tries to find a remedy. It has passed a law which requires that HEIs monitor how their graduates fare in the labour market in order to adapt their offer to employers’ needs. For more information go to the Ministry's website.
Problems with finding jobs spurred boom in the education sector in Poland. In the years 1991–2008 the number of students grew from 400,000 to 2 million. For many years, higher education guaranteed employment, and the students where sought after employees, as employers didn't have to pay insurance contributions for them. Now the situation has changed; holding a master’s diploma is not as prestigious as it was in the past, because the quality of education offer has a lot to be desired, especially in the case of private HEIs.
Due to the fact that studies in public institutions are free, student summer job market is not very well developed in Poland. Students cooperatives and career bureaus operate at major universities. They offer summer job opportunities, mainly in the entertainment and hospitality sector. Summer jobs abroad are also popular among Polish students. They mainly head off to western Europe to work at farms in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia or in the vineyards in France.
In accordance with Polish law, an employment contract must be signed in writing on the day of commencing employment at the latest. An employer is obliged to pay social insurance, health insurance (to Social Insurance Institution) and accidence insurance for the employees. Social insurance contributions are also payable on freelance agreements, along with income tax at the rate of 19% if annual income is lower than PLN 85,582 (EUR 20.800 at the exchange rate of EUR 1 = PLN 4.1) or at the rate of 30% if annual income is higher than the above threshold. More information on taxes can be found on the website of the Ministry of Finance and on the websites of local taxation offices.