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Global employment briefing: Poland, June 2018

  • Poland
  • Employment law


Changes to the rules on personnel files and methods of payment, plus new background screening by financial institutions

New background screening in financial institutions

It is likely that work on new legislation allowing employers in the financial sector to perform background screening and criminal checks on employees will be finalized in June. Once in force, the new provisions will allow financial institutions to ask certain employees and job applicants in Poland to provide information about specified criminal convictions.

The new rules apply to people occupying, or applying for, positions in institutions such as banks, credit institutions, branch offices of foreign banks, investment fund companies and services centers where the position is concerned with:

  • managing property, whether of the institution itself or of third parties
  • access to legally protected information
  • taking decisions carrying a high risk of losing property belonging to the institution or a third party or inflicting significant damage to the institution or a third party

The main offences listed in the Act cover financial, book-keeping, fiscal and business violations, such as violation of company’s trade secrets, organization of a pyramid sales scheme, operating a business without authorization, unlawful processing of data, unlawful offering of securities or use of unfair market practice, and also offences against life and freedom.

The Act will take effect 14 days after its publication, with certain provisions suspended until 1 October 2018.

Changes to the rules on maintaining personnel files of employees

On 10 January 2018 a new Act was adopted which, amongst other things, amends the rules on maintaining employees’ personnel files. It will come into force on 1 January 2019.

Under the new regulations, employers will be obliged to keep the personnel files and payroll documentation of employees for a period of 10 years (not 50 years, as currently) from the date of the employment relationship ends.

The shorter period of document retention will apply to anyone employed after 1 January 2019. For those employed from 31 December 1998 to 31 December 2018, employment-related documentation may be kept for 10 years from termination if the employer submits information reports to the Social Insurance Institution detailing matters such as an employee’s income, for pension purposes, periods of work in special conditions and information about termination of employment.

Additionally, employers will be able to maintain personnel files and other employment-related documents in either paper or electronic form. Currently, all such documents must be kept in paper form.

Method of payment

The Act referred to above will also change the default method of paying remuneration. Currently, employees must be paid in cash, except where an employee consents in writing for payment by bank transfer. From 1 January 2019, the default form of payment will be bank transfer, although the employer must pay in cash if asked to do so by the employee.