HR and payroll legislative updates: Q1/2022

Amendments to labour law, social insurance 2022

Please find below the most important, in our opinion, latest amendments to labour law, social insurance and personal income tax.

Labour law

1. Sanctions for illegal employment – consequences for the employer

From 2022, only the employer will face the consequences of illegal employment or non-disclosure of all or part of their employees' salaries. Employees are exempt from any sanctions in this respect. The main rule is to exempt from tax the employee's income from illegal employment, as well as the employee's income in the part in which the employer did not disclose them to the competent government authorities.

2. Protection of persons who report breaches of law (the so-called whistle-blowers)

By 17 December 2021, Poland is required to implement legislation on the protection of whistle-blowers, that is persons reporting or publicly disclosing information about breaches of the law obtained in a work-related context. The entrepreneur will not be able to retaliate against the person who reports the infringement. The act obliges some entities hiring employees to have an internal procedure for accepting and verifying reports. The act is addressed to all Polish employers hiring more than 249 employees, and after the transition period, i.e. from 17 December 2023, also to those employing 50 or more individuals.

3. Further limitation of trading on Sundays and public holidays

From 1 February 2022, the possibility of applying the exception, i.e. trading on Sundays and public holidays, will be limited only to establishments providing postal services, provided that the provision of postal services constitutes their predominant activity.

4. Minimum remuneration for work for employees and contractors

As from 1 January 2022, the minimum wage for a full-time employee will amount to PLN 3,010 and the hourly rate to which the employee is entitled cannot be lower than PLN 19.70 gross per hour of work.

5. PESEL as identification tax number for foreigners

Please be reminded that as of 1 May 2021, PESEL is the tax identification number of foreigners who do not conduct business activity. Persons who were assigned a NIP number before that date were required to obtain a PESEL number within one month.

Social insurance

1. Sickness benefits and maternity allowances

Starting from 2022, the changes include:

a) rules for calculating periods of incapacity for work to one benefit period. All uninterrupted periods of incapacity for work are included in the same benefit period of 182 days, even if they are caused by various reasons or the break was shorter than 60 days. The exception is a break of up to 60 days, if, after the break, an inability to work occurs during pregnancy,

b) rules for the redetermination of the allowance assessment basis, i.e. from 2022, the allowance assessment basis will not be recalculated if there was no break between the periods of receiving benefits (regardless of their type) or the break was shorter than 1 calendar month,

c) shortening the length of the allowance period to 91 days for persons on a sick leave, after the insurance entitlement terminates,

d) increase of the amount of sickness benefit for the period of stay in the hospital from 70% of the basis to 80% of the basis,

e) loss of the right to allowance by persons receiving pension and disability benefits,

f) right to maternity allowance in the event of the employer’s death, i.e. women who will give birth to a child after the insurance terminates due to the death of the employer, are entitled to maternity allowance starting from 1 January 2022,

g) making deductions from allowances related to the fact that from the above-mentioned allowances no deductions should be made for payments for the stay of individuals entitled to pension and disability benefits in social welfare homes, care and treatment institutions or nursing and care institutions,

h) obtaining information through the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) in order to determine the right and payment of sickness benefits, i.e. from 1 January 2022, the Social Insurance Institution may monitor the activity of a person on sick leave in order to determine the right to benefit and its payment, and obtain data and information to the extent necessary to determine these rights.

2. Deadlines for the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) contribution payers

As of January 2022, the following deadlines for submitting settlement documents and payments for social security to ZUS apply:

By the 5th day of the following month – for the state administrative entities and local government state-financed establishments,

By the 15th day of the following month – for the contribution payers with legal personality,

By the 20th day of the following month – for all other contribution payers (e.g. paying contributions only for their own insurance, entrepreneurs and other unincorporated bodies employing other insured persons, including partnerships – general partnership, limited partnership, partnership and limited joint-stock partnership).

3. Changes in settlement documents and introduction of a deadline for making corrections to ZUS settlement documentation

As of January 2022, the ZUS RZA report is repealed and the settlement of the health insurance contribution of individuals who are subject only to this insurance will be made with the ZUS RCA report. This rule also applies to the correction of ZUS RZA reports for the period 1999-2021.

Contribution payer will no longer be able to submit a settlement declaration and a personal monthly report after 5 years from the date when the deadline for paying contributions settled in this declaration and in the report expired (the transitional period will lasts until 1 January 2024).  

4. Persons appointed to perform functions under the act of appointment subject to health insurance 

As of 1 January 2022, persons appointed to perform functions under the act of appointment who receive remuneration on this account are subject to compulsory health insurance. This obligation will arise from the date of appointment until its expiry.

5. Principles of determining the health insurance contribution for entrepreneurs

The amount of the health insurance contribution for a person running non-agricultural business activity will be calculated depending on the form of taxation and the amount of income or revenues earned by the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur will disclose this amount in the ZUS settlement documentation.

6. Electronisation of notifications on the amount of interest rate for payer’s accident insurance contribution and A-1 certificates

As of 1 April 2022, notifications on the amount of interest rate for payer’s accident insurance contribution will be held only in electronic form and will be delivered only through ZUS PUE. Submission of applications for A-1 certificates of the relevant legislation will also have an electronic form only. Traditional (paper) applications are to be accepted only in particularly justified cases. 

7. Obligation to have an information profile in PUE ZUS by all contribution payers

From 1 January 2023, all contribution payers will be required to have an information profile in PUE ZUS communication and information system.

8. Right to sickness insurance benefits despite late payments of contributions

As of 1 January 2022, insured persons paying voluntary sickness insurance contributions will not be deprived of the right to sickness insurance benefits due to late payment of social insurance contributions, including sickness insurance.