Published: 18.04.2023
Author:Szymon Bryzek
Szymon Bryzek
EWL in Media | News

Renata Ostrowska for Forbes: Ukrainian citizens are feeling more and more at ease in Poland and know their expectations 

A large number of female refugees from Ukraine want to stay in Poland permanently. This is an opportunity for Polish companies to expand their teams with qualified female specialists. However, employers must enable Ukrainian women to find employment adequate to their competences, as well as provide information on job offers so that refugee women can find them, reads an article published on 14 April in Forbes magazine. 

Poland is the leader in Europe in terms of arrivals of foreigners for work. This has been confirmed not only by the data from the Ministry of Family and Social Policy and Eurostat, but also by the growing number of foreigners registered in the system of the Polish Social Insurance Institution, which at the end of 2022 amounted to 1 million 63 thousand – about 188 thousand more than at the beginning of the year. Almost 746 thousand are citizens of Ukraine who arrived in Poland after 24 February. Almost half of them are women. This is a significant increase, as a year earlier women accounted for 37 per cent. According to the Ministry’s data, most women found employment in the hotel, catering and services sectors. 

The data on refugee employment are divergent. The vast majority (82 per cent) of adult refugees from Ukraine have taken up employment in Poland, with the figure reaching as high as 84 per cent among those of working age, states the survey carried out by the employment agency EWL Migration Platform, the Centre for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw and the EWL Foundation for the Support of Migrants on the Labour Market. The survey was conducted in mid-February and covered 400 adults. More than half (56 per cent) of working Ukrainians found employment within the first three months of their stay in Poland, although only 8 per cent of the survey participants had previously visited Poland for work or business purposes. 

According to Renata Ostrowska, Growth Director B2B at the EWL Migration Platform, the changes in legislation were the key factor that simplified the procedure for legalising the stay and employment of Ukrainian refugees. From 12 March 2022 Ukrainians have the opportunity of legal employment if they are staying legally in Poland and have crossed the border after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. All that is required is a simple notification of the labour office by the employer. ‘Many Ukrainians who worked in Polish companies before the outbreak of the war have returned to their homeland. It was mostly men who left and mostly women who arrived. And these are women with university education. Thus, the necessity to adapt to their needs’, admits Ostrowska. 

The study carried out by the EWL Migration Platform the Centre for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw and the EWL Foundation for the Support of Migrants on the Labour Market shows that almost one in three (31 per cent) of the refugees working in Poland declares having changed employment during their stay in Poland after 24 February 2022 (…). 

‘Ukrainians are feeling more and more at ease in Poland. They know their expectations. They know where to look for job offers. And there is no denying that they want a well-paid job that corresponds to their qualifications’, says Renata Ostrowska 

When asked what will happen next, Ostrowska admits that she does not know the answer. ‘If the war ends and Ukraine is covered by aid programmes, there will certainly be plenty of job offers there and probably a significant number of Ukrainians will leave Poland. For the time being, they are functioning here and now’, answers the Growth Director B2B at the EWL Migration Platform (…). 

Szymon Bryzek