Temporary work (also referred to as employee leasing) is a solution that is increasingly popular among entrepreneurs in Poland. It works well in industries characterised by seasonality, where the flexibility of the employment structure is important. It is a way to secure processes during a periodic increase in production or when we need ad hoc employees. The rules under which temporary employment contracts are concluded are regulated by the Act on the employment of temporary workers of 9 July 2003. What should you bear in mind when deciding on employee leasing? What is worth knowing when entering into cooperation with a temporary employment agency?
A contract on cooperation within employee leasing – the first step in hiring temporary workers
A contract for the provision of services in the field of employment of temporary workers is concluded between the temporary employment agency and the user employer (i.e. the client of the agency). This document contains, among others, the division of employer’s obligations between the agency and the client. Some of them result directly from the Act on temporary workers, others are the result of arrangements between the parties to the contract. The employee leasing contract indicates, i.a. the type of work to be assigned to temporary employees, the place of its performance. It also specifies the remuneration of the employees, the division of responsibilities related to the broadly understood issues of health and safety at work and the circulation of HR documentation.
Employee leasing and the contract – what should a temporary employment contract include?
Employee leasing, understood as hiring of an employee from a temporary employment agency, involves the establishment of a tripartite employment relationship – between the temporary employment agency, the user employer and the temporary employee. In order to direct the temporary employee to perform work for the user employer, it is necessary to sign a temporary employment contract, which should include:
- The identification of the parties to the contract – the name of the employment agency and the personal details of the temporary employee
- The date of the contract
- The identification of the user employer
- The period of work for the user employer
- Employment conditions, i.e. the type of work, working time, place of temporary work, the amount of remuneration, as well as the date and manner of its payment by the temporary employment agency
The maximum period for which a temporary employee may be employed is 18 months in total during 36 consecutive months.
Obligations towards the employee – what the user employer ought to remember
When deciding on employee leasing it ought to be remembered that not every type of work can be entrusted to a temporary employee. According to the Act on temporary employment, workers employed on the basis of a temporary employment contract cannot be entrusted with performing work that is:
- particularly hazardous within the meaning of the provisions issued on the basis of article 23715 of the Labour Code;
- on a work position an employee who happens to be on strike is employed;
- the same type of work as that performed by an employee with whom the employment relationship was terminated for reasons not related to employees within the last 3 months preceding the expected date of commencement of the temporary work by the temporary employee, if such work would be performed in any organisational unit of the user employer located in the municipality where the organisational unit in which the dismissed employee was employed is or was located;
- requiring the security guard to be armed with combat firearms or objects designed to incapacitate persons by means of electric power, possession of which is subject to authorization.
In addition, the user employer is obliged to treat temporary and permanent employees equally. An employee employed on the basis of a temporary employment contract cannot be treated less favourably with regard to working conditions than employees employed directly by the user employer in the same or similar positions. This means, among other things, that the temporary employee’s wages should not differ from the company’s generally applicable wage rates.
Temporary employment and the Labour Code
To the extent not regulated by the provisions of the Act on employment, the principles contained in the Labour Code of 26 June 1974 and other provisions regulating the relationship between employees and employers apply. It is worth remembering that the provisions of the labour law contained in the Act of 13 March 2003 concerning special principles of terminating labour relations with employees for reasons not related to employees, i.e. the principles of conducting group layoffs, do not apply to temporary employment.
What about outsourcing?
Outsourcing of services, also called employee outsourcing, is a service consisting in complete transfer of part of the process to a subcontractor company for execution. It may concern, for example, the repackaging and labelling of goods. In such a situation, the client settles with the subcontractor for the performance of the service (e.g. for each packaged item), and has no influence on the number of employees employed to service the process, their working time, form of employment or remuneration.
No employment relationship is established between the client and the subcontractor’s employees. Employee outsourcing is regulated by the Civil Code.