Polish business is still counting on support from foreign employees. Ukrainian media report that Ukrainians working in Poland, despite the pandemic and restrictions, do not intend to resign from working in that country. Polish entrepreneurs, who are forced to adapt to the new conditions, also expect the arrival of workers from the East.
The Ukrainian agency Ukrinform noted that in the first quarter of this year Polish entrepreneurs had no reason to complain about the lack of willing temporary employees. Marcin Kołodziejczyk, International Recruitment Director at the EWL Group, explains the reasons for this.
Firstly, he draws attention to the fact that in connection with the coronavirus, as part of the anti-crisis shield, the Polish government decided to give the possibility of prolonging the stay and work of foreigners. As a result, entrepreneurs who employed workers on a rotational basis linked to the validity of their visa or visa-free stay were not forced to look for new staff. They could rely on those foreigners who decided to take advantage of the possibility of extending their legal stay and remained in Poland.
Another noteworthy point is that in the first quarter of 2020 the Polish industry could not function fully, as the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions caused problems in the supply of components. As Marcin Kołodziejczyk points out, these inconveniences particularly hit the automotive and electronics manufacturing industries. He also notes that this fact is not unrelated to the situation of Ukrainians in Poland, as it reduced the demand for temporary employees.
‘However, the situation is improving. In the second quarter of this year, we expect a significant increase in demand for foreign employees in Poland.’– reassures Marcin Kołodziejczyk.
He also announces that EWL clients, particularly those connected with the automotive and electronics manufacturing industries, are already signalling an upcoming increase in demand for employees, which they anticipate for April or May. This is related to the already mentioned expectation of an increase in the supply of components necessary for production. Not without significance is also the upcoming season of agricultural and construction works, which each year is associated with an intensified demand for foreign employees.
Marcin Kołodziejczyk points to an interesting and new element of the Polish labour market, which is the expansion of the share of foreign employees in the retail sector. This is undoubtedly one of the symptoms of changes on the Polish labour market, resulting from successive lockdowns caused by the COVID pandemic. The EWL Group specialists note that compared to last year the share of foreign employees in e-commerce and logistics, which have recently become one of the driving forces of the Polish economy, increased by 10%.