Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers together with a broad coalition of NGOs and Chambers of Commerce calls for the introduction of facilitations in the policy on employment of foreigners
In Poland, one can speak of a huge demographic crisis, which ultimately translates into problems on the labor market, including the shortage of employees in particular. The lack of qualified staff is a huge obstacle for many Polish entrepreneurs to running a business. The long-term effects of this state of affairs may be fatal – henceforth, apart from a responsible pro-family policy and encouraging Polish economic migrants to return to Poland, one of the key directions of the Polish government’s activities should also be pursuing a wise policy on immigration. The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers published today its position regarding this issue. The document was signed by several non-governmental organizations and chambers of commerce.
The first of the demands in the proposed document is the proposal that the statement on the intention to entrust work to a foreigner as well as the work permit not be assigned to employment in one particular company. The legal solution currently in force, i.e. the binding of a registered statement or an issued permit with a specific entrepreneur, significantly limits the flexibility of employing foreigners and negatively affects the position of employees from other countries.
“If we allow a foreigner to work in Poland, why do we assign the document on the basis of which he can render his services to a specific employer?”, asks Marcin Nowacki, vice-president of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. “It is absurd. A registered statement or an issued permit should constitute the title to take up employment in any place chosen by a person. Only then will employees from other countries be able to make maximum advantage of the dynamics of the labor market and change employment when better conditions, e.g. in terms of remuneration, arise.”
The document also draws attention to the issue of conducting business activity by foreigners. Presently, only a strictly defined, very narrow group of foreigners has the right to run business activity according to the same laws as Polish citizens. As a result, foreigners can mostly only operate in the form of limited companies, limited partnerships, and limited joint-stock partnerships. Therefore, the simplest possible form, i.e. a sole proprietorship, is impossible for the vast majority of foreigners. The Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers calls for foreigners to be able to do business in Poland exactly under the same regulations as Poles.
“Since we want – and want we must – several million economic migrants to come to Poland, whom we need very much, we have make it easier for them to become better off in our country. Nothing will stop them potential migrant workers like their very own, self-made over the years businesses,” says Cezary Kaźmierczak, president of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers. “Polish entrepreneurs want to compete in Western Europe and we support their efforts, I am certain that they will not be afraid of competition also in Poland.”
Ultimately, the number of employees involved in issuing work permits on the voivodship level should be increased. Although the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers is clearly in favor of a reasonable reduction of employment in administration, due to this sudden influx of a large number of immigrants and the subsequent slowdown of procedures, the increase in the number of officials dealing with this particular issue would be the optimal solution. Alternatively, one can transfer these competences to Poviat Labor Offices, which at the moment, quite efficiently in fact, register declarations of intent to entrust work to a foreigner.
“Poland is in need of a strategic document showcasing the basic assumptions of our immigration policy for the years to come,” concludes Marcin Nowacki. “As far as we can tell, demographic problems are one of the biggest challenges that we will have to face over the next several decades. Therefore, we call for the fastest, and at the same time most thorough, and backed by consultations, preparation of such a document that was already announced a long time ago.”
The official position on employment of foreigners in Poland
Centrum Pomocy Prawnej im. Haliny Nieć – The Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center
Centrum Wsparcia Imigrantów i Imigrantek – Immigrant and Female Immigrant Support Centre
Francusko-Polska Izba Gospodarcza – French-Polish Chamber of Commerce
Fundacja „Nasz Wybór” – “Our Choice” Foundation
Fundacja Centrum Badań Migracyjnych – Center of Migration Research Foundation
Fundacja dla Somalii – Foundation for Somalia
Fundacja Przeciwko Handlowi Ludźmi i Niewolnictwu „La Strada” – “La Strada” Foundation against Trafficking in Persons and Slavery
Fundacja Refugee.pl im. Małgorzaty Jasiczek-Gerbert – The Małgorzata Jasiczek-Gebert Refugee.pl Foundation
Fundacja Rozwoju Oprócz Granic – Foundation for Development Beyond Borders
Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka – Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
Instytut Spraw Publicznych – Institute of Public Affairs
Międzynarodowa Organizacja ds. Migracji – International Organization for Migration
Polskie Forum Migracyjne – Polish Migration Forum
Stowarzyszenie Homo Faber – The Homo Faber Association
Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej – Association for Legal Intervention
Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Integracji Społeczeństwa Wielokulturowego „Nomada” – “Nomada” Association for Multicultural Society Integration
Związek Przedsiębiorców i Pracodawców – Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers