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Proposed Amendment to Aid Ukrainian Citizens in Poland: Positive Steps with Room for Improvement

LAWProposed Amendment to Aid Ukrainian Citizens in Poland: Positive Steps with Room for Improvement

The Ministry of the Interior and Administration in Poland is currently working on a proposed amendment to the law concerning aid to Ukrainian citizens in relation to the armed conflict on their territory. The draft proposes numerous changes to regulations that have been in effect since February 24, 2022.

It is a favorable solution to extend the period until September 30, 2025, during which the stay of Ukrainian citizens in Poland, who have arrived due to military actions on their territory, is considered legal, as well as to extend the validity period of residency documents that expired after February 24, 2022.

“We support every solution that facilitates the stabilization of the residence situation of Ukrainian citizens; hence, we positively evaluate the creation of an instrument that allows those who have previously benefited from temporary protection to legalize their stay in Poland for three years and to take up work without restrictions. We have long advocated for the extension of the list of reasons that allow Ukrainian citizens to obtain a residence permit in our country despite using temporary protection. However, some solutions proposed in the draft law require further clarification and broader discussion,” says Nadia Kurtieva, an expert from the Confederation of Leviathan.

Reducing the notification period from 14 to 7 days for employers who hire Ukrainian citizens may pose a challenge for large companies with a high proportion of foreign workers. The complex organizational structure of the company, the flow of information, and document circulation can make it difficult to adhere to this shorter term.

“Undoubtedly, abuses related to the illegal employment of foreigners should be limited. However, there is a risk that dishonest companies that have previously employed workers illegally will not adhere to the regulations even after the changes are implemented. Shortening the notification period to the employment office may negatively affect honest employers, who try diligently to fulfill all legal employment obligations, as they will have less time to complete formalities,” adds Nadia Kurtieva.

Furthermore, to avoid unnecessary duplication of procedures, it is necessary to clarify cases in which an employer must send a notification again despite the employment conditions stated in the previous notification remaining unchanged. Linking the necessity of sending a new notification to each social insurance registration can cause some interpretative doubts. In addition, there is also a hope for a change in the current wording of Article 22(5), according to which the term for making a notification by the employer begins on the day the residence permit decision is delivered to the Ukrainian citizen. The employer may be unaware that the decision has been issued, as they are not a party to the proceedings.

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