[Updated 3/27/23] In Poland, supplemental medical care is the number one benefit people care about. Over 85% of companies offer this benefit to their employees. Life insurance is also important to many Polish employees. Being part of a group scheme arranged through the employer is very common because these plans offer better coverage and price. In 2019, a new pension law was introduced to the Polish market (PPK). Although each employer must set up the plan, only about 33% of employees are active PPK participants.
The average monthly cost for a typical benefits package varies from:
- 73 PLN – 103 PLN per month per standard supplemental medical care package
- 50 PLN per employee per month per life insurance scheme
- 1.5% of employee salary for PPK (+ 2% is deducted from employee salary)
Mandatory employee benefits in Poland include pension (PPK), social insurance, and occupational medicine (OM). Supplementary employee benefits in Poland include private medical, life, and business travel insurance. Employee perks include gym memberships and subsidizing employees’ education.
Mandatory Employee Benefits in Poland
The Polish social insurance system includes old-age pension insurance, disability and survivors’ pension insurance, sickness insurance, and work accident insurance. In general, this system does not enable a minimum of resources for people who become disabled during their working lives.
With disability, resulting in the inability to work, an employee receives a pension. It is minimal and insufficient to ensure a minimum standard of living.
Children of an employee who died could count on a pension after a parent’s death if a parent were insured in the Polish social security system. Such pension is very small as well.
Maternity and paternity leave is covered by social insurance. Short-term disability is covered up to 180 days in a calendar year by the state insurance as well.
Occupational Medicine (OM)
Do you know employers should provide their employees with obligatory Occupational Medicine examinations? The Occupational Medicine preventive examination involves tests to determine an employee’s predisposition to work in a specific position under certain conditions. In this regard, any harmful and onerous factors in a given working environment are considered.
Preliminary examination – the following persons are referred: (1) new employees before the commencement of work, (2) employees who have changed their position, (3) employees whose job profile has been changed – where new risks emerge.
Periodic examinations – the following persons are referred: persons already working in a given position before the end of the validity of their previous certificate. Follow-up examinations – the following persons are referred: each Employee who was on sick leave for more than 30 days; the Employee should undergo the examinations to obtain a medical certificate before re-commencement of work.
Mandatory pension (Employee Capital Plan/ PPK)
- An Employee Capital Plan (PPK) is a method of accumulating assets for future pensions.
- It is a new (from 2019) and mandatory autoenrollment plan
- The legal basis for a PPK is the Act of 4th of October 2018
- Each employer is obliged by law to set up PPK in its company
- Should there be a delay in establishing PPK, the employer may be subject to a financial penalty of up to 1,5% of the corporate salary funds for the previous financial year
- The law strictly regulates the PPK setup
- The employer has approx. 90 days to set up PPK as of the DOH of the first employee
Contributions to PPK
- Basic – 1,5%
- Optional – up to 2,5%
- Total max basic and optional – 4%
- Basic – 2 %
- Optional – up to 2 %
- Total max basic and optional – 4%
- Welcome subsidy – 250 PLN
- Annual subsidy – 240 PLN
- Autoenrollment plan for employees between 18-55 years old
- The employer pays contributions only for PPK participants (if the employee decides to opt out, the employer cannot pay contributions for that employee)
- The average participation rate is very low, i.e., approximately 33%
- Matching is not applicable in PPK
- Work council (employee representatives or trade unions) need to be involved in the selection process of the PPK vendor
- Every 4 years, there will be an autoenrollment session for all employees who have opted out. The First autoenrollment session was scheduled for February/March 2023.
Occupational health and safety training (OHS)
Employers have many obligations relating to ensuring safe and healthy working conditions. These include:
- Holding regular OHS training courses for workers;
- Familiarizing workers with occupational health and safety provisions and rules relating to their work;
- Issuing detailed instructions and guidelines on occupational health and safety at workstations;
- Providing workers with free personal protective equipment and instructing them how to use it
- If a new worker is employed, the employer must:
- Provide OHS training for the worker before permitting that person to work. The worker confirms completion of general training and on-the-job training in writing in an initial
training sheet, which is included in that person’s personnel file;
- Familiarize the worker with occupational risks and rules of protection against hazards
- Employees should receive an occupational medicine certificate before starting work in a given position.
Supplementary Employee Benefits in Poland
Private Medical Insurance
Public health care is free of charge but is also inefficient and viewed as poor quality. The waiting period for specialist consultations may take a few weeks or several months (depending on the type of specialist). The waiting period for the advanced diagnostic may take a few weeks or even several months (depending on the type of diagnostic). That is why private medical care is the most common benefit in Poland. The majority (over 85%) of the employers in Poland offer such benefits to their employees. However, since 2022 private medical carriers have reported a significant increase in medical costs. Which effect the premium increase for new quotations and renewal offers.
Group Life Insurance
Group risk insurance is the second most popular employee benefit among Polish employees. There are two types of group life insurance:
- The “compulsory” scheme is where the employer covers the insurance premium. The sums insured are either fixed or salary-based. The scope of the cover is limited to a few riders.
- The “voluntary” scheme, where the premium for the insurance is covered in full by the employee and deducted from the employee’s salary. The sums insured are almost always fixed but relatively low. The scope of the cover is, however, extensive and includes typical to the Polish market family benefits (benefits are paid in case of death of the spouse, death of the parents/ parents-in-law, the birth of a child, critical illness of the dependents).
It is common for bigger companies to have both compulsory and voluntary schemes simultaneously. Disability insurance (total and permanent disability (for any reason) and a total or partial disability due to an accident) is part of the group life insurance plan as a supplemental agreement.
Business Travel Insurance
Although business travel insurance is not mandatory, most (95%) companies offer business travel insurance. According to Polish law, an employer who delegates employees abroad must cover the costs of the medical treatment that occurs abroad, including the costs of medicines and transport. The BTA cover is a cheaper solution.
Employer-sponsored gym memberships are a very common benefit in Poland. Most companies (89%) subsidize or pay for employees’ education, training, or language course costs.
Flexible benefits are not expected in the Polish market. As a result, only ¼ of all employers offer these benefits.
This information about mandatory and supplemental employee benefits in Poland comes from Asinta’s Central and Eastern European Partner, the GrECo Group.