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. It is very common to be part of a group scheme arranged through the employer because these plans offer better coverage and price. In 2019, a new pension law was introduced to the Polish market (PPK). Although it is mandatory for each employer to set up the plan, only about 30% 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 EE salary)
Mandatory employee benefits in Poland include pension (PPK), social insurance, and occupational medicine (OM). Supplementary employee benefits in Poland include private medical insurance, life insurance, 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, 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 a very small amount and not sufficient for ensuring a minimum standard of living.
Children of an employee who died can count on a pension after a death of a parent if a parent was 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 that each employer should provide his/her employees with obligatory Occupational Medicine examinations? The Occupational Medicine preventive examination involves tests to determine an employee’s individual predispositions to work in a specific position under certain conditions. In this regard, any harmful and onerous factors in a given working environment are taken into consideration.
Preliminary examination – the following persons are referred: (1) new employees prior to 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 prior to the end of 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 prior to re-commencement of work.
Mandatory pension (Employee Capital Plan/ PPK)
- An Employee Capital Plan (PPK) is a method of group saving for a pension
- It is a new 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
- PPK setup is strictly regulated by the law
- The employer has approx. 90 days to set up PPK as of the DOH of the first employe
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 ie. approx. 30%
- 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
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;
- Familiarising 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 personal file;
- Familiarize the worker with occupational risks and rules of protection against hazards
Supplementary Employee Benefits in Poland
Private Medical Insurance
The public health care is free of charge but is also inefficient and viewed as a 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 the private medical care is the most common benefit in Poland. The majority (over 85%) of the employers in Poland offer such benefit to the employees.
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, where the premium for the insurance is covered by the employer. 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 salary of the employee. The sums insured are almost always fixed, but relatively low. The scope of the cover is however very wide and included typical to the Polish market family benefits (benefits are paid in case of death of the spouse, death of the parents/ parents-in-law, birth of a child, critical illness of the dependents).
For bigger companies, it is common to have both compulsory and voluntary schemes in place at the same time. Disability insurance (total and permanent disability (any reason) and total partial disability due to accident) is part of the group life insurance plan as supplemental agreement.
Business Travel Insurance
Although the business travel insurance is not mandatory, the most (95%) of companies offer business travel insurance. According to the Polish law, employer who delegates employees abroad is obliged to cover the costs of the medical treatment which occur abroad including the costs of medicines and transport. Obviously the BTA cover is 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 common in the Polish market. Only ¼ of all employers offer these benefits.