Performance of work under a contract other than an employment contract


Very often, a natural person chooses a different type of work than to perform work on the basis of an unlimited employment contract. Various legal forms are available: self-employment, employment through a temporary agency or the conclusion of civil law contracts. Choosing one of these forms reduces labor costs. Read what is the difference between an employment contract and other forms of employment.

Employment contract and other forms of employment

Currently, an employment contract is not the only acceptable form of employment of employees in Poland, although only it is regulated by the Labor Code. The labor market is changing, and employees are becoming more and more free to choose different, more or less flexible ways of working for the employer. Selected forms of employment of employees are described below.


Self-employment is the provision of services to the employer by an independent economic entity. This economic entity may be a natural person running a business or a freelance profession. The prerequisite is not to hire other people. Self-employment is more advantageous than a contract of employment because it allows you to settle your income according to the 19% flat tax rate. The amendment to the Act of November 16, 2006 amending the Personal Income Tax Act changed the definition of non-agricultural economic activity. According to this act, a taxpayer providing services on the basis of self-employment does not pursue non-agricultural economic activity if he meets three conditions jointly:

  • the person ordering the performance of activities is liable to third parties for the result of these activities and their performance (excluding liability for committing unlawful acts);
  • activities are performed under the direction, at the place and time designated by the client;
  • performing these activities does not bear the economic risk related to the business activity performed.

When these three conditions specified by the act are simultaneously met, a self-employed person will lose the status of an entrepreneur.

Work through a temporary employment agency

A temporary employment agency is an employer of temporary workers. Its services can be used by companies that have shortages in employment or need more employees to perform seasonal work. The agency "hires" employees by collecting commissions.An employment contract or a civil law contract between the employee and the employment agency is concluded for a definite period or for the duration of a specific job. On the other hand, the employer who uses the work of a temporary employee does not conclude a contract with him, but only signs a contract with the agency. This contract should include the type and place of work of the employee, qualification requirements, expected duration of temporary work, working time. The user employer is obliged to provide the temporary employee with hygienic working conditions and should keep records of his working time.

The rules for the functioning of temporary work agencies are regulated by the Act on Employment of Temporary Workers and the Act on Employment Promotion. According to these regulations, a temporary employee may perform work for the user employer for a period of 12 months. Tasks performed by employees may be seasonal, periodic or ad hoc. The services of a temporary employment agency are used when there are tasks that would be impossible to perform in a timely manner by the employed employees or the performance of which is the responsibility of the absent employee. When signing a contract between the user employer and the temporary employment agency, the parties may establish rights and obligations towards each other and determine the amount of the commission charged by the agency.

The user employer cannot use the services of a temporary employment agency when:

  • during the last 6 months, the employment contract with the employees was terminated under the Act on group redundancies;
  • work is particularly dangerous according to Art. 237 of the Labor Code;
  • intends to hire an employee for the position in which the worker participating in the strike is already working;
  • intends to hire an employee for the position in which the employee with whom the employment relationship was terminated for reasons not related to the employees worked during the last 3 months.

Work under a civil law contract

Civil law contracts are primarily: contract for specific work, contract of mandate, contract for the provision of services, agency contract. Characteristic for a civil law contract is that the client does not interfere in the work process, does not perform the task under his management, incurs the costs of equipment and the risk of non-performance of the task by the contractor, the application of civil law to matters not covered by the contract. A type of civil contract may also be a management contract, i.e. a contract for the management of an economic entity. The conclusion of management contracts is described in the provisions governing contracts of mandate. The parties to the contract may be: the employer and a management specialist. This specialist, through the concluded contract, is authorized to take factual and legal actions in order to run the enterprise.

It should be remembered that if the civil law contract was concluded in the conditions in which the employment contract should be concluded, this constitutes an offense against the employee's rights.