Since the introduction of a special law easing access to the labour market in Poland, 185 000 refugees from Ukraine have started work in the country. The law makes refugees from Ukraine eligible for employment even if they do not have a work permit or a PESEL number - the unique personal identifier issued to residents. Instead, refugees from Ukraine can start work as long as their employer informs the local labor office about the hire within 14 days.
The procedure applies to Ukrainian nationals and non-EU spouses of Ukrainian nations who arrived in Poland on or after 24 February 2022, or the start of the war.
Half of the refugees found work in 4 out of the 16 Polish provinces - Mazowieckie, Dolnośląskie, Wielkopolskie and Łódzkie. With most refugees being women and children, women also make up the majority of new hires, or 135 000. At the time of writing of this article, data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) counts over 1.1 million refugees from Ukraine present in Poland.
The Polish Ministry of Social Policy and Family is meant to further assist refugees' labour integration, including through better access to Polish language courses. Upcoming regulations are also expected to make it easier for labour inspectors to ensure refugees are guaranteed adequate work standards.
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- Magdalena LesinskaCountry Coordinator