The employer must inform the Labour Office of the employment of a Ukrainian citizen. If he/she fails to do so, he may be penalised. However, a Ukrainian employee cannot be penalised under these circumstances.

Ukrainian citizens who were forced to leave their country in the face of the Russian invasion, as well as those who are in Poland legally, can work in Poland. However, they must fulfil one condition: their employer should – within 14 days – notify the district Labour Office that it has employed a Ukrainian citizen (Article 22(1) of the Act of March 12, 2022 on Assistance to Ukrainian Citizens in Connection with the Armed Conflict on the Territory of Ukraine, hereinafter: the Special-purpose Act). Unfortunately, in practice, not all employers comply with this formality. However, the Ukrainian employee cannot ascertain whether the employer has notified his/her employment, has no influence on whether the employer actually does so, nor can he/she himself/herself make a notification of the employment. It is therefore difficult to blame them for working despite the lack of adequate notice. For this reason, the legislator, in Article 22(5c) of the Special-purpose Act, excluded the possibility of penalising a Ukrainian citizen with a fine if he or she undertakes work without providing proper notification.

Nevertheless, the Border Guard announces on its website that not only employers, but also the Ukrainian citizens they employ, will be held liable for work that does not comply with the Special-purpose Act. Accordingly:

  1. we reminded the Border Guard of the content of Article 22(5c) of the Special-purpose Act and the reasons for its enactment,
  2. we requested public information from the Border Guard on the number of applications by the Border Guard to punish a Ukrainian citizen for performing work in violation of the Special-purpose Act and the number of Ukrainian citizens punished on this basis, as well as
  3. we requested that the Border Guard not post misleading information.

The content of our letter is available HERE. In response to our letter, the Border Guard indicated that it has not yet submitted any request to the court to punish the Ukrainian citizen in connection with his performance of work in violation of Article 22(1) of the Special-purpose Act; and that it has not imposed a criminal fine on the Ukrainian citizen in these circumstances. It is therefore incomprehensible why the Border Guard is misleading on its website by stating that Ukrainian citizens will be held liable for work that does not comply with the Special-purpose Act.