A person from Ukraine arrived in Poland after 24. 02, he/she already has a PESEL number. The employer refuses to hire the person, claiming the lack of a foreign passport (the employee has only an internal Ukrainian passport).

Pursuant to Article 22(1) of the Act of 12 March 2022 on Assistance to Citizens of Ukraine in connection with the Armed Conflict in the Territory of the State ( hereinafter: Special-purpose Act), a citizen of Ukraine has the right to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland during the period of stay in accordance with the applicable legislation

  • if his/her stay in Poland is considered legal under Article 2(1) or 
  • he/she is a citizen of Ukraine legally residing in Poland 

if within 14 days from the date of commencement of employment by the Ukrainian citizen the employer notifies the relevant district employment office competent for the seat or place of residence of the entity about commissioning work to that citizen.

The wording of said provision indicates that the entitlement to work legally in Poland is available to all Ukrainian citizens who are legally residing in Poland, regardless of whether they arrived in Poland after 24 February 2022 or before that date, and regardless of whether they entered Poland directly from Ukraine or not. 

The legitimacy of residence, which is a condition for undertaking legal work, should be verified by the employer since entrusting a foreigner with work contrary to the provisions of the law exposes the employer to negative legal consequences for this reason. 

When a Ukrainian citizen holds a foreign passport, such verification is facilitated through stamps or visas inserted in the passport document. However, the problem arises when a Ukrainian citizen does not have a passport document or any other instrument certifying legal residence. As for Ukrainian nationals who entered Poland from 24 February 2022 and obtained a PESEL number on the basis of the Special-purpose Act, it seems that it should be sufficient to demonstrate to the employer that they obtained a PESEL in the procedure provided for by the Special-purpose Act, which would indicate their legal residence and thus the entitlement to perform work legally. It should be borne in mind that in accordance with Article 4(4) of the Special-purpose Act, the application for a PESEL number should indicate, inter alia, the date of entry into the territory of the Republic of Poland, as well as the date of submission of the application. 

Furthermore, once a Ukrainian citizen indicates in his/her application an e-mail address and a mobile phone number, a trusted profile will be created for him/her, including, amongst other things, an indication of a confirmation of his/her identity. The above-mentioned circumstances together with the information and their confirmations should constitute sufficient grounds for demonstrating to the employer the entitlement to the legal residence on the basis of the Special-purpose Act and thus the right to work legally, as well as for signing an effective contract of employment.