New year – important new changes in consumer protection and labour law

Poland: Some entrepreneurs are protected by consumer protection, the minimum wage is rising, and specific task contracts must be notified.

Entrepreneurs will be partly covered by consumer protection – with the new year, natural persons conducting business will in some cases be treated in the same way as consumers.

The amendment to the Civil Code and the Act on Consumer Rights assumes that consumer protection covers every natural person conducting business activity who concludes, as a buyer, a sales contract directly related to their business activity – but on condition that the contract does not apply directly to the branch of the entrepreneur according to the classification code of business activities disclosed in Central Registration and Information on Business.

Consumer protection granted to such a person applies to:

1. abusive clauses (i.e. prohibited contractual provisions),
2. warranty for defects,
3. the right to withdraw from a distance or off-premises contract.

For sellers, the amendment means, above all, they must include a third type of entity (in addition to consumers and traders, who are not affected by the amendment) in their day-to-day activities, with all the associated legal consequences, such as the need to take account of their returns and complaints. From a practical point of view, sellers should consider changes to their contract templates, general terms and conditions or regulations of online shops.

Increase in the minimum wage – the minimum working wage in Poland is PLN 2 800 gross. The total monthly cost to the employer of someone on the minimum wage is currently ca. PLN 3 370 (i.e. 740 EUR).

Obligation to report specific task contracts to ZUS – all payers of contributions and natural persons who commission a specific task must inform ZUS about concluding each contract for a specific task. Exceptions are situations when:

1. a specific task contract is concluded with their own employee,
2. a specific task contract is concluded with an entity other than the employer, but is performed on behalf of that employer,
3. a specific task contract is concluded with persons conducting business activity by way of performing services that fall within the scope of their activity.

The deadline for submission is 7 days. The obligation applies to contracts concluded after 01.01.2021, so there is no obligation to notify agreements concluded before that date. The obligation to provide information does not mean that a specific task contract will be subject to contributions to ZUS.


Source: Act on amending certain acts in order to reduce the regulatory burden (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1495); Regulation on the minimum wage and minimum hourly rate in 2021 (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1596); Act on the social security system (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 266)

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