Significant Labor Market Changes Expected in 2024: From Wage Increases to Immigration Reform


According to the predictions of the parties forming the new government, significant changes await Polish workers in 2024. The vision of labor market reform, outlined in the coalition agreement, focuses on striving for gender equality, supporting women in returning to work after childbirth, stabilizing the tax system, and raising the salaries of teachers and public service workers. There are also changes on the horizon that will take effect in the new year, which were introduced by the previous administration, such as an increase in the minimum wage and an expanded scope of additional worker protection.

  • The first changes, which await the labor market already in January – an increase in the minimum wage by over PLN 600, or changes in the civil service – are the initiative of the predecessors.
  • However, as the coalition’s declaration indicates, it won’t be long before the results of their work are seen.
  • Planned actions include a salary increase for teachers by 30% and civil service workers by 20%, initiatives to support women in the labor market, assistance for entrepreneurs, and a “grandmother allowance” of PLN 1500.
  • There are also plans to change the situation of soldiers unjustly dismissed after 2015, and the introduction of a law on the status of artists.
  • Retail workers might be unhappy with the changes. The coalition wants to abolish the ban on trading on Sundays.
  • So far, the planned changes lack proposals regarding immigration policy, although many Polish companies employ foreigners, and – as revealed by a study by the Progres Group – the interested parties (56% of foreigners working in our country) admit that they do not feel that the issues concerning their stay and work in Poland are important for national politicians.

The factions forming the new government outcompeted each other with proposals for employers and employees before the election. Now they can put them into action, and we will soon see the first effects of their actions. The group they concern includes over 4.3 million businesses as well as approximately 602 thousand companies and over 17 million professionally active people (Polish Central Statistical Office, GUS). This is a large and diverse community that will soon face changes in the labor market. The first changes, effective in January, are the initiative of the predecessors. This is another increase in the minimum wage, which currently stands at PLN 3,600 (PLN 23.50 / hour). Next year, employees can expect a double increase in the minimum national wage. From January 1, 2024, it will be PLN 4,242 (PLN 27.70 / hour), and from July 1, 2024 PLN 4,300 (PLN 28.10 / hour). With the increase in the minimum wage, such benefits as supplements for night work and amounts exempt from deductions will also increase. And this is just a fraction of what awaits us.

“We have a very interesting year ahead of us. Employers and employees must be vigilant and prepared for changes that will directly affect their professional lives. Looking at the number of ideas concerning the labor market and the statements of the coalition, and taking into account the declared deadlines for their implementation, new rules and regulations will appear within the first hundred days of the government. Their implementation may not be successful without an appropriate strategy. We need a plan for the development of the Polish economy and labor market, in terms of short, medium and long-term planning, preceded by an audit and solid analysis” – says Cezary Maciołek, president of the Progres Group. He adds that the mood of entrepreneurs is not the best, in November last year in all areas of the economy surveyed by GUS, entrepreneurs assessed the economic situation negatively. However, from a practical point of view, the new government has a large credit of trust from employers and employees. It also has a lot to do, as expectations are many and they concern not only wage increases, but also facilitating business operations, professional activation of the unemployed or immigration policy.

Schools and offices to be changed

The new year also brings changes to the civil service. New rules are being introduced for compensating overtime work by members of the Civil Service Corps. They will allow for the granting of remuneration to a civil service employee for work performed at the order of a superior during overtime hours, and to a civil service official for work performed during overtime hours at night. Such remuneration will be paid on the employee’s request. The civil service can also expect a salary increase – this is a point that all parties forming the new government had in their program, designated as one of the most important tasks of the Coalition wanting to support key professions for the functioning of the state and the future of subsequent generations. The Coalition parties confirmed this in the agreement and recognized the urgent need for raises for teachers, public service workers, including administration, courts and the prosecutor’s office. The new prime minister in the electoral debut spoke of a 20% raise for officials.

According to assurances, the pay rise for teachers is to be 30% and increased salaries will be paid with possible retrospective adjustment from the beginning of 2024. This decision seems necessary, as more and more people are leaving the profession. Moreover, teachers once again appeared on the list of deficit occupations in 2024 (Occupation Barometer), and low salaries are one of the reasons for this deficit.

Support for women and entrepreneurs

Other proposals are also expected to be put into practice soon. One of the obligations is to initiate actions supporting women in the labor market. The goal is to eliminate wage differences and break down barriers that hinder equal treatment. Another is to help entrepreneurs by introducing favorable and clear health contribution calculation rules. The significant increase in the costs of conducting business in recent years is to be stopped, so the Coalition parties want to introduce a rule that the employee’s sick pay will be paid by the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) from the first day. They will also provide a cash method of settling income tax for entrepreneurs and the possibility of temporary exemption from social security contributions. Relieving entrepreneurs seems to be a good and expected direction. Particularly, in light of the November report from GUS which once again shows that the barriers most commonly indicated by companies affecting the scale of their investments are, among others, high inflation, uncertain macroeconomic situation and high costs of implementing investments.

“If, as the new Prime Minister promises, the 100 concrete proposals of the Civic Coalition for the first 100 days of government will actually be implemented, and in addition, the proposals of the Left, which is taking over the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, are implemented, then much can change. The plan is ambitious and considering the realities of the market, it is unlikely to be achieved 100%. What’s more, real changes require time, which in some issues is slowly running out, such as demographic changes in the labor market or employing foreigners from remote areas” – evaluates Cezary Maciołek, president of the Progres Group.

Among the mentioned 100 specifics are, among others, lowering taxes and costs of doing business, eliminating so-called “disability trap” – disabled people will be able to work without losing their disability pension, the “Active mom” program – PLN 1,500 per month for childcare, so-called “granny allowance”, or Care Bonuses for working caregivers for dependent people amounting to 50% of the minimum wage. The situation of soldiers unjustly dismissed after 2015 is also to change. They will be given the opportunity to return to service. There are also plans to introduce a law on the status of an artist guaranteeing artists a minimum social security, access to social and health insurance, taking into account the specifics of work. Support for the system will provide funds that were previously sent to the Church Fund.

Retail workers may be unhappy with the changes. The coalition wants to abolish the ban on trading on Sundays, but each employee is to be guaranteed two free weekends a month and double pay for work on free days.

The forgotten foreigners

So far, the planned changes lack proposals concerning immigration policy, even though many Polish companies employ foreigners, and – as the study by the Progres Group shows – the interested parties (56% of foreigners working in our country) admit that they do not feel that issues related to their stay and work in Poland are important to national politicians. 25% believe that the authorities are dealing with this issue to a sufficient extent, 19% have no opinion on this matter. Employers wanting to employ foreigners from distant directions also point out immigration policy as a crucial issue for the labor market, and there are plenty of them.

“It is now the last call to remember immigration policy. It’s a pity that in the heat of battle everyone forgot about foreigners, who are needed by the labor market. There are no proposals for procedures for legalizing stay and employment or for combating the gray area, and this is a problem that cannot be swept under the carpet. Especially since this issue concerns many companies that employ or want to employ foreigners – also those from distant directions. Our study shows that currently 56% of enterprises have such an intention, they may feel disappointed that none of the politicians thought about how to improve this process” – summarizes Cezary Maciołek.