Scams: Beware of job offers to Poland
The Embassy has received reports of Filipinos who are being recruited or have been recently recruited for promising jobs in Poland. Unfortunately, unscrupulous entities are taking advantage of Filipinos who are eager to work in Europe but who are not familiar with the proper recruitment procedure.
If you are being recruited for a job in Poland, and you are seriously considering an offer, please be guided by the following:
- Direct hiring is discouraged by the POEA. As far as possible, hiring must go through a POEA-licensed Philippine Recruitment Agency (PRA), and the agency has to comply with the required documentation. Employment contracts must be verified by POLO Geneva before they are sent to the PRA to make sure they meet the minimum requirements on salary, hours of work, worker protection, and other labor standards. If you are offered a directly hired job by a company in Poland, please contact POLO Geneva immediately.
This is true especially for OFWs recruited directly from outside the Philippines like Taiwan, or the Middle East. Beware of sweet-talking persons promising high paying jobs: they ask very high fees, give no receipts, and do not work for POEA-accredited Philippine recruitment agencies. When the workers reach Poland, they are asked to sign another contract for very low wages - as seasonal workers! Iwasan ang direct hiring - iwasan maging biktima ng mga fixers/scammers.
- Do not pay very high processing fees. Good and serious Polish employers shoulder the cost of airfare, visa processing, and related costs for the most part. Some "recruiters" in the Philippines might ask you to pay a “processing fee” ranging from PHP 250,000 to PHP 350,000. This exhorbitant "processing fee" is too high and prohibited under Philippine overseas recruitment rules. Pay no more than the equivalent of one month's salary to the Philippine recruitment agency. Report the recruitment agency charging high placement fees to the POEA.
The minimum monthly salary in Poland in 2019 is PLN 2.250,00 (around PHP 31,000) for those working under an employment contract, while the basic hourly wage is PLN 14,70 (around PHP 205) for those working under civil contracts (for seasonal, short-term jobs).
- Never pay without a receipt. Any payment you make to any PRA in the Philippines must be supported by a receipt.
- The Embassy has encountered cases of Filipino workers being scammed. They were made to pay PHP 250,000 in advance - without receipts. When they arrived in Poland, no jobs were waiting for them.
- Do not deal with online agents, like those based in Malaysia or other third countries. Deal only with Polish companies through their authorized POEA-licensed PRAs. Check their current accreditation status with the POEA. Read a blog from the Pinoys in Poland FB group warning against illegal recruiters to Poland.
- Deductions from gross salaries: Income Tax and Social Insurance. Do not be lured by alleged high salaries. Salaries are quoted as gross salaries, not the real take home pay. All persons (including foreigners) who receive income are required to pay income tax of 18%, and contribute the worker's share to the social insurance system ZUS. These two payments are deducted from the worker's basic salary on a monthly basis and remitted by the employer to the concerned authorities.
Read and fully understand the employment contract before signing it. Keep a personal copy of the contract.
- Do not make employment in Poland a stepping stone for migration to Europe. Foreigners are required to have work permits in order to work in Poland, and a work permit can be used only for the specific work and with the specific employer named on the permit. Residence and work permits will be cancelled if a foreigner transfers to another employer without notice to proper authorities.
That is why it is advisable to finish a contract with one employer before transferring to a new employer.
Transferring to a new employers requires a new residence permit and a new work permit, and this takes a minimum of five (5) weeks to process. The worker cannot start working without a new permit, and the employer is not obliged to provide food and accommodation while the worker is waiting for the work permit to issue.
- In any case, do not proceed without clearance and advice from the POEA. Please read POEA Advisory 06 Series of 2020 warning against these schemes, and report these schemes immediately to the Anti-Illegal Recruitment branch of the POEA.
The Embassy advises interested workers to be vigilant and discriminating. Avoid becoming victims of scheming persons claiming to be recruiters. Report fake or unlicensed recruiters to the POEA.
Warsaw, 24 July 2019. Updated 25 November 2019, 06 February 2020.
The following is an authentic e-mail query received by the Embassy:
I am from the Philippines and currently applying for the position of xxxxx there in Poland. But I have some doubts. I have met this online agent in Malaysia who is offering me a little bit lower than the placement fees of some agencies here in the Philippines.
They offered me a direct hire job from XXXXX Group of companies with a processing fee of PHP 160,000 - all in. I am to pay in installments as follows: (1) first payment of PHP 60,000 for processing in Poland. After release of the job order, I must pay the (2) second payment of PHP 50,000 for visa processing and personal appearance. Once the visa is released, the (3) third and last installment of PHP 50,000 will be paid for the ticket and other expenses for the travel to Poland.
Can your good office check and help us if the XXXXX Group of companies is legitimate and whether it has a HR personnel named ZZZZZ as per our agent in Malaysia whom she always contacts and who is in charge of all papers there in Poland?
We are hoping for your kind response as we don’t want to suffer being victimized by scammers due to lack of information.