Main Features of the Public Employment Service in Poland
This report describes the organisation of employment services, labour market programmes, unemployment insurance (UI) benefits and social assistance in Poland according to the legislation that was in force until January 2009, when the Act on employment promotion and labour market institutions was amended. The decentralisation of employment service began in 1998 and was completed in 2002. Since decentralisation, local-level poviat labour offices (PUP) report to local mayors (starosta or prezydent miasta na prawach powiatu). However, state structures at a regional level supervise the performance of both the PUP and, at the regional level, the voivodeship labour offices (WUP). These offices must follow some centrally-defined rules and legal standards: for example, a Ministerial guideline in 2007 defined minimum numbers of staff they should employ by main function. However, their operational costs are in principle borne by the respective territorial levels of government. Under-financing is common, and there are concerns that decentralisation has led to more uneven service provision and performance. Local budgets may be used to finance the outsourcing of some PUP labour market services, but local authorities usually find that in-house provision is cheaper.
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