The Social Fund is compulsory for all employers from budgetary and local government units (regardless of the number of employees employed) and for other employers (private companies) who, as of 1 January of a given year, hire at least 50 employees on a full-time basis. A social fund collects financial means accumulated by an employer in a separate bank account for the social support of the entitled employees.
The company should use this money for social assistance and social benefits for all employees or those with financial or life difficulties. The funds are at the employer’s disposal, and it decides what to use them for.
The employer may use the Social Fund for:
- allowance for an employee affected by a severe accident, suffering from chronic diseases, caring for disabled children, having large families or single parents,
- financing employee’s or their children’s holidays (leave),
- financing of sports and recreational or cultural and educational services,
- organizing food packages for children or on holidays,
- money from the social fund can also finance nurseries and kindergartens.
The Social Fund should not be used to:
- financing commuting to work,
- financing the company canteen,
- salaries of employees serving the social fund,
- providing private medical care or preventive vaccinations,
- integration events,
- education of employees (regardless of form),
Who can benefit from the Social Fund at work?
The Act on the Company Social Benefits Fund determines who is entitled to benefit from the company social assistance. Internal regulations of the Company’s Social Benefits Fund should specify the details regarding the disposal of the resources.
The employer is obliged to distribute funds among employees, making the amount and type of assistance depending on the employee’s financial, family, life and health situation. Therefore, it is unacceptable to pay out funds to all employees equally. It is also forbidden to make the funds paid dependent on the type of contract, working time, seniority, and work assessment.
People who can apply for the Social Fund are:
- employees regardless of work time and members of their families,
- employees on parental leave,
- retirees and pensioners – also former employees and their families,
- the dependent family members, the employees, and former employees who passed away
- workers granted the right to benefit from the fund, e.g. employees who are currently on unpaid leave,
- juvenile workers on vocational training,
- workers who have an additional, non-employment contract (praca nakładcza)
How to use the Social Fund?
To use the Company Social Benefits Fund, you should apply to the appropriate unit in the workplace. Internal rules specify what and how you should do and what documents to bring. Those rules also describe the process of allocating funds, the application processing time, the requirements and other relevant information.