What are the characteristics of an employment contract and a mandate agreement?


The legal basis for providing work can be divided into two groups:

  • employee employment based on labor laws and
  • non-employee employment based on civil law.

A contract of employment is classified as an employee’s employment. An employee provides work on the basis of an employment relationship. In this case the provisions of the Polish Labor Code and other provisions of the labor law apply. The employment relation is created here by two entities – the employer and the employee. The employee undertakes to perform a certain type of work for the employer and under his direction, at a place and time designated by the employer, for remuneration.

Mandate agreement is an employment based on so-called non-employment. It belongs to the group of civil law contracts. Thus it is not regulated by the  Polish Labor Code but by the Civil Code. A contract of mandate is concluded by a principal and a contractor. The contractor undertakes to perform a specific legal act for the principal.

To sum it up, an employment contract guarantees stability of employment and employee privileges, while a mandate agreement provides more freedom and may include additional arrangements. For example, the principal and the contractor may agree on paid annual leave (for the time not spent on the assignment), a notice period, or additional pay for overtime hours.