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The Warsaw Voice » Law » September 30, 2009
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Law in brief
September 30, 2009   
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New Agreement with Finland
The government has drafted a bill to ratify a Polish-Finnish agreement on avoiding double taxation and preventing income tax evasion. The agreement, signed in Helsinki June 8, will replace a convention that the two countries signed in 1977 and that has become obsolete. The new agreement is based on OECD standards. Under Article 6, income from real estate may be taxed in the country where the property is located. The clause on sharing tax information was expanded to include all taxes.

Contracts in a Foreign Language
The latest amendment to the law on the Polish language gives more freedom to employers who want to employ foreign workers. Until recently, all employment contracts had to be written in Polish. Now, before signing an employment contract with a foreigner, the employer will be required to inform them that the contract may be written in a language other than Polish. Interestingly, the language does not need to be the foreigner's native tongue. If the foreigner decides to have the employment contract written in another language, all other documents related to their employment will also have to be written in that language.

Migration Department to Be Closed
The Labor Ministry's Migration Department, which deals with foreigners staying in Poland, is scheduled to be closed and its responsibilities will probably be taken over by the Legal Department or the Labor Market Department.

The Migration Department deals with immigrants and works on a migration strategy for Poland and rules regulating the employment of seasonal workers.

The department has also been responsible for the enforcement of a directive on sanctions against employers who illegally employ foreigners.

Foreign Doctors Must Speak Polish
New health ministry rules require foreign physicians and dentists practicing in Poland to have a good command of Polish. They need to be fluent enough to be able to use correct medical terminology in speech and writing, communicate with patients, other physicians and medical professionals, and in particular conduct medical interviews and give advice to patients in an understandable manner.

The National Physicians' Chamber will hold language exams for foreign doctors. If an applicant fails an exam they will be able to retake it six months later.
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