Keep in mind that sometimes youmay encounter cheaters willing to take advantage of our unfamiliarity of regulations and Polish language. To avoid eventual problems it is good to read a couple of rules, that will make our lives in Poland easier.
Job. Remember that working as an undeclared employee is risky. Many foreigners, and even Poles working undeclared, were cheated and did not receive salary for their work. The worst thing is the inability of taking legal action in such cases. Only the signed employment contract gives ability to charge employer before the National Labour Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy). If you are working on the basis of a contract to perform a specified task, or a casual work contract you may take your charge directly to the court.
Renting a Flat. When renting a flat, remember to sign an agreement – this will secure your rights. However, signed document must not always be a guarantee of safety – it is necessary to check the agreement, if any of the points are harmful. Remember to collect all bills for gas, water, electricity and central heating. Often payments are done in advance, for two months on the basis of average use from previous months. Such system creates a risk of a fraud, so that is why collecting all of the bills is so important.
Dishonest Agents. Many foreigners during complex and complicated procedure for legalization of a stay need support of lawyers. That is why they often turn to one of many law firms providing mandate services. However, the legal market is full of representatives who are not especially concerned in helping foreigner, instead they focus on financial benefits. It is important to find a trustworthy lawyers with good reputation and company residence. It is advisable to ask for help in non-governmental organizations, or advice from other foreigners who used services of trustworthy law firms.
Safety in the city
When you are in a city or town watch out for pickpockets. One of the places mainly associated with this type of crime is public transport, where pickpockets take advantage on turmoil to effectively steal our belongings from bags, rucksacks etc. Watch out for petty crimes when travelling Poland by trains – remember not to leave luggage unattended when leaving a compartment. If the other travellers seem trustworthy, we may politely ask them to look for our luggage during our short absence.
Like in most places in the world, it is advisable to be extra careful at night. Try to avoid night busses and places where young people drink alcohol. It is not advisable to walk at night in parks, residential districts, or close to the off-license shops selling alcohol. Avoid walks during match days. In the evening, when the football match is over it is easy to meet young people looking for a fight, which is a potential threat for foreigners, as well as Polish people. It is good to know that Warsaw’s foremost football team is Legia (fans wear scarves painted in white-green and blue stripes with an “L” symbol; the official website: www.legia.com). In Cracow it is Wisła Kraków (fans wear scarves painted in white, red and blue stripes with WISŁA writing; the official website: www.wisla.krakow.pl), and in Łódź it is Widzew (fans wear red and white scarves with WIDZEW writing; official website: www.widzew.pl). In case of a quarrel it is advisable not to take any actions in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation.