The employment contract and the civil law contract – differences

The type of contract concluded with the employer gives us different rights. It also determines the liability we bear when we make a mistake.

Content and form

The employment contract must contain specific information, such as the position, scope of duties, place and time of work, etc. The content of the document is based on the provisions of the Labor Code. Civil law contracts, including the contract for services, do not have to be in writing. The Civil Code does not specify what entries must appear in the document.

Place of work

The employer with whom we sign an employment contract determines our place of work and includes the appropriate entry in the document. The contractor does not impose on us where we have to work. The location is determined by agreement.


When performing our duties under an employment contract, we must submit to the instructions of our superiors. As contractors, we perform certain civil law acts and do not have to fulfill additional requests from the contractor.

The right to paid leave

Thanks to an employment contract, we can use all employee benefits, including the right to paid, uninterrupted and annual vacation. When we work under a contract for services, we do not have a guaranteed right to paid breaks. We can negotiate such an entry in the contract.

Protection against dismissal

Pregnant women, people with disabilities, and employees in the pre-retirement period who are employed under an employment contract enjoy special protection against dismissal. The employer cannot give them notice. However, the contractor can terminate the contract for services from day to day – pregnancy, disability, or age are not factors that provide additional privileges.

Wage and material liability

The contractor is liable for any damage caused to a third party with his entire property. In order to limit the scope of material liability, we can negotiate the inclusion of an appropriate entry in the contract or purchase civil liability insurance. When choosing the second option, we must be aware of the need to incur additional costs. The material liability of an employee employed under an employment contract is limited.

Social Security Contributions

According to the Act on the Social Security System, an employment contract always constitutes the basis for social security. Social security contributions are not paid from the contract for services, for example when the contractor is a student or student under the age of 26.


(Polski) Umowa o pracę a umowa cywilnoprawna – różnice