|Plenty of employees take undocumented payment in Poland|
As many as 47 percent of Poles have relatives or friends who work in the gray economy (in which workers are paid under the table without paying income taxes or social security contributions), according to a study by pollster CBOS.
Krzysztof Zagórski, a professor from the Kozminski University and the author of the study, believes that Poles tend to look the other way when cheating the state is concerned, and that it is a much more common occurrence than one might expect.
The study shows that 23 percent of respondents know or are aware of people who fail to pay off their loans, and one in five respondents have acquaintances who evade paying some or all of their taxes. A quarter of those surveyed said they know people who have unjustly been granted welfare or unemployment benefits.
But it’s not just private individuals who cheat the state. PKPP Lewiatan, a national employers’ association, conducted a similar study in 2012 which showed that 33 percent of companies in Poland hire employees illegally, 4 percent more than in 2011. It also turned out that paying workers under the table is extremely common in smaller Polish companies.
Experts say that the increase of pension contributions, a higher minimum wage, and the economic slowdown are the three main reasons for such situation. The sectors in which gray-economy practices are most prevalent are construction and trade.
“A legal job is a luxury good in Poland. You have to pay horrendously high taxes for it,” Piotr Rogowiecki, an expert at Pracodawcy RP, an employers’ association, told daily Rzeczpospolita.
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