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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PL-2022-52/3098 – measures in Poland

Polish government, unions sign social contract on power plants overhaul

Rząd i górniczy związkowcy podpisali umowę społeczną

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 22 December 2022
Context Green Transition
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Transfer or redeployment of workers
Author Monika Helak (Polityka Insight) and Eurofound
Measure added 20 February 2023 (updated 21 March 2023)

Background information

Poland's energy transition will continue over the next 15 years. As a result, workers in coal and lignite mines and coal-fired power plants may lose their jobs. In order to provide them with financial security and job opportunities, the Polish government wants to extend support to these workers.

On 22 December, Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin, trade unions from the energy and lignite sector and representatives of 30 companies (belonging to the Polska Grupa Energetyczna, Enea, Energa and Tauron) signed a Social Agreement on the Transformation of the Energy and Lignite Sector. The agreement is a condition for the creation of the National Agency for Energy Security ( Narodowa Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Energetycznego , NABE). Ultimately, it will include the coal-fired power stations and lignite mines owned by state companies, which together account for two-thirds of the country's electricity production. The document does not specify when the agency is to be established.

Content of measure

According to the agreement, the government will give numerous guarantees to NABE employees. Each of the employees of the companies that will become part of NABE will receive a gross “consolidation award” of PLN 8,000. Simultaneously, the agency's companies will be obliged to increase employees' salaries annually by the level set in an agreement with the trade unions concluded by 31 March each year. In addition, employees will retain the right to the annual bonus plus the Energy Day and Miners' Day awards.

Departing employees will receive paid leave and severance pay. The agreement specifies that employees of pre-retirement age will be given the opportunity to take up to four years of mining and energy leave (with a social benefit of 80% of their previous salary), while others will be given the opportunity to collect a one-off cash severance payment of 12 times their last salary.

The agency will get support from the budget, but after approval from Brussels. This involves subsidies from the state budget to maintain the profitability of the coal units transferred to the agency. The activation of the support, however, will depend on EC’s approval, which is why the government is expected to notify the system, preceded by pre-notification.

Use of measure

There are currently no exact figures on the number of people who will be affected by the creation of NABE. However, previous plans by the Ministry of Property in 2021 suggested that NABE would be responsible for the employment of around 32,000 people.


  • Bonuses
  • Leave arrangements
  • Pay increases

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
EU (Council, EC, EP)
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


Social Agreement on the Transformation of the Energy and Lignite Sector is a tripartite agreement between the government, trade unions and company representatives. Representatives from each of these parties were involved in drafting the agreement and negotiating its provisions. On the trade union side, nine unions representing workers in coal-fired power stations and lignite mines signed the agreement.

Views and reactions

The agreement is the result of a tripartite process. All parties, including the unions, fully agreed to its terms.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      B - Mining And Quarrying B5 Mining of coal and lignite
      D - Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply D35 Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Labourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transport


  • 16 February 2022: NABE an opportunity for energy companies to obtain new financing (
  • 22 December 2022: Social Contract - green light for the creation of NABE (


Eurofound (2023), Polish government, unions sign social contract on power plants overhaul, measure PL-2022-52/3098 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.