Contract for specific work - characteristics and specificity


A shaky economy forces entrepreneurs to reduce costs, which, unfortunately, often affects employees. Employers are more and more willing to use alternative forms of contracts, thus getting rid of the ballast in the form of insurance premiums for employees. Such alternative forms of contracts are civil law contracts and include, inter alia, a contract for specific work.

Characteristics of a contract for specific work

A contract for a specific work is often referred to as a result contract. This means that the subject of the contract is the final effect of the work performed, and not the process of creating it itself. Such a work can be a thing, a song, a poem, a story, a novel, an article, creating a website, a computer program, or even an intangible creative act (organizing a concert, giving private lessons - but in such cases it should be remembered that the employer pays remuneration only for the result, i.e. passing the matura exam in the second case) etc. If the work is to have a material form, it should be properly described in the contract.

Sometimes, employers, in order to protect themselves from a mistake on the part of the employee, include in the contract cases in which they can check the work performed in terms of quality and update of remuneration. It may happen that the remuneration will be lower or possibly higher in a situation where the person accepting the order exceeds the employer's expectations. The essence of the contract for specific work consists in achieving the result described in the contract, because only for it the recipient will receive remuneration.

Contract for specific work and the obligation towards ZUS

As a rule, a specific work contract does not constitute a compulsory title to be covered by social and health insurance. There may be cases where the employer will be required to pay ZUS contributions on the remuneration for a specific specific task. Such is the case when the employer concludes a specific-task contract with his own employee, i.e. with an employee with whom he has an employment contract. Of course, this situation is not without derogations. The employer does not have to pay health and social insurance contributions to his permanent employee when he signs a specific work contract with him and the latter is on holiday, maternity or parental leave.

Before choosing a civil law contract, employers should find out its exact nature, because it happens that they confuse the concepts - they consider a mandate contract as a contract for specific work. Then, ZUS may question the agreement, accusing the employer of deliberately evading contributions. It should be remembered that the nature of the contract concluded with the employee is determined by the terms of the contract, not the name of the contract itself.

Tax and tax deductible expenses

A person performing a specific work contract, although not covered by social or health insurance, is obliged to pay income tax on the received remuneration. If the remuneration does not exceed PLN 200 gross, the flat-rate income tax at the rate of 18% should apply.

In addition, the contractor performing a specific task contract may decide which tax deductible costs will be applied. This could be 20% or 50% where the performer is claiming copyright.