Changes in the enforcement of alimony



The electronic flow of information on alimony debtors between services and institutions and court enforcement officers, as well as sanctions for illegal employment and professional activation of alimony debtors – these and other amendments are included in the draft law amending certain other laws in order to improve the efficiency of alimony enforcement.

Over the last three years, the collection of state budget receivables for benefits paid in lieu of unpaid alimony has increased from less than 13% in 2015 to 24.9% in 2017.


To increase alimony collection effectiveness


However, the collection rate is still unsatisfactory. In order to increase it, further amendments are necessary. Where debtors cite unemployment as a reason for not complying with their maintenance obligations, public works may be used as an instrument for professional activation. Importantly, an organiser of public works will be obliged to prioritize maintenance debtors in their employment policies.


A new obligation for the State Labour Inspectorate


The draft of the new regulation imposes an obligation on the State Labour Inspectorate to notify the competent enforcement officer, who conducts enforcement proceedings against a given alimony debtor, about the SLI's discovery of such debtor's undeclared employment, as well as cases when the debtor is paid a higher remuneration than that resulting from the concluded contract of employment without making deductions for alimony benefits.


SLI with access to data

However, this is not the end of the story. The State Labour Inspectorate will have access to data on the whereabouts of alimony debtors who are subject to a penalty of restriction of liberty in the form of electronic supervision. The aim of this regulation is to make it possible to verify whether such debtors, who declare themselves not to be in employment, are performing undeclared work.


Extending material liability of dishonest employers

Under the new provisions, the material liability of fraudulent employers who employ maintenance debtors "in the black" or pay them a salary "under the table" will be extended. Such employers shall be jointly and severally liable for maintenance obligations up to the amount of the annual maintenance obligation of the debtor.


Sanctions for the employers' failure to comply their obligations

The amendment will strengthen the provisions on sanctions against employers who fail to comply with their obligations regarding the enforcement's officer claim on the debtor's salary.


The fine will no longer be fixed in amount. It will depend on the amount of average gross monthly salary in the national economy. The fine may be imposed again if the employer fails to fulfil their obligations within a certain period. In such a situation, each time the fine is imposed, it will be at the discretion of the enforcement officer, and it may amount to as much as five times the average gross remuneration in the national economy.


Family support from the alimony fund

The project also provides for increasing the availability of benefits from the alimony fund by increasing the income criterion (unchanged for almost 10 years) determining access to these benefits – it is planned that from 1 October 2019 the income criterion will be raised to the amount of PLN 800 per month per person in a family.

up Last update: 30-11-2020
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