Jobs for a chosen few: Regulations continue to block access to professions
- Empirical research shows that barriers to entry into regulated professions translate into higher prices of services (due to higher salaries of those in such professions) without increasing their quality, slower employment growth and lower occupational mobility, and may also lead to greater income inequality.
- At present in Poland there are still 360 regulated professions (with the EU median of 186). Among the EU countries there are more only in Hungary and the Czech Republic. Although access to some professions is easier after the deregulation carried out a few years ago, many of the planned changes were abandoned in the course of legislative work, so that the final form of facilitation in access to the professions turned out to be much less than announced.
- A large number of regulations combined with a lack of clarity of the existing ones results in conflicts and uncertainty on the part of persons who may potentially perform activities reserved for regulated professions. A notable example of such a conflict in recent years may be the struggle between licensed cab drivers and drivers using increasingly popular mobile platforms.
- For most professions with limited access, the current system of compulsory licensing could be replaced by a model of qualification-based yet optional certificates that would not restrict freedom of choice for clients.
Bureaucratic burdens, competition-restricting regulations, inflexible labour laws, complicated and time-consuming tax settlements with the tax authorities are problems for years identified by entrepreneurs as the biggest barriers to business activity. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the government to introduce additional restrictions that often have a negative impact on business operations.
We believe that especially in this difficult period entrepreneurs need deregulation which will increase their flexibility in adapting to new economic conditions. Therefore, we are looking for solutions that will help to unleash the potential of entrepreneurs. In order to find the regulations most harmful for entrepreneurs and to show the benefits of deregulation for growth after the crisis, we have launched the following website: www.deregulacja.pl.
Marcin Zieliński, FOR economist
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