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Work-life balance directive in Poland: Upcoming changes to the Polish labour law | News Flash

April 25, 2023

On 26 April 2023, a law implementing changes to the Labour Code resulting from EU directives, the so-called ‘work-life balance’ directive and the ‘parenting’ directive.

Below we present the most important changes.

Changing the employment relationship and termination

The employee after working for at least 6 months (once per calendar year) shall be given the opportunity to request inter alia for:

  • A change of the existing employment contract, to a contract of indefinite duration,
  • A change of the type of work performed,
  • Full-time employment.

The employer will be obliged to answer within 1 month of receipt of the request.

The permissible duration of probationary contracts will now depend on the anticipated further period of employment.

From the entry into force of the new legislation, the employer will be obliged to give a reason for the termination of a fixed-term contract and to inform about company trade union representing the employee, as in the case of contracts of indefinite duration.

Employer’s obligations to provide information on terms and conditions of employment

The scope of information to be provided in the mandatory Information on Terms and Conditions of Employment has been significantly expanded to include, inter alia:

  • The work breaks to which the employee is entitled
  • The daily and weekly working time norms applicable to the employee, as well as working hours
  • The daily and weekly rest to which the employee is entitled to
  • Rules for overtime work
  • Rules regarding shift work
  • The amount of paid leave to which the employee is entitled
  • Applicable rules for termination of the employment relationship
  • The employee’s right to training, if the employer provides it
  • In case of several places of work – rules for movement between these places
  • Other non-contractual components of remuneration
  • Collective bargaining agreement or other collective agreement the employee is covered by

In the event that the employer has not established work regulations – the date, place, time and frequency of payment of remuneration for work, nighttime and the method adopted by the employer for employees to confirm their arrival and presence at work and justify their absence from work.

Providing work for more than one employer

An employee will not be prohibited from concurrent employment with another employer unless he or she enters into a non-compete agreement with the current employer.

Extension of employee rights related to parenthood

  • Parental leave has been extended to 41 weeks in case of giving birth to one child. This leave is shared between both parents, with each parent having an exclusive right to 9 weeks of this leave.
  • The deadline for applying for paternity leave has been shortened until the child is one year old.
  • Parents of children under 8 years of age have been given a formal opportunity to request more flexible working arrangements, in the form of, for example, remote working, weekend working, reduced working hours, etc. The employer, from the moment the changes come into force, will be obliged to respond to the request made if it refuses to give its reasons.
  • An employee applying for parental or maternity leave will be protected from dismissal as soon as the application is made.

More days off for employees

An employee will be able to apply for additional leave in connection with the care and care of a family member or other person living in the employee’s household. This leave is unpaid and has an annual duration of 5 days.

In addition, the employee will be entitled to time off work as a result of force majeure – e.g. a family emergency caused by illness or accident, where the employee’s presence is essential. The employee will be entitled to 2 days or 16 hours of leave per year and will be paid at 50% of his/her salary, calculated in the same way as holiday pay.

We remain available to assist you in any of the above-listed directions and to address any questions which may arise in relation to the above information, as well as to any other labour law matter.

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