8.04.2021 Labour law

[Poland] COVID-19 vaccination – is an employee entitled to a day off?


The National Vaccination Programme is covering an increasing number of people, and soon also the employers will participate in the vaccination. Is an employee entitled to be off from work for the time of vaccination and how to settle the employee’s absence?

Day off for vaccination – employer’s decision

More and more employees are being vaccinated against COVID-19, and very often the vaccination date is scheduled within working hours. The current legislation allows for excused absences and time off from work for employees to have mandatory medical examinations and vaccinations required by the regulations on the control of infectious diseases, tuberculosis and venereal diseases.  

However, the COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary, which means that employers may or may not grant an employee excused time off from work for the vaccination, since the so-called voluntary principle applies in this case.

Therefore, it is up to the goodwill of an employer to allow an employee to be excused from work for the time of COVID-19 vaccination.

An employee who is not given time off from work has other options, such as follows:

  • requesting time off to attend to personal matters (so-called ‘private leave’) with or without an option to work off,
  • requesting holiday leave or leave on demand.

In both cases, the consent of an employer is required.

Time off for vaccination – how to settle the employee’s absence?

An employee is entitled to remuneration for the time of excused absence on the basis of the provisions of the Labour Code (art. 80 and art. 172) and the provisions of the Regulation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy on the method of determining remuneration in the period of non-performance of work dated 29.05.1996 and 8.01.1997.

Under the legislation, an employer may settle an employee’s absence due to COVID-19 vaccination in the following way:

  • granting an employee paid voluntary time off – settlement in accordance with the rules applicable to holiday leave remuneration or payment of the remuneration without additional recalculation,
  • granting holiday leave – the amount of holiday leave remuneration is the result of multiplying the employee’s hourly wage by the number of hours of holiday leave,
  • granting an employee unpaid voluntary time off – the hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours the employee was absent from work due to vaccination should be deducted from the remuneration for a given month,
  • granting time off to attend to personal matters with the option to work off in the same month – no additional calculation is made and the employee works the hours off in the month in which they were granted,
  • granting time off to attend to personal matters with the option to work it off in another month – in the month in which the absence occurs, the remuneration will be correspondingly lower by the hours to be worked off, and in the month in which the time off for vaccination is worked off, the remuneration will be correspondingly higher by those hours multiplied by the hourly rate.

Learn more: Sick leave controls during the pandemic


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