In 2022, Poland is obliged to implement the provisions of EU directives, and this means that the Labour Code will have to be amended. What new obligations are companies going to face and what entitlements will employees gain?
An amendment to the Labour Code is to be adopted in Q2 2022. The proposed legislation will implement a number of solutions resulting from two EU directives – Directive (EU) 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union and Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and guardians, and it will also introduce other, but no less important, regulations.
The upcoming legislative changes will mean new challenges for employers, while for employees they will bring an extension of existing entitlements.
Below we present the most important regulations which will significantly concern both sides of the employment relationship.
Labour Code 2022 – what changes will the amendment to the labour law introduce?
The draft act amending the Labour Code and certain other acts provides for the introduction into the Polish labour law new solutions concerning employment and the rules of granting inter alia parental leaves and benefits.
Labour Code 2022 – key changes:
- Extension of information on the terms and conditions of employment of an employee, including an employee sent to work in a Member State or a third country and a posted employee:
- the extension of information will include additional elements provided for in the EU Directive such as:
- information on training provided by an employer (an employer will inform an employee about training and will pay for training that is compulsory and necessary to perform the job)
- the amount of paid leave to which an employee is entitled (an employer will be obliged to inform an employee of the amount of leave to which he/she is entitled)
- Changes to probationary employment contracts:
- the probationary period is to be proportionate to the expected duration of the fixed-term employment contract and the type of work involved
- concluding a probationary employment contract with the same employee a second time only if the employee is hired to do a different type of work than he did the first time
- provisions enabling a probationary employment contract to be extended, by mutual consent, for the duration of an employee’s excused absence from work during the probationary period
- The right to concurrent employment and a request for safer working conditions:
- an employee will gain the right to concurrent employment as a result of the introduction in the legislation of no ban on prohibiting an employee from being simultaneously employed by another employer and from being subjected to unfavourable treatment for doing so
- the right of an employee to request, once per calendar year, for a change in the form of employment to a more predictable or safer form of employment and to receive a written response to that request, stating the reasons for it, within 1 month of the receipt of the request by the employer (provided that the employee has worked for at least 6 months, also under a probationary contract of employment)
- Obligation to give reasons for termination of fixed-term employment contract:
- the provisions on fixed-term employment contracts will be supplemented by an obligation to:
- stating the reasons for termination of the fixed-term employment contract
- the right to trade union consultation
- being able to apply for re-employment, also for fixed-term contracts of employment
- Days off due to force majeure
- the introduction of an option to take 2 days or 16 hours off work per calendar year for reasons of force majeure, i.e. for urgent family matters caused by illness or accident (for this time an employee will retain the right to 50% of the salary calculated as holiday pay)
- Flexible organisation of work
- the option for an employee to organise his/her work according to his/her individual needs, via:
- flexible working time schedules (flexible working time, individual working time and interrupted working time)
- part-time working
- the option of flexible working is to be available to parents who care for a child under the age of 8 and to guardians, i.e. employees providing care or support to a relative or person living with the employees in the same household who requires substantial care or support because of serious medical reasons
- an employer will have to provide written reasons for rejecting an employee’s request for flexible organization of work
- Changed parental leave entitlement and changes to the benefit level
- 2 months of parental leave exclusively for the father, it will not be transferable to the mother and any unused leave will be lost (currently there is a 14-day paternity leave on the birth of a child)
- the option for a father to take the whole parental leave (4 months) if the child’s mother is not entitled to it (e.g. no employment contract)
- the amount of maternity benefit for the whole period of parental leave will be set at 70% of the calculation base
- a request for parental leave submitted by an employee no later than 21 days after the date of birth will mean that the monthly maternity benefit for the period of maternity and parental leave will be 81.5% of the calculation base
- 5 days of unpaid nursing leave
- the introduction into the regulations of five days of unpaid leave to provide personal care or support to a person who is a relative (son, daughter, mother, father or spouse) or who lives in the same household and who requires substantial care or support because of serious medical reasons
- Protection for parents of children under 8
- an employer will only be able to instruct an employee who is looking after a child up to the age of 8 (currently up to the age of 4) with the consent of an employee to:
- work overtime and work during nights
- work under the terms of intermittent working time, and
- work away from the fixed place of work
- the principle of granting release from work under Article 188 of the Labour Code will be clarified – in terms of hours, this principle will apply respectively to an employee for whom the daily working time standard is less than 8 hours
- Shorter time to take paternity leave
- the period during which a father-employee raising a child or who has adopted a child can take paternity leave will be shortened to 12 months (currently 24 months).
Furthermore, in the event of a breach of the principle of equal treatment in employment, the burden of proof will rest on employers and employees will only have to provide that such a breach has occurred.
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