22.02.2021 Labour law

[Poland] Taking leave in 2021 – changes


The National Labour Inspectorate has confirmed that downtime and remote working do not reduce the length of leave. In 2021, due to the pandemic, an employer can send an employee on an overdue leave without his/her permission, at a time chosen by the employer. 

In 2021, the majority of leave regulations remain unchanged, with the exception of granting unused previous year’s leave and the possible option to recall an employee from leave in a crisis situation.

Granting overdue leave in times of COVID-19

Another year has passed and a lot of employees have overdue leave to take. In 2021, as in the previous year, the rules for granting it have changed slightly, all due to the coronavirus epidemic. According to the regulations, an employee is entitled to take the leave unused in the previous year until the end of September of the following year, but in 2021 the employer may, without the employee’s permission, decide when to send the employee on the overdue leave (up to 30 days), but no later than by the end of September, and no matter what the employee’s mode of work is (remote work does not affect either the amount of leave or the rules for granting it).

Holiday leave – what has changed?

The general rules for granting holiday leave have not changed, and its length depends, as before, on the employee’s working hours and seniority. During the current difficult situation for companies, an employer may offer to grant part of the leave at a time convenient for a company (e.g., during a downtime). However, then it is necessary to work out an agreement between both parties and the employee or the trade union must agree to the leave at the time proposed by the employer.

According to the Labour Code, an employer cannot decide on his own on when an employee is to take the leave to which she/he is entitled in the current year. An exception to this rule is the granting of overdue leave, in such a case, according to the COVID-19 amendment, it is up to the employer to decide when to grant the employee the leave not used in the previous year.

However, the rule that at least one part of the leave should last no less than 14 consecutive calendar days remains unchanged.

Due to the pandemic, on the other hand, employers have gained more flexibility in the possible cancellation of leave. Employers can now warn employees before granting leave that they should expect to be recalled from leave in the event of a crisis.

Length of leave 2021

In 2021, the amount of leave remains unchanged and depends on the seniority and the working hours. The exception is the first year of employment in life, in which an employee acquires the right to leave at the end of each month of employment at the rate of 1/12th of the full leave, i.e., the leave due for the entire calendar year.

Number of days of leave per year Seniority
20 days Less than 10 years
26 days At least 10 years

For part-time employees, the amount of leave is reduced proportionally by the number of days, e.g., half-time gives the employee 10 or 13 days leave respectively, depending on the seniority.

Learn more: COVID-19: PIT advances for January postponed


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