What is new?
The EU Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions has now been implemented into Polish legislation, effective from 26 April 2023. Some key provisions of the new laws that employers now need to comply with, include (amongst others):
- New information obligations: Employers must provide employees with additional information regarding their working conditions within seven days of their employment commencing. This includes information such as breaks at work, details around overtime, the right to training, formal requirements for termination of employment and the time limit for appealing to the labour court. This information may be provided in writing or electronically and the employer must be able to prove that they have given the employee this information.
- Changes to the termination of fixed-term employment contracts: Employers are now obliged to state the reason for terminating a fixed-term contract and this information must be given in writing to the local trade union. The dismissed employee will have the right to try and claim compensation or reinstatement.
- Right to request an amendment to the employment contract: An employee who has worked for an employer for at least six months will be able to request an indefinite employment contract, or more predictable and safer working conditions. The employee can submit this request electronically once a year and if the employer refuses the request, they must justify their reason for doing so.
- Right to additional employment: Employers cannot prohibit employees from working concurrently for another employer unless it forms part of a non-compete agreement that both parties have mutually consented to.
- Parental leave: The duration of parental leave has now been extended by 9 weeks (i.e., it is now 41 weeks for birth of one child and 43 weeks for birth of more than one child). However, each parent will be entitled to an exclusive right of up to 9 weeks of parental leave from the total amount of leave, which cannot be transferred to the other parent.
- Parents with children under 8 years old: Employees who are raising children under 8 years old cannot be required to work overtime, night shifts or be posted to any location other than their permanent place of work, unless they consent to doing so. These employees will also be entitled to request flexible working arrangements (i.e., remote working, individual working time schedules or a reduction in working hours).
- New types of leave: Employees will now be able to take absence from work due to force majeure in urgent family matters caused by death or illness. Employees will be able to take two days of leave (or sixteen working hours) and will be entitled to 50% of their remuneration. Employees will also be able to take up to five days of unpaid care leave per year to care for a family member or member of their household who requires serious medical support. The request may be submitted electronically or in writing and the employee should provide at least one day’s notice.
What should employers do now?
Employers should ensure their employment documents, (for example any work rules or collective agreements which may apply, template employment contracts and policies) and HR practices comply with the new regulations. Please get in touch with a member of the MDR ONE team if you require any further information or need any help with this.