The amendment to the Labour Code of 9 March 2023, which introduced two EU directives into the Polish legal system, entered into force on 26 April 2023. Below we present a summary of the most important changes to labour law.
The Labour Code has implemented the Work-life Balance Directive by introducing solution which aim to improve the employees’ balance between private and professional life, including:
Read our practical guide – Guide – changes to labour law in 2023
Another pro-employee solution is a leave of absence from work due to force majeure amounting to 2 days or 16 hours in a calendar year, while retaining the right to 50% of the salary calculated in the same way as holiday pay. Leave of absence on grounds of force majeure is granted in the case of urgent family matters, such as illness or accident, if an immediate presence of the employee is necessary.
In addition, employees will be entitled to two additional breaks included in working time:
The new regulations allow an employee who has worked for a given employer for at least 6 months to apply once a year for a change in the type of contract into an employment contract for an indefinite period or for more predictable and safe working conditions.
The employer must respond to such a request within 1 month, and if the decision is negative, the employer is obliged to justify it in writing.
After the amendment, the length of the probationary period contract depends on what contract the employer intends to conclude with the employee after the probationary period.
Currently, employment contract for a probationary period may be concluded for a period not exceeding:
In addition, in a probationary contract, the employer and the employee may agree to extend the duration of the contract by the duration of the employee’s leave and/or other justified absence from work, and the renewal of the probationary employment contract with the same employee is only possible if a different type of work is performed than before.
Under the new regulations, from 26 April 2023, an employer terminating a fixed-term contract is obliged to provide a reason justifying termination of the contract. So far, such provision applied only to contracts of for indefinite period.
Thanks to this new solution, employees will gain opportunity to against termination of a fixed-term employment contract with a request for reinstatement to work. The additional obligation to notify the trade union organisation in writing of the planned termination of a fixed-term employment contract will also contribute to better protection of employees.
As part of the amendment to the Labour Code, the employer is obliged to provide employees with much more information than before. Among other things, the obligation to inform all employees in the manner adopted by a given employer about:
In addition, the employer within 7 days of the employee’s admission to work should provide the employee in writing or electronically with information on:
The provisions on extended information obligation apply only to new recruits, but workers already in employment may request such additional information.
New regulations that came into force on 26 April 2023 bring a number of new obligations for companies to fulfil. Actions that need to be taken include: updating systems of recording working time, developing new approach to the recruitment process (determine in advance how long the employer will want to employ an employee), assigning human resources to handle new requests and to carry out new HR duties.