26.05.2020 Labour law

Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0 – proposed changes to employment regulations

Draft Anti-Crisis Shield adopted by the Council of Ministers introduces a series of measures in the field of employment law. The objective of the proposed changes is to protect jobs and provide support to employers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0 – labour market and challenges caused by the pandemic

The changes to employment regulations proposed as part of the new package law are the result of consultations between the Ministry of Development and representatives of employees and employers. The solutions adopted by the Council of Ministers are intended to increase the protection of Polish companies and jobs against the effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

 See also: Financial shield – definition of the term small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs?

Coronavirus and employment law – key assumptions of Shield 4.0:  

  • Clarifying the rules governing remote work – ensure equal treatment of employees and prevent potential malpractices such as abusing this status by persons who do not have the [necessary infrastructure/ reasonable accommodation conditions] to perform work remotely,
  • Suspension of the obligation to take accrued leaves by 30 September 2020 – this will allow the employers during the pandemic to make employees take the accrued leave, what in consequence will prevent the cumulation of leaves carried over from previous years and leave entitlements of the current calendar year,
  • Possibility to terminate non-competition agreements during the epidemic or the state of epidemic emergency –  granting the right to employers, mandators and contracting parties to unilaterally terminate non-competition agreements in force after termination of the existing legal relationship, therefore, along with termination of the agreement, the employer’s obligation to pay compensation for the period longer than the agreement will expire,
  • Cap on severance pay and compensation in the case of termination of employment, agency agreement, contract of mandate or other service contract – they will be limited to a 10-fold value of a minimum remuneration for work,
  • Possibility to suspend certain obligations as regards the institutional employee welfare benefits fund and other social funds – suspension made in agreement with trade union body, during COVID-19 pandemic, provided the employer sustained certain decrease in sales volume or significant increase of burden to the salary fund,
  • Non-application of provisions of collective agreements or salary regulations providing for a higher than statutory amount of deduction for employee welfare benefits fund and other social and living benefits – during COVID-19 pandemic, provided the employer sustained certain decrease of sales volume or significant increase of burden to the salary fund
  • Possible support from the Guaranteed Employment Benefit Fund (FGŚP) for entities which despite the decrease in the sales volume as a result of coronavirus decided not to furlough its staff or introduce work stoppage in accordance with Article 81 Labour Code or reduce employees’ working time,
  • Extending the regulation to units of the public finance sector – application of the regulations now existing in the public administration sector will allow to reduce the employment and introduce less favourable conditions of employment.

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