The amendment to the Labour Code, which introduces remote work to labour law regulations and enables employers to control the employees’ sobriety, was published in the Journal of Laws on 6 February 2023. When will the new regulations come into force and what obligations must employers get ready for?
The amendment to the Labour Code, published in the Journal of Laws, introduces provisions under which employers will be able to introduce preventive sobriety control of employees and control for the presence of alcohol-like substances.
The new regulations on conducting sobriety checks of employees and checks for the presence of substances acting similarly to alcohol come into force 14 days after their announcement, i.e. they will be in effect from 21 February 2023.
Preventive sobriety control of employees will be possible if it is necessary to ensure the protection of life and health of employees or other persons or the protection of property. Sobriety checks will be carried out using methods that do not require laboratory testing by means of a device with a valid document confirming its calibration.
If the sobriety check shows the presence of alcohol in the employee’s body indicating a state after consumption of alcohol or a state of intoxication, or there is a reasonable suspicion that the employee came to work in a state after consumption of alcohol, the employer will not admit such employee to work. The same provisions apply to the checks for the presence of substances acting similarly to alcohol.
According to the Labour Code, remote work is work that can be performed in whole or in part at a place designated by the employee and each time agreed with the employer, including at the employee’s place of residence, in particular by means of direct distance communication.
In specific cases set out in the Act, remote work may also be performed at the employer’s request. The amendment also introduced remote work performed occasionally, at the employee’s request submitted in paper or in electronic form, for a maximum of 24 days in a calendar year.
In connection with implementation of new regulations, employers will be obliged to:
In addition, the employer will have to specify the rules for remote work. These rules can be specified in an agreement concluded between the employer and the company trade union organization, or in the absence of a company trade union organization, in the work regulations after consulting them with staff representatives elected in the manner adopted by the employer.
In addition, before allowing an employee to perform work remotely, an employee should be given to read an occupational risk assessment and information containing the principles of safe and hygienic remote work and confirm in a statement submitted in paper or in electronic form that they have read those documents.
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