27.04.2023 Reports & surveys

TGC Corporate Lawyers Legal review – April 2023

New regulations and amendments – April 2023. Review prepared by TGC Corporate Lawyers.

Revolutionary changes to the Labour Code from April

On 7 April, an amendment to the Labour Code regulating remote working came into force, while on 26 April an amendment implementing two EU directives – the so-called work-life balance and pro-employee balance – came into force. Below are selected changes to labour law introduced by the second amendment to the Labour Code:

  • 2 new types of leave
  • extension of parental leave
  • additional breaks at work
  • flexible organisation of working time for parents/carers of children up to 8 years of age
  • no possibility to terminate an employee’s fixed-term contract without a reason
  • possibility to request a change of employment conditions
  • extended scope of information on terms and conditions of employment

We have discussed the April changes to labour law in our articles:

  1. From April 26, changes in leaves and much more. The second amendment to the Labour Code in the Journal of Laws
  2. Remote work in the Labour Code

Download our free guide to changes in labour law in 2023!

New obligations regarding energy performance certificates

On 28 April 2023, the amendment to the Act on Buildings Energy Performance came into force, introducing an obligation to provide an energy performance certificate when selling or renting a building or premises. Failure to provide the certificate is sanctioned by a fine. The new regulations also broaden the scope of information that must be provided in advertisements for the sale or lease of real estate.

Who is required to draw up/own an energy certificate?

The document will soon have to be attached to the notice of construction completion or to the application for occupancy permit. If an energy certificate has not yet been drawn up for a building or part of a building, under the new regulations, this will be required at the time of sale or lease of that property. The year of its construction will not matter.

The obligation to possess an energy performance certificate is mandatory for:

  • owner of a building or part thereof (premises);
  • manager of the building or part thereof;
  • person who holds a co-operative member’s ownership right to the premises or a co-operative member’s tenancy right to the premises.

In addition, the buyer or tenant of a property will not be able to waive the right to receive an energy certificate. Such a document will have to be handed over at the time of drawing up the notarial deed of the sale contract or when concluding the lease contract.

The catalogue of buildings that are not subject to the obligation to draw up this documentation has not been changed by the amendment to the Act. These include, for example, monuments and places of religious worship.

Learn more: New obligations regarding energy performance certificates

Parliament passes legislation aimed at reducing VAT crime in

14 April 2023. The Sejm passed the Act amending the Value Added Tax Act and certain other acts. The amendments to the VAT legislation are primarily aimed at bringing Polish law in line with European Union regulations on combating tax fraud in international e-commerce. The Act provides for increased cooperation between administrative authorities and payment service providers. If the legislation comes into force, payment service providers will be obliged to keep quarterly records of cross-border payments and payment recipients. The obligations will also apply to banks, credit and payment institutions and credit unions (SKOK).

Changes to migration law

On 7 April, an amendment to the Act on foreigners and certain other acts came into force. The new provisions primarily adjust national law to EU changes to the Schengen Information System (SIS). Among other things, the amendment is intended to help in the fight against illegal employment of immigrants and to facilitate the procedure for expulsion of foreigners illegally staying in the EU. Other changes include:

  • simplification of the procedure for issuing the Polish travel document and exemption from payment of a fee for its issue
  • extension of the maximum duration of the re-entry ban to the territory of the Republic of Poland and other Schengen States (up to 10 years)
  • new type of administrative decision – refusal of entry and stay within the territory of Schengen States
  • shorter deadline for ‘voluntary departure’ of a foreigner (from 8 to 30 days from the day of delivery of the decision on obligation to return)
  • possibility of deportation before examination of the case by an independent court
  • extension of foreigners’ stay in guarded centres or in custody for foreigners

Law on loan subsidies for first housing passed

The Act on State Aid for Housing Savings aims to support people planning to buy their first home. It provides the opportunity to take a low-interest loan (2%) and an instalment subsidy, which is to be granted for 10 years. It will be available to persons up to the age of 45 who do not own and have never owned a flat (or a detached house or cooperative member’s right to a flat or detached house). The maximum loan amount will be PLN 500,000 or PLN 600,000 for spouses or a household with at least one child.

The deregulation law will come into force

The President signed the act known as Deregulation Act. Interestingly, the Senate responded in favour of rejecting the entire Act amending other acts to eliminate unnecessary administrative and legal barriers. However, by a decision of the Sejm, it was sent to the President’s desk. What changes does the Deregulation Act provide for?

  • an increase in the inheritance and gift tax free amount for each tax group
  • introduction of limits for gifts received from multiple givers
  • raising a tax threshold for unregistered activity
  • new rules for obtaining a weapons permit
  • Code of Administrative Procedure – a decision issued in the first instance, the justification of which the authority has waived due to the acceptance of a party’s request, will be final

Wind turbine act comes into force

On 23 April, the Act of 9 March 2023 amending the Act on investments in wind power plants and certain other acts – known as “Wind Turbine Act” – entered into force. The Act was signed by the President in the wording adopted at the 9 March session, in which the Sejm did not accept the Senate’s proposed lowering of the minimum distance of windmill locations from buildings from 700 to 500 metres. The most important issues regulated by the Wind Turbine Act:

  • the 10H rule has been retained, i.e. the distance of a wind power plant under construction from a residential building or a building with a mixed function may not be less than 10 times the height of the wind power plant, but at the same time the distance may not be less than 700 m
  • the 10H rule (no minimum distance) applies to national parks, while in the case of nature reserves the minimum distance has been set at 500 m
  • new wind power plants can be located only on the basis of local special development plan
  • the ban on erecting residential buildings in the vicinity of the existing wind power plants has been lifted
  • the investor is obliged to offer at least 10% of the power plant capacity to the inhabitants of the municipality for a period of 15 years (from the date of the first generation of electricity in the power plant)

The law on bonds passed by the Parliament

The Sejm has adopted amendments to the Acts onBonds, Investment Funds and Management of Alternative Investment Funds, and on the Bank Guarantee Fund. The new legislation allows financial institutions to issue capital bonds, which, in turn, helps increase their capital base. The Act provides rules for the issuance of capital instruments, including capital bonds as a new category of bonds. Under new law, capital bonds can be issued by brokerage houses, domestic banks, domestic insurance companies and domestic reinsurance companies. The legislation is scheduled to take effect in October 2023.

Legal services – see how we can help:

Karolina Piątek Junior Associate
TGC Corporate Lawyers
Artur Rogozik Partner, Legal Advisor
TGC Corporate Lawyers
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