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The Polish Labour Code soon to be amended again


​by Maciej Ogórek

9 March 2023 

During it session held on 8 March, the Senate passed 45 amendments to another act amending the Labour Code.  

The legislative bill being processed is supposed to transpose two EU directives: 
  • the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions in the European Union 
  • the so-called Work-Life Balance Directive. 

The Senate then submitted the legislative act back to the lower parliament chamber [Sejm], which rejected most of the proposed amendments. The act amending the Labour Code is awaiting the President’s signature. The legislative act will enter into force 21 days of its promulgation. 

The amending act is known as a bill introducing the work-life balance rules to the Labour Code. The main objective of the changes is to raise the level of employee protection and to grant additional entitlements to working parents. 

The changes include, among others:
  • restriction on concluding contracts for a probationary period – employers will have limited options to conclude contracts for a probationary period of 3 months. The duration of the contract for a probationary period will depend on the anticipated period of employment following the probationary period;
  • the employer may not prohibit an employee from taking up employment with other employers – except where a non-competition agreement has been concluded or other special circumstances;
  • the content of the statement of employment particulars given to the employee upon admission to work has been considerably extended;
  • employees hired for at least 6 months are entitled to apply for a transition from a fixed-term contract of employment to an indefinite contract of employment; 
  • employers have to justify termination of fixed-term contracts of employment;
  • additional breaks at work (counted as working time) have been introduced for employees working more than 9 hours and more than 16 hours a day; 
  • employees are entitled to 2 days (or 16 hours) off work due to force majeure involving urgent family issues (illness or accident), for which they retain the right to half of their remuneration; 
  • employees are entitled to 5 days of unpaid carers’ leave to take care of their closest ones. The Senate’s amendment proposing the entitlement to maternity allowance for the period of carers’ leave was rejected;
  • regulations on parental leave have been changed, that is, each parent will be entitled to 9 weeks of non-transferable leave. Both parents will be allowed to use parental leave at the same time. Parental leave will generally total 41 or 43 weeks; 
  • the option to apply a flexible working arrangement has been extended. 

Do you want to know more about the amendments to the Labour Code? You are welcome to contact our experts. 


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Maciej Ogórek

Attorney at law (Poland)

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