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Transposition of EU directives into the Polish Labour Code

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​by Małgorzata Kolasa-Dorosz

13 January 2023


The Polish parliament (Sejm) received on 11 January 2023 the government's bill amending the Labour Code.  The bill implements two EU directives, namely, the Work-Life Balance Directive and the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions in the European Union, which should be transposed into Polish legislation by 1 and 2 August 2022, respectively. 
 
Until the legislative work is completed and the amendments to the Labour Code are enacted, employers from the private sector are not obliged to apply the regulations of the directives directly. However, now is a good time to know some of the planned changes.
 

1. Changes in employment contracts 


To ensure that the length of the probationary period is proportionate to the expected duration of the contract and the nature of the work, the employment contract for a probationary period will be concluded for a maximum period of:
 
  • 1 month – if the employment contract is going to be for a fixed term of less than 6 months; 
  • 2 months – if the employment contract is going to be for a fixed term of at least 6 months but less than 12 months.

According to the bill, the notice terminating a fixed-term employment contract should specify the reason justifying the termination, which can be investigated in terms of validity and legitimacy – similarly as with indefinite employment contracts.

2. No more prohibition of simultaneous employment or work performance on other grounds

 
The bill expressly prohibits preventing employees from being simultaneously employed with another employer or from simultaneously performing work on the basis of a legal relationship other than employment. This provision will not apply if the employee concludes a non-compete agreement and if separate regulations stipulate otherwise. 
 

3. Extended written statement of employment particulars which must be given to the employee  


The written statement of employment particulars which employees receive within 7 days of being admitted to work will be extended to include, among others, information about the holiday leave entitlement or the right to participate in training events if such are provided by the employer. 
 

4. Employee's request for change of the form of employment

 
The bill gives employees hired by a given employer for at least 6 months a right to request, once a year, a change of their employment contract to the indefinite employment contract, or more predictable and safe working conditions, including a change of the type of work or full-time employment – according to the bill, the employer should accept the employee's request as far as possible.
 

5. Employer's obligation to inform employees about job vacancies and promotion procedures.

 

6. Additional days off work due to force majeure

 
In extraordinary situations, such as force majeure or urgent family reasons which require urgent presence of the employee, the employee will be entitled to 2 additional days (or 16 hours) off work in a calendar year. During that time the employee retains the right to half of his remuneration.
 

7. Extension of parental leave


Parental leave will be extended to 41 weeks in the case of giving birth to one child. Each parent will be eligible for 9 weeks of that leave that will be non-transferable to the other parent.

8. Shorter deadline for using paternity leave


A working father will be entitled to up to 2 weeks of paternity leave within the child's first 12 months of life (currently, within the child's first 24 months).

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

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Małgorzata Kolasa-Dorosz

Lawyer (Poland)

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