Employment & labor law /

Additional day off for public holiday falling on Saturday

Additional day off for holiday – introduction

Determining how to proceed and how to settle accounts with an employee in the case of bank holidays may pose some difficulties for employers. In this article, we indicate what bank holidays we celebrate in Poland, when employees in Poland are entitled to a day off from work and how to settle accounts with employees when a holiday falls on Saturday and Sunday.

Public holidays – non-working days

In Poland, as in every other country, there is a list of public holidays which are considered non-working days for employees. While this may be obvious for Polish employers, it is not always clear for foreign employers conducting business in Poland what holidays are celebrated in Poland. Therefore, below we provide the full list of holidays that are also non-working days in Poland:

  • January 1 – New Year,
  • January 6 – Epiphany,
  • the first day of Easter (in 2023 – April 9),
  • the second day of Easter (in 2023 – April 10),
  • May 1 – National Day,
  • May 3 – National Day of the Third of May,
  • the first day of Pentecost (in 2023 – May 28),
  • Corpus Christi Day (in 2023 – June 8),
  • August 15 – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
  • November 1 – All Saints’ Day,
  • November 11 – National Independence Day,
  • December 25 – the first day of Christmas,
  • December 26 – the second day of Christmas.

Bank holiday which falls during the week

Pursuant to the provisions of Employment Law in Poland, each holiday occurring in the settlement period and falling on a day other than Sunday reduces the working time by 8 hours. If one of the above-mentioned holidays falls during the week, the employee is exempt from working on that day. This means that the employee will not come to work on a given day and his working time in a given month will be 8 hours lower.

Bank holiday falls on Saturday

The situation is different when a statutory holiday falls on a Saturday – which in 2023 will be the case with the holiday on November 11, 2023.

If this day is usually a day off for the employee (this applies to employees working from Monday to Friday), then the employee will be entitled to special statutory benefit –  an additional day off for a statutory holiday falling on Saturday. The employee’s working time, just like in the case of statutory holidays falling during the week, will also be reduced by 8 hours.

Employees on sick leave during a holiday falling on Saturday are not entitled to an additional day off, nor are employees who start employment after a holiday falling on Saturday. However, if sick leave ends before a holiday or begins right after a holiday (e.g. the next day) – the employee will retain the right to an additional day off.

Bank holiday falls on Sunday

In the case of bank holidays falling on a Sunday, the employee is not entitled to an additional day off. In this case, the employee’s working time will also not be reduced – in accordance with the above-mentioned rule of the Labor Code.

Planning a day off for a holiday

Payroll provider / department of the employer may determine in advance when an additional day off will be granted or provide employees with the opportunity to individually request a day off. This additional day off – regardless of whether it is designated in advance by the employer or selected by the employee – should be granted during a given settlement period (in the case of employees whose remuneration is settled monthly – in the same month).

If the employer designates a day off in advance, the most common way to announce it is by way of an ordinance or announcement communicated to employees in a manner customary in a given workplace. If this day is set by the employer in advance, the employees cannot apply for a change of the chosen day.

Failure to provide a day off

The employer is obliged to grant a day off for a holiday falling on a Saturday. This means that not granting time off equals to a violation of basic employee rights. In the event of an inspection by the labor inspectorate, such an employer risks receiving a fine from PLN 1,000 to PLN 30,000.

In the event of employment contract termination before the end of a given settlement period and the employer fails to grant the employee a day off, the employee must be paid regular remuneration with a 100% allowance for the holiday falling on Saturday.

Author team leader DKP Legal Joanna Kowal
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