Changes in Polish labor law in 2024. What’s new in the Labor Code in 2024?
Facing a new calendar year, entrepreneurs and employees are eagerly anticipating the changes that will inevitably affect the Polish labor market. The year 2023 undoubtedly introduced significant adjustments to the Labor Code, but 2024, although it appears to be a period of stability, will also bring a number of changes to the law.
Increase in the minimum wage and the minimum hourly rate
To begin with, the issues of minimum wage and hourly rate will be demonstrated.The following amounts emerge:
|MINIMUM GROSS SALARY
|MINIMUM GROSS HOURLY RATE
|SINCE JANUARY 1ST
|SINCE JULY 1ST
As of January 1, 2024, the minimum wage and the minimum hourly rate will change. From the new year, the minimum wage for a full-time employee will increase to PLN 4242 gross. The minimum hourly rate, on the other hand, will be PLN 27.70 per hour gross.
As in the previous year, we are facing a double increase in minimum amounts. The minimum wage and the minimum hourly rate will increase once again as of July 1, 2024. As of that date, the minimum wage for a full-time employee will be PLN 4,300 gross, while the amount of the minimum hourly rate will increase to PLN 28.10 gross per hour.
How much will the minimum wage and minimum net hourly wage (on hand) be in 2024?
After deducting health insurance, income tax, pension contribution and disability contribution, a contracted employee will be left with a net amount of PLN 3221.98 to be paid, and from July 1, a net amount of PLN 3261.53.
Similarly, an employee on a civil contract can expect a minimum wage of PLN 21.75 net as of January 1 and PLN 22.07 net as of July 1, 2024.
Keep in mind that these amounts may vary depending on your individual tax threshold and applicable deductions, but they provide a concrete benchmark for the upcoming fiscal year.
These changes are an indispensable part of the payroll strategy in almost every company. Therefore, it is necessary to find a balance between legislative requirements and optimization of the company’s operating costs.
Increase in other labor law benefits
A change in the minimum wage has repercussions that extend to other labor law benefits and compensation – an aspect of particular interest to managers and HR departments. The minimum wage affects the amount:
- allowance for night work;
- The maximum amount of severance pay for mass layoffs;
- The basis for calculating sickness benefits;
- minimum amount of compensation for violation of the principle of equal treatment in employment;
- the amount free from bailiff deductions.
New facilities for employees working at the computer
The previous year brought significant modifications for employees using screen monitors. The regulation sets new standards for workstation equipment. This change reflects a growing awareness of ergonomics and employee comfort, which is an important signal for employers concerned about the well-being of their team.
At the end of 2023, an amendment to the Ordinance on Health and Safety at Work at Positions Equipped with Screen Monitors went into effect. Simply put, the change applies to employees working at computers and other types of monitors for at least half of their daily working hours – whether working from an office or remotely.
Amendments to the regulation introduce new mandatory equipment for the positions of such workers. According to the new wording of the regulation, the position of such an employee should be equipped with at least an external monitor (or screen stand), an additional keyboard and a mouse. In addition, at the employee’s request, if necessary for the performance of work, the employer is also obliged to provide him with, for example, a footrest or a document holder.
Time for change
The amendment went into effect on November 17, 2023, but it is in 2024 that most employers must ensure that employees’ positions are properly equipped. According to the regulation, employers whose employees were hired before the changes went into effect have six months to adapt the positions of those employees to the standards set by the regulation. For new employees (hired after November 17, 2023), the changes are effective immediately.
Subsidies for glasses and lenses. New obligations of employers.
The regulation also makes it mandatory for the employer to fund contact lenses. The new wording of the regulation implies that the employer is obliged to provide corrective glasses or contact lenses. Lenses are thus added as an alternative to glasses, and the employer should be guided primarily by the doctor’s indications when choosing. The ordinance still does not regulate the amount up to which the employer finances the expense of lenses or glasses, so it is left to the employer’s discretion.
So no doubt these changes will bring a lot of additional expenses for employers in 2024.
Early bridge pension
The bridging pension reform is another dimension of change that addresses employees performing work in special conditions. What we are seeing here is a legislative relaxation allowing a broader professional group to gain access to this form of pension support. It is also an excellent indication for planning the long-term future for both the employees themselves and the human resources departments of companies.
As of January 1, 2024, changes will also come into effect regarding bridge pensions, to which a wider range of workers will now be able to go. Thanks to the changes, bridging pensions will be able to be taken by earlier generations. The amendment removed from the law the requirement that the employee in question had performed work in special conditions or work of a special nature before January 1, 1999, so that younger people will also be eligible for a bridge pension. However, an employee applying for a bridge pension will still have to meet other requirements of the law (e.g. the minimum age – 55 for women and 60 for men).
New rights of employees in court cases
At the end of 2023, two significant amendments also went into effect that will have a significant impact on lawsuits between employees and employers in 2024 and beyond. The amendment to the Law on Court Costs in Civil Cases abolished, among other things, the need for an employee to pay a relative court fee on a lawsuit in which the employee’s claims exceed PLN 50,000. Previously, in the case of a lawsuit for an amount over PLN 50,000, the employee was required to pay a relative fee of 5%. Now, regardless of the amount claimed, the employee will be exempt from paying the suit fee.
In addition, an amendment to the Code of Civil Procedure has made it possible for employees who are particularly protected from dismissal (e.g., an employee in excused absence, a pregnant woman) during the course of a lawsuit to apply for security in the form of an order that the employer employ them until the end of the lawsuit.
The employer’s position in lawsuits for ineffective termination has weakened. Moreover, due to the lack of lawsuit fees, there may be many more such cases in the coming years.
A year of challenges
The above summary shows us that although it was 2023 that was the year of change, its consequences will not be felt by employers until 2024. So we can already call this year a year of challenges, which will certainly involve employers having to adapt to the many new regulations introduced in the previous year. Employers will face new expenses and possibly also an increased number of disputes with employees.
If you are interested in obtaining more detailed information on the described changes, we encourage you to contact the experts from the labor law department of our law firm by email at: [email protected].
Want to know more about labor law in Poland? Check out this article https://www.dudkowiak.com/employment-law-in-poland