Planned changes in Polish Employment Law in 2022 – part II
Our Labor Law experts underline that the following works are currently underway in Polish Parliament (Sejm) regarding potential changes to the Polish Labor Code::
The „work-life balance” Directive
On June 20, 2019, the European Parliament and the Council (EU) adopted Directive No. 2019/1158 on the work-life balance of parents and careers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the so-called „work-life balance” Directive) aiming to implement the principle of equality in the labour market between women and men, increasing women’s participation in the labour market and flexible working arrangements. All member countries must implement the regulations contained in the Directive by August 2, 2022.
The Directive provides for changes to parental leave by granting each parent a right to two months’ leave on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child, that cannot be transferable. In practice, this means that fathers will receive two months of leave, which they can use until the child is 8 years old and which will forfeit if not used.
Another change introduced by the Directive is the extension of the care leave to 5 days and extending the possibility to take this leave also for the care of other family members (mother, father, spouse or partner – if the law of a given country allows partnerships). Polish labor law currently grants parents 2 days of child care leave, which can be used only to care for the child.
The draft of amendment to the Polish Labour Code regarding remote work assumes the introduction to the definition of remote work and regulation of parties’ rights and obligations in this matter. In accordance with the assumptions, remote work can be agreed upon either at the time of concluding the employment contract or during the employment (the written form will not be required). What is more, the Polish employer in particular cases, i.e.:
- in the period of the state of emergency,
- state of epidemic threat or state of epidemics and in the period of 3 months after their cancellation or
- in the period when due to force majeure it is temporarily impossible for the employer to ensure safe and hygienic working conditions in the current workplace of the employee,
will be able to entrust remote work to the employee.
Our Employment Law Firm Experts emphasis that the employee will have to submit statements on the possession of premises and technical conditions for the performance of work in this form, directly before the order is issued.
Employee vaccination control
According to the draft of new law, an employer in Poland will be able to demand from an employee or a person in a civil law relationship to provide information about having a negative test result for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Persons who provide information to their employer that they had disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus or had a COVID-19 vaccination are to be exempt from this requirement. If the employee refuses to provide the abovementioned information, the employer will be able, among other things, to order the employee to perform work outside the place of work specified in the contract or to entrust him another type of work for remuneration corresponding to the type of work, but not lower than the current remuneration. It is important to note that the employer will not be able to terminate the agreement of such employee.
Employee sobriety checks
Works are also underway to amend the Polish Labour Code and the Act on uprising in sobriety and counteracting alcoholism to the extent that it would allow employers to conduct more extensive checks of employees for sobriety or presence of psychoactive substances. Our employment law experts were writing on that problematic issue of Polish Labour Law on December 10, 2021 article – https://www.dudkowiak.com/blog/employment-law-controls-of-employees-changes-in-the-labour-code.html .
Questions or doubts – contact our Law Firm
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