It turns out that the employee employed for the trial period is pregnant. What are the obligations of the employer?
Special protection of employment of pregnant woman
The employment relationship of employees during pregnancy is subject to special protection under Polish labor law. While there is usually no greater doubt about the situation when a woman who has been employed for a long time becomes pregnant, sometimes it happens that a newly employed person during the trial period informs about the state of pregnancy. Our experts explain the employer’s obligations in the described situation.
Pregnant employees are under special protection of Polish labor law.
According to art. 177 of the Labor Code:
- An employer may not terminate or dissolve an employment contract during pregnancy, as well as during maternity leave, unless there are reasons justifying termination of the contract without notice due to her fault and the trade union organization representing the employee agreed to terminate the contract.
- The provision of § 1 shall not apply to employees in a trial period not exceeding one month.
- An employment contract concluded fora definite period or for a trial period exceeding one month, which would be terminated after the third month of pregnancy, shall be extended until the day of childbirth.§ 31. The provision of § 3 shall not apply to a fixed-term employment contract concluded to replace an employee during his justified absence from work.
Conclusions – pregnancy during probation employment
This means that:
- a pregnant woman (regardless of the state and age of pregnancy) with a trial period not exceeding one month, will not have an extended contract until the date of delivery;
- in the case of a contract for a trial period that exceeds one month, for the contract shall be extended until the day of delivery, but the woman must be after the third month of pregnancy (on the last day of the contract at the latest);
- there are no obstacles to sign, for example, a contract for a definite or an indefinite period after the trial period.
So if a trial period contract of a an employee was concluded for more than 1 month and the contract would dissolve after 3 first months of a pregnancy, an employer may:
- extend her contract till the delivery date- please note that it is not necessary to sign an annex, the contract is extended by the means of law.
- conclude another contract on the regular basis (definite or indefinite)
What is important, in the case employment contract is extended until the day of childbirth, after the birth of the child, the employee submits the necessary documents to the employer, who completes the documents and submits them to Polish social security institution- ZUS- for further payment of the benefit. The company will pay the maternity allowance, as a rule, for only one day, because this one day on which the child is born (in the case of a contract until the date of birth) is actually on maternity leave. The rest of the payment is done by the Social Insurance Institution.
Other issues to remember about while hiring a pregnant employee in Poland:
Sick leave of pregnant woman
Employee may go and very often do go and stay on a sick leave under the trial period contract extended until the day of delivery. A pregnant employee acquires the right to sickness benefits after 30 days of uninterrupted employment, which also includes previous periods of employment, if the break between them did not exceed 30 days.
It shall be remembered that total scope of sick leave in case of incapacity to work falling during the time of a pregnancy in Poland is extended compared to a standard scope- from 180 to 270 days.
What is also important, Polish pregnant employee keeps100% of her salary for the period of inability to work during pregnancy. During the first 33 days, the so-called the sick pay is paid by the employer. From the 34th day, the so-called sickness benefit is paid by Polish ZUS (if the employer employs fewer than 20 employees) or still by the employer (more than 20 employees).
Holiday leave of pregnant woman
Each Polish employee has a right to a holiday leave upon the general rules. If the contract will be extended till the birth and employee stays on the sick leave and therefore will not be able to use the whole leave she is entitled to, the company will have to pay so-called cash equivalent. It is not possible in Poland that any unused vacation leave will be lost, so if it would not be possible to use the outstanding holiday leave due till the end of the contract – an equivalent shall be paid.
Working restrictions of pregnant woman
According to Polish labor law, working time during pregnancy cannot exceed 8 hours. Pregnant employees also may not be employed overtime or at night. A pregnant woman may not also be delegated outside her regular place of work or employed in the system of interrupted working time without her consent.
If You would want to learn more about the employer’s obligations towards pregnant employees in Poland please contact our Polish labor law experts.