According to art. 39 of the Polish Labor Code, the employer may not terminate the employment contract of an employee who is not more than 4 years old before reaching the retirement age, if the employment period enables him to obtain the right to a pension upon reaching that age. Due to the reform lowering the retirement age, protection against dismissal of an employee who is approaching retirement may, however, be extended.
It should be recalled that until September 30, 2017, the retirement age for women born from July 1, 1957 to September 30, 1957 was at least 61 years and 7 months, and for men born from January 1, 1952 to March 31, 1952 was at least 66 years and 5 months. Along with lowering the retirement age to 60 for women and 65 for men, respectively, the so-called pre-retirement protection was extended in so- called "transition period". According to art. 28 of the act amending the act on pensions and disability pensions from the Social Insurance Fund and some other acts of November 16, 2016, if the employee reaches the retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2021 he is protected against the termination of the employment contract until 30 September 2021, regardless of reaching the retirement age.
This means that in case of employees who have already reached the lowered retirement age, the employer cannot terminate the employment contract as they remain covered by pre-retirement protection.
For example, an employee who is a man born on May 5, 1955, the reduced retirement age, i.e. 65 reached May 5, 2020, however, he remains covered by pre-retirement protection until the end of September 2021, because he reached the retirement age after October 1, 2017 and before September 30, 2021.