Working time

Attorneys of our Polish Law Firm provide comprehensive services on Employment Law in Poland. In particular we advise on working time (including schemes) in Polish Companies.

Below you might find description and characteristics of working time in Poland.

Should you have any further questions please feel free to contact our employment lawyers in Poland: [email protected]

  1. Working Time Rules in Poland
    1. Working time systems in Poland
    2. Meaning of working time
    3. Overtime work in Poland
    4. Night-time work in Poland
    5. Work on Sundays and public holidays in Poland
  2. Contact us

1.  Working time in Poland 

Working time is the time when the employee remains at the disposal of the employer in a work establishment, or in any other place designated as the place of work.

The provisions of Polish Labour Code broadly specify the rules of the working time ad issues related to them. According to the Polish Labour Code as a rule, working time may not exceed 8 hours in a 24-hour period and an average of 40 hours in an average five-day working week in an applicable calculation period, which is not exceed 4 months. There are many systems of working time. Each of them is characterized with the different organization of working time. Some of them are described below.

1.a.  Working time systems in Poland

In Poland basic type of working time is a workday, which lasts 8 hours, 5 days per week. The average weekly dimension is 40 hours. Each employee can perform the work in such system, there are not any specific limitations. The billing cycle lasts usually 1 month, but in some cases it can be longer e.g. 4 months in agriculture or even to 6 or 12 months in some specific professions.

The other is the balanced working time, which main feature is that the employee can work up to 12 hours or even to 24 hours per day, but the requirement of the average 40 hours of work per week shall be respected, so the consequence of such type of working time is that in some days the employee is entitled to lengthened rest time. This system is applicable especially to firefighters, security guards and rescue services.

The other system of the work time is applicable to certain employer only for he/she demand. The main feature of this system is that the employee performs work duties only from Friday to Sunday including holidays and always up to 12 hours per day.

Many people which perform their duties as freelancers works on the basis of working time which is related to the specific tasks. They are free to decide how much time they spent on performing particular task. The only one limitation is the deadline. This system of working time is applicable especially in the professions of graphic designer or photographer.

There is also shortened working week, which consist in the situation that the employee performs work duties 40 hours a week but in less than 5 days. This system can be applicable on the demand of the employee.

In each system of working time, if it is justified by objective, technical or work organisation reasons, a calculation period may be prolonged, however, it may not exceed 12 months, ensuring the general principles relating to the protection of safety and health of employees at the same time.

As a rule, A working time schedule of a given employee may be prepared, in a written or electronic form, for a period shorter than a given calculation period, however, not shorter than 1 month. An employer hands over to an employee a working time schedule at least 1 week before starting work in the period for which the schedule has been prepared.

There are also situation, in which the employee performing his/her duties during the overtime hours, the Polish Labour Code states that Weekly working time, together with overtime hours, must not exceed an average of 48 hours in the applicable calculation period.

1.b. Meaning of working time

The working time includes the time of performing the work duties by the employee and the time in which the employee remains at the disposal of the employer. The most important condition, which is required to recognize the time that the employee spent on performing the duties, is presence of the employee at the place indicated by the employer.

1.c. Overtime work in Poland

Work performed in excess of the standard working time binding an employee, as well as work performed in excess of an extended daily working time resulting from the system and schedule of working time binding the employee, is overtime work. Overtime work is allowed in the following cases:

  1. where it is necessary to perform a rescue operation in order to protect human life or health, to protect property or the environment, or to repair a breakdown,
  2. to meet the special needs of an employer.

It should be noted, that the special needs of an employer cannot be the basis of overtime work in professions where the maximum admissible concentration and intensity of factors harmful to human health have been exceeded.

The overtime work is a special construction, which demands special compensation for such activities. Accordingly with the Polish Labour Code, For overtime work, in addition to the regular remuneration, a bonus is due in the following amount of 100 % of remuneration for overtime work at night, on Sundays and public holidays that are not working days for an employee, in accordance with the schedule of working time biding an employee and also on a day off granted to an employee in exchange for work on a Sunday or on a public holiday, in accordance with the schedule of working time, binding an employee. The 50% remuneration is granted to the employee for overtime work falling on any day other than as determined in rules related to granting 100% of remuneration. On the other hand, on written demand of an employee, the employer shall grant to employee time off equal to the overtime in exchange for overtime work. In some cases, such time off can be granted without request from employee.

1.d. Night-time work in Poland

Any 8 hours of work between 9pm and 7 am are considerated as a night-time work. An employee whose schedule of working time includes at least 3 night time hours of work in each 24-hour period, or where at least one quarter of his working time in a calculation period falls during the night, is considered to be a night employee.

There are some limitations in night-time work. The working time of a night employee cannot exceed 8 hours in a 24-hour period if he holds a job that is particularly dangerous or involves a considerable physical or intellectual effort.

The Polish Labour Code provides also special compensation for night-time workers. A night employee is entitled to a bonus to remuneration for each hour of work at night, amounting to 20 % of the hourly rate applicable to the minimum remuneration for work. In some cases aforementioned amount may be replaced by lump sum equivalent.

1.e. Work on Sundays and public holidays

In Polish Labour law work on public holidays in commercial establishments is not allowed  – such rule I applicable even if the public holiday falls on Sunday. There is an exception from this rule. Work on Sundays is allowed in commercial establishments to perform work necessary due to their usefulness to society and the daily needs of the public. The Polish Labour Code contain listed reasons on which basis the work on Sundays an public holidays is allowed. There is also regulation stated in the Non-working Days Act.

The compensation for work on Sundays and public holidays is regulated in art. 15111 of Polish Labour Law. In situation in which the employee works on Sundays and public holidays, an employer is obliged to ensure the employee a day off as it stated in following rules:

  1. in exchange for work on a Sunday – within the period of 6 calendar days preceding or following that Sunday,
  2. in exchange for work on a public holiday – within the calculation period.

There is also obligation concerning duty to ensure a Sunday off to employee who regularly works on Sundays. In this situation, the employer is obliged to ensure a Sunday off at least once every 4 weeks. This does not apply to an employee employed in the working time system which is applicable on employee’s demand and is based on the performing the duties on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

2. Contact our Employment Law Firm in Poland:

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Expert team leader DKP Legal Alicja Myśluk-Landowska
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