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In brief

This HR alert features the following:

  • New rules of remote work
  • Protection of whistleblowers
  • Privileges for the vaccinated employees
  • Sobriety checks of employees
  • Obligation to provide occupation code to ZUS
  • Demographic strategy 2040
  • Increase of minimum remuneration for work

Polish version

New rules of remote work

In accordance with the draft act of 18 May 2021, some new rules for remote working should replace the current provisions on teleworking and so-called anti-COVID remote working. In particular:

  • the new rules will cover permanent, partial (hybrid) and occasional remote working
  • the employer will have to provide work materials and tools and pay an allowance for the use of the employee’s private equipment
  • the employer will have to cover the costs of electricity and access to telecommunication lines and other agreed costs incurred by remote workers
  • all costs and allowances can be reimbursed to the remote worker in the form of a fixed lump sum 
  • the employer will not be responsible for the organisation of the remote worker’s workplace in accordance with the health and safety rules (it will be the employee’s responsibility)
  • occasional remote working at the request of the employee of up to 12 days per year will be possible with the consent of the employer and without most of the formalities and costs on the part of the employer.

Entry into force

  • Planned deadline for adopting the act: III-IV quarter of 2021
  • Planned deadline for entry into force: 3 months after cancelling the state of epidemic.

Recommended actions

  • Implement or verify internal policies related to performing and settling remote working.

Protection of whistleblowers

On 16 December 2019, the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the so-called Whistleblower Directive) came into force. Its provisions should be implemented in Poland by 17 December 2021.

These provisions will apply first only to employers hiring at least 250 employees, and subsequently to employers hiring from 50 to 249 individuals.

Employers will be obliged to implement (or verify) the channels for reporting breaches, procedures for investigating breaches and the protection of whistleblowers.

Entry into force

  • Planned deadline for adopting the act: 17 December 2021

Recommended actions

  • Implement (verify) policies and internal procedures related to reporting breaches and protection of whistleblowers.

Privileges for vaccinated employees

According to the position of the National Labour Inspectorate (PIP), it is permissible to offer incentives for employees to undergo vaccinations, in particular by organizing vaccinations at the workplace or giving vaccinated employees additional days off for vaccination.

In the PIP’s opinion, granting days off for vaccination is permissible and it does not violate the provisions on equal treatment of employees.

Recommended actions

  • Review the measures and benefits for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

Sobriety checks of employees

In accordance with the draft act of 17 May 2021, sobriety checks of employees will be permitted. In particular:

  • the employer will be able to independently carry out sobriety control of employees,
  • the controls could be random and preventive (without a justified suspicion that the employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
  • the controls will also be possible with respect to contractors and persons cooperating under B2B contracts.

Entry into force

  • Planned deadline for adopting the act:: III-IV quarter of 2021

Recommended actions

  • Implement or verify procedures and policies related to sobriety checks of employees.

Obligation to provide occupation code to ZUS

As of 16 May 2021, ZUS application forms (ZUS ZUA and ZUS ZZA) must indicate the code of the occupation performed by the insured person – in accordance with the classification of occupations defined in the Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy dated 7 August 2014.

It is not necessary to supplement the information on the occupation code in relation to persons reported for insurance before 16 May 2021.

Entry into force

  • 16 May 2021

Recommended actions

  • Verify procedures and template documents related to submitting new persons to ZUS.

Demographic strategy 2040

In accordance with the new Demographic Strategy 2040, dated 17 June 2021, significant changes to labour law are planned in order to support the flexibility and stability of employment. In particular:

  • protection from dismissal will cover both parents for the first year of a child’s life, and in the case of married couples – also during pregnancy
  • limitation of concluding fixed-term employment contracts with the same employee under the age of 40 to max. 2 contracts, of a total duration of max. 15 months
  • possibility of remote work, hybrid work, flexible working arrangements or reduced working time for pregnant women and parents of children under 4 years old.

The strategy is currently at the stage of public consultations. However, there are no detailed drafts of these regulations yet.

Entry into force

  • No information

Recommended actions

  • Verify procedures or policies related to protection of employees and flexible working arrangements.

Increase of minimum remuneration for work

In accordance with the decision of the government dated 15 June 2021, it is planned to increase the minimum remuneration for work in 2022 to PLN 3,000 gross and the minimum hourly rate to PLN 19.50 gross.

Entry into force

  • 1 January 2022

Recommended actions

  • Verify template contracts and policies.
  • Consider changes in the HR budgets for 2022.

Michał is experienced in labor and employment matters. He advises on all aspects of individual and collective labour law, in particular on hiring staff, redundancies, compensation and benefits, employment policies, discrimination, employment litigation as well as trade unions. He has extensive experience in handling HR issues in M&A deals and reorganizations.

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