Labour law in 2023 will undergo a real revolution. Many of the introduced changes are so innovative that the amendment to the Labor Code arouses a huge excitement. Not only among employees but also among employers. A lot of questions arise, and some of them are difficult to answer. Recently, the Ministry of Family and Social Policy has referred to them. It focused on systematizing issues that were not entirely clear. You can find questions and answers on the Ministry’s website. Some of the regulations have already come into force, others are still waiting for their turn. Below you will read about the most important changes.
Table of Contents
- Labour law in 2023 – remote work
- Sobriety control in the workplace – also on B2B!
- Labour law in 2023 – what changes are yet to come into effect?
Labour law in 2023 – remote work
The topic of remote work is so far the most popular one when it comes to planned changes in labour law. On the 6th of February 2023, the Journal of Laws published an Act amending the provisions of the Labor Code (Journal of Laws, item 240). The changes concern the field of remote work and preventive sobriety control.
The sobriety control regulations entered into force on the 21st of February 2023. However, we have to wait a while for those concerning remote work. They will come into force on the 7th of April 2023.
The amendment to the Labour Code regarding remote work means the introduction of its new definition into the Code. According to it, remote work is performed entirely or partially in a place indicated by the employee. It must be each time agreed upon with the employer. It can be performed with the use of means of direct distance communication.
New regulations state that an agreement regarding remote work will be possible at the moment of signing an employment contract. It will be also possible to introduce such an arrangement during the already existing employment relationship.
You should remember that remote work for an employee will be possible in certain cases:
- After regulating the conditions for performing work in this form in an agreement between the employer and the trade union organization. Alternatively, after regulating it in provisions established by the employer. If no understanding is reached with the company trade union organization or if there is no such entity at the company, a consultation with employees’ representatives will be necessary. The representatives should be chosen in the manner adopted by the employer.
- At the employee’s request – also in the event that no agreement or regulations (as the ones referred to above) have been established. Yet, it requires concluding an individual agreement with that employee.
- As a result of the employer’s command to perform remote work, as indicated above.
In connection with remote work, the employer will have additional obligations. They’ll concern providing an employee with necessary tools and equipment needed to perform remote work. Such equipment may involve computers, software, internet connection, etc.
When an employer won’t be able to refuse remote work?
The employer will not be able to refuse remote work in the case of an employee:
- raising a child until the child reaches the age of 4,
- taking care of a member of the immediate family or another person in the same household who has a disability certificate,
- being a parent with a certificate of complicated pregnancy and in the event of obstetric failures,
- being a parent of a child with a disability certificate specified in the regulations on occupational and social rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities. This applies even after a child riches the age of 18;
- being a parent of a child that needs early support in its development. It also applies if a child has a certificate on the need for special education or for rehabilitation-and-education activities. It is also relevant after the child reaches the age of 18.
Moreover, an employer can’t deny remote work to pregnant employees.
Sobriety control in the workplace – also on B2B!
As of the 21st of February this year, the employer can control an employee for the presence of alcohol. Moreover, he can also control the presence of other similarly acting drugs. I.e. substances including opioids, amphetamine, cocaine, cannabinoids, and benzodiazepines.
During control, an employer can check the employee’s sobriety with a breathalyser. The presence of other substances can be verified using a narcotest.
If the sobriety check clearly shows influence of one of the above-mentioned substances, the employer has the right to not allow such an employee to work. Moreover, he may prevent a person from working if there is a suspicion that the employee came to work after consuming alcohol. It is also possible if there is a suspicion that alcohol was consumed during working hours. For this period, the employee will not retain the right to remuneration.
If the carried out tests do not give clear results, and the employer has doubts, he can call the police. The police will check the employee’s sobriety again and verify the result. If there are further doubts, it will be possible to order a laboratory test at a medical institution. The verification will be based on blood or urine test.
If an employer wants to introduce such tests, he will have to regulate it in internal provisions. The regulations will enter into force 14 days after their announcement to employees.
The employer should specify in the work regulations:
- the groups of employees who may be subject to such verification,
- the manner in which he can carry out such control,
- the type of equipment used for control,
- time and frequency of possible controls.
Interestingly, not only employees can be subject to such sobriety tests. They will also concern people employed under civil law contracts, B2B or managerial contracts.
Labour law in 2023 – what changes are yet to come into effect?
As of the day of writing this article, we are waiting for two actions. Both are related to the implementation of new regulations:
1. Signing the Act by the President,
2. Publication of regulations in the Journal of Laws.
Only after 21 days from the publication in the Journal of Laws, the provisions will enter into force.
These changes aim at implementing 2 EU directives. The first one is the directive on transparent and predictable working conditions. The second one is the work-life balance directive.
What regulations are we talking about?
- Additional parental leave – 9 weeks for the other parent. Moreover, the basis for calculating the allowance amounting to 70% for both parents for the duration of the parental leave.
- Shortening the possibility of using paternity leave until the child is 12 months old.
- Additional breaks counted as working time.
- The possibility of applying to the employer by parents of children under the age of 8 years for the so-called flexible work.
- The possibility of applying to the employer once a year for more predictable working conditions.
- Impossibility to order overtime, night work and delegate outside the permanent place of work to parents of children under the age of 8 without their consent. Currently, this applies only to parents of children under the age of 4.
- The obligation of the employer to provide a reason for terminating the employment contract for a definite period. Currently, the reason must be stated only in the case of contracts for an indefinite period.
- Changes to employment contracts for a trial period.
- Additional 2 days off due to force majeure payable 50%.
- Additional 5 days of carers’ leave (unpaid).
- Additional, extensive information about employment conditions.
And many more.
Amendments to the Labour Code apply to both employees and employers. Some of them have already entered into force, others will in the near future. Either way, both groups should familiarize themselves with the new rules. This will enable their smooth implementation in the workplace.
If you are interested in the above topic and want to know more, we invite you to cooperate with us. Specialists from our law firm in Łódź and Warsaw are at your disposal. Contact us today and let us help you.