Efficient employment termination in Poland requires a thorough understanding of notice period in Poland. This article serves as an essential guide, elucidating the nuances of different types of employment contracts, and the lawful processes for ending these agreements.
Whether it’s a mutual agreement, notice of termination, or an immediate dismissal, understanding the legal requisites and notice periods is crucial for both employers and employees. We delve into the specifics of each termination method, including the scenarios where no action is needed, such as contract expiry or unforeseen circumstances like the sudden inability of an employee to work.
Additionally, the article highlights the critical steps and considerations for employers aiming to dismiss an employee in compliance with Polish labor law, ensuring a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities involved in the termination process.
Key facts on notice period in Poland
|Termination Method||Key Information|
|Mutual Agreement||– No notice period required.|
– Based on mutual consent for termination date and terms.
– Valid upon both parties’ declarations of will.
– Can be initiated at any time during employment.
– Agreement should specify termination date; if not, it’s assumed to be the signing date.
– Reasons for termination are not mandatory in the agreement.
|Notice of Termination||– Unilateral intent declaration to end the employment. |
– Takes effect after notice period expiration.
– Notice periods vary:
– 2 weeks for employment < 6 months.
– 1 month for employment ≥ 6 months.
– 3 months for employment ≥ 3 years.
– For probationary employment:
– 3 workdays for ≤ 2 weeks.
– 1 week for > 2 weeks.
– 2 weeks for 3 months.
– Written form required; reasons must be specified for indefinite contracts.
|Immediate Dismissal||– No notice period; termination is immediate. |
– Applicable in specific situations, either due to employee’s fault or other reasons.
– Reasons must be clearly stated in the declaration.
– Types of dismissal:
– Due to employee’s fault (e.g., gross misconduct, crime, loss of necessary authorizations).
– Without employee’s fault (e.g., prolonged illness, absence beyond stipulated periods).
– Employer’s right limited after employee’s return or in certain circumstances (e.g., childcare absence).
|Automatic Expiry/Termination||– Occurs without either party’s initiative. |
– Situations include:
– Fixed-term contract expiration without renewal.
– Unforeseen events (e.g., death, employee’s arrest).
|Legal and Practical Considerations||– Employers must adhere to statutory regulations to avoid legal repercussions. |
– Risks include employee reinstatement, compensation, and court costs.
– Each termination method has distinct legal and actual effects.
– Ensures compliance with Polish labor law and protects rights and responsibilities of both parties.
Employment termination. Different types of employment contract
In Polish law, there are three kinds of employment agreements:
- for a probation period,
- for a specified period of time,
- for an indefinite period of time.
When a person is hired under one of these contracts, each of the parties – both the employer and the employee – may come up with an initiative to end the cooperation. How may the employer dismiss the employee?
The Labour Code provides the following ways of ending the employment relationship:
- by mutual agreement of the parties,
- by notice of termination,
- without notice of termination.
In some cases, the contract of employment may expire or be terminated without the initiative of the parties. No action is required then on the part of the employee or employer. These situations may either depend on the will of the parties or be beyond their influence. It corresponds to the following scenarios:
- the employment contract was signed for a specified period of time, the indicated period expires and none of the parties is going to continue cooperation,
- sudden, unexpected circumstances occur that result in the expiring of the agreement, e.g. death of an employee or employer, or the employee’s arrest.
Employment termination by mutual agreement of the parties?
Termination of the employment contract by mutual agreement of the parties constitutes the most amicable way of ending the employment relationship with a worker. It is based on the mutual and consentaneous settlement of the date and terms of employment’s termination by both parties of the agreement. In this case, the parties are not bound by the notice period. In order to terminate an employment relationship in this way, declarations of will of both parties are required.
One should remember that the employer’s proposal to end the employment relationship by mutual agreement of the parties constitutes only an offer and is not unequivocal with the employee’s dismissal. It means that the employer needs to wait for an employee to either accept or reject the proposal. Only the employee’s declaration of accepting the offer results in termination of the employment relationship.
Every employment contract may be terminated by mutual agreement of the parties, regardless of the period for which it was concluded. Dismissal by mutual agreement of the parties may take place at any time. It means that the employer may come up with an initiative to sign the mutual agreement at any moment of cooperation.
Regulations do not specify obligatory elements of the mutual agreement of the parties with regard to the termination of the employment contract. However, it should obviously indicate that there was mutual consent of the parties on that matter and it should specify the date of termination. If the parties did not indicate the date of termination in the agreement, it should be regarded that the employment contract is dissolved at the date of its signing. As a rule, the agreement does not need to indicate the reasons why the parties decide to terminate the contract in this manner.
The notice period in Poland. Dismissing an employee in Poland by notice of termination
The notice of termination constitutes a unilateral declaration of intent to end the employment relationship by one of the contract’s parties. It is considered submitted when the other party has received it and has had a chance to get acquainted with its content. The notice of termination enables the employee to prepare for the end of the employment relationship.
The terminated employment contract becomes dissolved after the expiry of the notice period. The length of the notice period depends on the length of the employment relationship or probation period with a given employer.
The notice period in Poland. Notices of termination in Polish labour code
According to Article 36 section, 1 of the Labour Code, the notice period of the employment contract for a specified or indefinite time is:
- 2 weeks, if the employee was hired for less than 6 months,
- 1 month, if the employee was hired for at least 6 months,
- 3 months, if the employee was hired for at least 3 years.
In case of termination of an employment contract for a probation period, the notice period is:
- 3 workdays, if the probation period does not exceed 2 weeks,
- 1 week, if the probation period exceeds 2 weeks,
- 2 weeks, if the probation period is 3 months.
The declaration of intent to terminate the employment contract should be prepared in written form. An employer who terminates an employment contract for an indefinite period of time is obliged to indicate in the notice the true and specific reason for the dismissal of the employee. There is no such obligation when it comes to the employment contract for a specified time or a probation period.
Notice period in Poland. Dismissing an employee in Poland without a notice of termination
In strictly specified situations – caused by an employee or not – the employer may terminate the employment contract with immediate effect.
The employer may dissolve every employment contract with an employee without notice of termination. In such a scenario, the employee is dismissed at the moment of receiving the declaration of dissolving the contract without notice. This means that the cooperation with an employee is terminated with immediate effect.
In the declaration, the reason for terminating the contract without notice should be indicated. The regulations specify what reasons justify dissolving an employment contract in this way.
If the declaration indicates the employee’s fault, the dismissal is often referred to as dismissal on disciplinary grounds or by fault of the employee.
Notice period in Poland. Dismissal due to the employee’s fault
Dissolving the employment contract due to the fault of an employee without the notice of termination may occur in the event of:
- a gross dereliction of fundamental work duties,
- committing, during the employment relationship, a crime that disenables further performing of duties on a given position when the crime is obvious or confirmed by a final and binding judgement,
- the employee’s loss of the authorizations necessary to perform work on the given position.
According to Article 52 section 2 of the Labour Code, the dismissal of an employee without notice cannot take place after 1 month from the moment the employer was informed about the circumstances justifying the contract’s termination.
Notice period in Poland. Dismissal without the employee’s fault
An employment contract may also be terminated without notice in a situation which does not result from the employee’s fault and is defined in Art. 53 of the Labour Code.
The employer has such a right in the following situations:
- if the employee’s incapability for work resulting from an illness lasts:
- longer than 3 months – if the employee is hired by a given employer for a period of time which is shorter than 6 months,
- longer than the combined period of receiving sick pay and allowance (182 days or 270 in case of tuberculosis) as well as receiving rehabilitation benefit for the first three months – if the employee was hired by a given employer for at least 6 months or if his or her incapability was caused by an accident at work or occupational disease,
- in the event of the excused absence of an employee caused by reasons other than the ones specified above and lasting longer than 1 month.
The employer, however, cannot dismiss an employee without the notice of termination:
- in case of employee’s absence resulting from childcare – within a period of time in which he or she receives an adequate allowance,
- in case of isolating an employee due to infectious disease – within a period of time in which he or she receives an adequate allowance or pay.
The termination of the employment contract without notice may not take place after the employee shows up for work due to the cessation of the cause of the absence.
Notice period in Poland – summary
The provisions of labour law provide for several ways of termination of the employment relationship and each of them brings different legal and actual effects. Employers who violate statutory regulations risk the employee’s reinstatement, granting him or her compensation and incurring court costs.
FAQ on notice period in Poland and termination of employment in Poland
What are the different types of employment contracts in Polish law?
There are three types: contracts for a probation period, for a specified period of time, and for an indefinite period of time.
What are the legal methods for terminating an employment relationship in Poland?
Employment can be terminated by mutual agreement of the parties, by notice of termination, or without notice of termination.
Can an employment contract expire without any action from the parties?
Yes, in cases where the contract is for a specified period and it expires, or in unforeseen circumstances like the death of an employee or employer.
How does termination by mutual agreement work?
It’s based on both parties agreeing on the termination date and terms, without a binding notice period. It requires the consent of both parties.
What is the notice period in Poland?
The notice period in Poland depends on the length of employment: 2 weeks for less than 6 months, 1 month for at least 6 months, and 3 months for at least 3 years of employment. For probationary periods, it ranges from 3 workdays to 2 weeks, depending on the length of the probation.
Is a written form required for termination?
Yes, a written declaration of intent to terminate is required, especially for indefinite contracts, where specific reasons for dismissal must be stated.
Under what circumstances can an employee be dismissed without notice?
Immediate dismissal can occur due to gross dereliction of duties, committing a crime preventing work continuation, or loss of necessary authorizations for the job.
Are there situations where dismissal without notice is due to reasons beyond the employee’s fault?
Yes, situations like prolonged illness, certain excused absences, and incapacity to work due to accidents at work or occupational diseases can lead to dismissal without notice.
What risks do employers face for violating termination regulations?
Employers risk the employee’s reinstatement, compensation payments, and incurring court costs if they don’t comply with statutory regulations.
What should be considered when terminating an employment contract in Poland?
Employers must consider the type of contract, applicable notice period, legal reasons for termination, and ensure compliance with labor law to protect the rights and responsibilities of both parties.