Polish Labour Code in 2024

Polish Labour Code in 2024
Karolina Gradowska-Kania

Karolina Gradowska-Kania

Head of the Global Mobility and HR department

Many changes have recently been implemented in the Labour Code. New regulations may cause confusion for both employees and employers.

What will the Polish Labour Code look like in 2024? In this article, we provide essential tips for both parties in the employment relationship.

Polish labour code 2024

Polish Labour Code in 2024- the significance of employees’ protection against dismissal

As of 22 September 2023, a change has been introduced to the Civil Procedure Code. It increases employees’ protection against dismissal. According to the current solution, in matters relating to:

  • recognizing a dismissal as ineffective,
  • reinstatement of an employee to work

the court, upon the request of an eligible employee subject to special protection against dismissal, will provide protection at every stage of the proceeding by ordering the employer to continue the employment relationship until the conclusion of the legal proceeding is resolved.

The basis for granting protection is the probable existence of a claim. The court should recognize the employee’s request. Protection may be denied only when the claim is obviously groundless. The decision to provide protection is enforceable through execution.

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Employees subject to special protection in the Polish Labour Code in 2024

The Labour Code protects employees from unjustified termination of employment contracts. It introduces a general obligation for employers to specify the reason for dismissal. In addition, it protects certain groups of employees. The list of employees subject to special protection against termination, either with or without notice, is extensive. It includes:

  • employees on sick leave and maternity leave
  • employees in the pre-retirement period (less than 4 years from reaching the retirement age)
  • pregnant employees
  • employees on leaves related to parenthood. This includes maternity leave, leave under the terms of maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, and childcare leave. The protection is effective from the date of submitting the request.
  • employees called up for military service or territorial military service,
  • employees specifically designated by the resolution of the management board of a company’s trade union, who are management board’s members, or other employees who are members of a given trade union authorised to represent this organisation in dealings with the employer,
  • members of the works council and members of the works council of a state-owned enterprise,
  • social labour inspectors,
  • members of parliament, senators, and councillors.
Polish labour code 2024 - people

Employer’s rights in connection with increased employees’ protection in the Polish Labour Code in 2024

A change of the decision granting special protection is not permitted. After the court issues a decision granting special protection, the employer may demand revoking of the final decision only if he proves that after the protection was granted, circumstances referred to in Art. 52 § 1 of  the Labour Code have arisen, namely that the employee:

  • committed a serious breach of basic employee’s duties,
  • committed a crime during the employment contract that prevents further employment in the same position. This applies if the crime is obvious or has been confirmed by a final judgment.
  • lost the necessary qualifications for the job in a given position due to his own fault.

Both parties have the right to appeal the protection order to a second-instance court.

When can an employer refuse remote work? We explain in this article.

New Leaves in the Polish Labour Code in 2024

The employee is entitled to annual, uninterrupted, paid leave. It amounts to 20 days per year for those employed for less than 10 years. For those employed longer than 10 years, it is 26 days per year. The employee’s learning periods are included in the length of service, which determines the amount of annual leave. This stems from the provisions of the Act.

In 2024, the employee will be able to enjoy two new types of leave, namely:

  • 5 days of care leave. It is intended for caring for a family member living with the employee, e.g. children, parents, or a spouse. Please, note that the employee is not entitled to remuneration during this leave.
  • 2 days off, also known as “force majeure” leave. It concerns urgent family matters (e.g., illness or accidents). Employees can use it for 2 days or 16 hours; during this leave, employees will retain the right to half of their remuneration.
Polish labour code 2024 - hands

Employees’ Rights in the Polish Labour Code in 2024

In 2024, employees will gain new rights related to introduction of two EU directives into the Polish law. Their purpose is to improve working conditions. These include:

  • Protection against negative consequences for exercising employees’ rights, including protection against dismissal.
  • The right to undertake parallel employment. This concerns work under employment contract or other legal basis, excluding non-competition agreements and special provisions.
  • The right to submit once a year a request for changes in employment terms (type of contract/hours worked). This right applies to workers employed for at least 6 months, with the exception of contracts for a trial period. Employers must respond to each request from employees.
  • The right to participate in training organised and financed by the employer, which count as working hours. This applies also to training conducted outside regular working hours.
  • The right to additional, paid work breaks included in working hours.
  • Introduction of flexible working time for an employee raising a child under 8 years of age.
  • Changes to parental leave.
  • Shortening the time to take paternity leave. From 2024 it will be 12 months, but the length of the leave will remain unchanged.
  • Extension of the period to give consent to working overtime, at night, in the system of intermittent working hours and delegation outside the permanent place of work for an employee raising a child up to 8 years of age.
  • Employer’s obligation to reinstate employees returning from family-related leaves to their previous or equivalent positions. They should keep the rights to benefits they would have received if they had not taken the leave. This refers also to salary increases.

Polish Labour Code in 2024 – Summary

In 2024, employees will be able to enjoy many new rights. First of all, they will enjoy increased protection against dismissal. This will guarantee a sense of job security. Additionally, they will have access to extra leaves. New entitlements will improve working conditions.

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