WKB Wierciński Kwieciński, Baehr

Forums For Adjudicating Employment Disputes

Employment disputes are adjudicated in the Labour Courts, which are departments of the regional and district courts, and in the Court of Appeal. Dispute can be settled also through a conciliatory procedure at the workplace. However, this rarely happens in practice. A conciliatory commission is established by an employer in cooperation with employees.

The Main Sources Of Employment Law

The Polish Constitution includes general labour provisions. The main source of employment law is the Labour Code and the Civil Code (regarding issues not regulated by the Labour Code). There are also particular laws and regulations which include i.e.: The Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions Act, Collective Dispute Settlement Act and Trade Unions Act. According to the Labour Code, also the provisions of collective labour agreements and other collective agreements based on the acts, regulations and statutes that set out the rights and obligations of the parties to the employment relationship are the sources of the employment law.

National Law And Employees Working For Foreign Companies

National Law is applied to employers and employees who are within the Polish territory regardless of their nationality and the seat of employer’s company. However, the parties can agree that an employment contract is subject to the law of a different jurisdiction. The choice of jurisdiction cannot deprive an employee the protection of general rules which would be applicable in case of lack of selection of jurisdiction (pursuant to the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I)).

National Law And Employees Of National Companies Working In Another Jurisdiction

If a Polish employee is employed abroad by a Polish company, national law is applicable only if the parties jointly and expressly had agreed that. Such a choice of law does not deprive the employee of the protection under the more favourable provisions of law of the state where the work is normally performed. Where no express agreement has been made the law of the state in which the work is performed is applied.

Data privacy

The Labour Code specifies a catalog of data that an employer may request from a candidate for work or an employee. Moreover, some of the data may be requested by the employer only if it is necessary to perform work of a specific kind or on a specific position (in case of a candidate for work) or if it is necessary to exercise a right or fulfil an obligation under the law (in case of an employee). Making personal data available to the employer takes the form of a statement by the person to whom the data relates.

Legal Requirements As To The Form Of Agreement

The Polish Labour Code stipulates that an employment contract shall be concluded in writing. If there is no written contract, the employer shall confirm to the employee in writing the parties to the contract, the type of the contract and its conditions. The employee must receive this statement no later than on the first day of work. If there is no such written confirmation, the employer might be fined for violating the employee’s rights.

Mandatory Requirements
  • Trial Period
  • An employee may be preliminarily employed for a trial period of no more than 3 months. Trial periods are common practice, but are not mandatory. Concluding an employment contract for a trial period again with the same employee is possible only in limited cases indicated in the Labour Code.

  • Hours Of Work
  • The standard working time should not exceed 8 hours per day and an average of 40 hours per week over an average of 5 working days per week within the settlement period adopted by the given employer (this period should not exceed 4 months - as a rule). The weekly hours of work, including overtime, must not exceed 48 hours.

  • Special Rules For Part-time Work
  • Conclusion of a contract for part-time employment cannot result in employee’s conditions of work and pay being established on a less favourable basis than applicable to employees performing identical or similar work on a full-time basis. However, the remuneration for work and other work-related benefits shall be proportional to the amount of the employee’s working time. An employment contract with a part-time employee sets a limit on the number of hours which, if exceeded, entitles the employee to overtime. Otherwise, overtime allowance is due only after 8 working hours.

  • Earnings
  • The monthly minimum remuneration (in 2021, the minimum remuneration amounts to PLN 2,800 (~EUR 621) per month.) is decided every year by the Trilateral Commission and announced by the Prime Minister. The minimum wage applies equally to all employees regardless of their age and sector of economy in which they work.

    For part-time employees, the minimum remuneration is calculated on a pro rata basis.

  • Holidays/Rest Periods
  • Employees are entitled to 20 to 26 days of paid holiday every year. The amount of holiday that each employee is entitled to depends on seniority (seniority considers an employee’s education and includes periods of employment with previous employers). The paid holiday leave should be taken by an employee before the end of the calendar year for which it is was granted, and not later than by 30 September of the following calendar year. In addition to paid holiday, employees are entitled to apply for unpaid holiday leave.

    On top of the above holiday leave entitlement, employees are entitled to additional paid days off during public holidays which are provided by law (currently 13 days of public holiday per year).

    Employees are entitled to a minimum weekly rest period of 35 uninterrupted hours. Employees should receive a minimum daily rest period of 11 hours.

  • Minimum/Maximum Age
  • Employers cannot employ people below the age of 15. Specific rules apply to employees who are between 15 and 18 years old. In certain situations (e.g., upon gaining the consent of the State Labour Inspector) it is possible to employ children. There is no maximum age limit. However, it is common practice that employees cease to work when they reach the retirement age (currently for women – 60 years old, for men – 65 years old).

  • Illness/Disability
  • In the event of an employee’s incapacity to work due to illness (including due to injury) or isolation caused by infectious disease lasting in total: (i) up to 33 days in a calendar year or (ii) 14 days in a calendar year (in the case of an employee who has turned 50 years old), the employee is entitled to 80% of the remuneration paid to him/her by the employer.

    If an employee is incapable of work due to: (i) an accident on the way to or from work, or illness during pregnancy; or (ii) medical examinations required as an organ donor, the employee is entitled to 100% of the remuneration paid to him/her by his/her employer for the above-mentioned period of 33 or 14 days (depending on the employee’s age). As of the 34th/ 15th day, Social Security Institution takes over the payment for these employees.

    To the extent that the incapacity to work exceeds the above-mentioned periods, the employee receives a sickness benefit financed by the Social Insurance Institution on rules set out in separate provisions.

    Where an employee is certified as disabled, the employee can apply for a pension and/or work in a place adjusted to accommodate his/her disability.

  • Location Of Work/Mobility
  • The employee’s place of work shall be indicated in the employment contract. If an employee is obliged to perform his/her duties outside the specified place of work, then he is entitled to be reimbursed the cost of his travel.

  • Pension Plans
  • Pensions are part of the obligatory public social security system. The employer and the employee both make contributions to the public Social Security Institution.

    On 1 January 2019, a new type of pension savings system was established under the Act on Employee Capital Plans (starting from 1 January 2021, implementation of the ECP is obligatory for all employers, engaging at least 1 person, with some exceptions specified in the Act). The system covers not only employees, but also other eligible persons, including civil contractors.

    Under the scheme, each eligible person will have its own individual account maintained by a financial institution chosen by the employing entity, into which both parties will make monthly contributions. The employing entity’s base contribution will be 1.5 % of the eligible person’s remuneration, whereas another 2 % of that contribution will come from the eligible person’s remuneration. The employing entity will have the possibility to contribute more if they wish to do so (an additional contribution of up to 2.5 % of the eligible person’s remuneration), as will eligible persons (up to 2 % extra).

  • Parental Rights (Pregnancy/ Maternity/ Paternity/ Adoption)
  • Under the scheme, each eligible person will have its own individual account maintained by a financial institution chosen by the employing entity, into which both parties will make monthly contributions. The employing entity’s base contribution will be 1.5 % of the eligible person’s remuneration, whereas another 2 % of that contribution will come from the eligible person’s remuneration. The employing entity will have the possibility to contribute more if they wish to do so (an additional contribution of up to 2.5 % of the eligible person’s remuneration), as will eligible persons (up to 2 % extra).

    Maternity leave (or adoption leave) can last from 20 to 37 weeks depending on the number of children born or adopted. The father is entitled to use a part of the maternity leave in addition to his paternity leave which amounts to 2 weeks. Parental leave (which follows maternity or adoption leave, after such leave is used in full) which may be shared between the mother and father of the child may last from 32 to 34 weeks, depending on the number of children born or adopted.

  • Compulsory Terms
  • The terms which shall be included in any employment contract are: the parties of the contract, the type of contract, date of its conclusion and the conditions of work and pay, in particular: the type of work, the place of work, the remuneration (corresponding to the type of work, indicating the components of remuneration), the length of working time (full-time or part-time), the date of commencing work.

    No later than 7 days after concluding the contract, the employer must inform its employee in writing about: the standard daily and weekly working hours, frequency of remuneration payments, the length of holiday leave, the period of notice and any collective agreement that is applicable to the employee. If the employer is not obliged to determine the workplace regulations, the employer will need to inform the employee about the night time work (if applicable), when, where and how salary payments are made, the way employees confirm their arrival at work and the procedure of excusing their absences from work.

    The use of a civil law contract when the work is performed in a manner that is typical for employment carries a risk that it will be reclassified into an employment relationship i.e., the substance prevails over the form. Such reclassification might arise following a claim being made to the labour court by either the employee itself or a labour inspector seeking a declaration of the existence of an employment relationship between the parties. Such a declaration may result in numerous consequences for both the employee and the employer, including an obligation on the employer to pay the taxes and social security contributions that apply to an employment relationship that were not paid or were underpaid during the period in respect of which the parties were treating the arrangement as based on a civil law contract.

  • Non-Compulsory Terms
  • The parties can agree on other terms; however, they cannot be less favourable for the employee than those defined by the labour law.

Types Of Agreement

The type of employment agreement depends on the period of employment (indefinite, fixed term or trial) and their function (e.g., substitution). Compulsory terms apply to all types of employment agreements.

An employment relationship is characterized by the employee undertaking to perform work of a specific type, under the employer’s supervision, and at a place and time chosen by the employer, in consideration for remuneration. In such circumstances, an employment contract between the employer and the employee is used. On the other hand, a civil law contract may be chosen as the basis for cooperation if the work is to be performed in another manner (i.e., a manner which does not have the characteristics that are typical for employment).


Employees are under an obligation to keep secret certain information that they acquire during their employment confidential, according to the rules provided by law. The scope of information which is regarded as company secret is defined i.e. in the act of April 16, 1993 on combating unfair competition or/and in noncompetition contract, which is a separate contract, which may be concluded by the parties of the labour relation.

According to the provisions of the above-mentioned Act, the secret of the enterprise is technical, technological, organizational or other information of the enterprise of economic value, which are not revealed to the public, about which the entrepreneur undertook necessary steps to keep them secret. The parties of labour relation may also conclude a non-competition contract for the period after the termination of employment agreement (more details in: “restricting future activities”).

Ownership of Inventions/Other Intellectual Property (IP) Rights

In the absence of any contractual term, there are statutory provisions which will apply to determine the ownership of IP rights. The legal status of such ownership depends, inter alia, about a particular IP right. Generally, the rights to any work created by an employee, within his/her work obligations specified in the contract, belong to the employer.

Pre-Employment Considerations

Before hiring an individual and choosing the basis for co-operation (i.e. an employment contract or a civil-law contract), it is always advisable to analyse the scope of co-operation, including tasks to be entrusted to that individual, and the manner of their performance. In case of choosing the employment contract, when the employer is not certain about the employee’s qualifications, it is recommended to first consider a trial period contract, as the employer is not obliged to employ the employee after the completion of the probationary period (even if the employee performs perfectly during the probationary period).

Hiring Non-Nationals

The rules relating to the employment of a non-national depend on the citizenship of a particular employee. Nationals of EEA (including the EU) member states are employed according to the rules which are applied to the Polish citizens, subject to the acquis communautaire. To work in Poland, non-EEA employees need a work permit issued in accordance with the Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions Act (with some exceptions). Hiring a non-national without the relevant work permit can result in a penalty being issued against both the employer and the employee.

Hiring Specified Categories Of Individuals

There are statutory restrictions mainly relating to the type of work, overtime, nighttime work and business trips for the following categories of employees: pregnant women, employees taking care of a child up to 4 years of age, minors and disabled persons.

Outsourcing And/Or Sub-Contracting/Temporary Agency Work

There are no labour law provisions concerning outsourcing. Outsourcing is regulated by civil law and enables an entity to contract certain services from an external provider.

Principles relating to temporary workers are set out in the Employment of Temporary Workers Act. Engaging temporary workers is restricted both in term of subject-matter and duration of such engagement.

Changes To The Contract

Any changes to the employment contract must be agreed by the employer and the employee.

The employer may change the terms of employment by giving the employee written notice of termination regarding the terms and conditions of employment and simultaneously proposing new conditions of employment. If an employee does not accept the new conditions, then his/her contract terminates at the end of the notice period. If the employee does not inform the employer until half of the employee’s notice period has passed that the new conditions are rejected, then the new conditions are deemed to be accepted. If the change does not affect the basic elements of terms and conditions of employment, does not result in a reduction in the employee’s salary and does not last for longer than 3 calendar months then it is not necessary to make a formal change to the written conditions of the employee’s contract.

Changes to the employment contract may also result from a mutual agreement between the parties of the employment relationship.

Change In Ownership Of The Business

The change in the ownership of the business does not result in an interruption of the employment relationship. If the change of the ownership occurs as a result of the transfer of the work establishment, then the seller and the buyer shall inform the employees or the trade unions (where they operate) in writing about the change of ownership no later than 30 days before the transfer. If the transferor or the transferee intends to undertake actions affecting employment conditions of their employees and there are trade unions operating in their working establishments, they should commence negotiations with these trade unions in order to conclude an agreement in this scope within 30 days from the date when information on such actions is provided. If the agreement is not concluded within the above deadline due to the parties' inability to agree on the contents thereof, the employer shall take actions in matters regarding employment conditions considering the arrangements made with the trade union organizations in the course of negotiations on the agreement.

After transfer of the company, the new employer becomes a party to the employment relationship by law. The new employer becomes liable for employees’ claims resulting form employment relationship. Where only part of the business is transferred, both the old and the new employer are jointly and severally liable for the obligations arising from the employment relationship, which came into existence before the transfer.

Social Security Contributions

There are obligatory social security contributions towards pension insurance, disability pension insurance, accident insurance, sickness insurance and health insurance. Only employees are obliged to contribute to sickness and health insurance and only employers are obliged to contribute to accident insurance, Labour and Solidarity Fund and Guaranteed Employment Benefit Fund. The other contributions are financed by both, the employer and the employee in parts.

All the social security contributions are calculated, deducted and paid by the employer. Failure to make social insurance contributions can be penalised with a fine.

Accidents At Work

The employer is obliged to pay for the employees the accident insurance contributions to the national Social Security Institution. The employer is also responsible for safety in the workplace. Where an accident occurs in the workplace, the employer must identify the reasons for the accident, provide first aid, and undertake necessary measures to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. If the employee loses the ability to work as a consequence of the accident at work, he/she is entitled to a pension financed by the Social Security Fund.

Discipline And Grievance

If an employee fails to comply with established organization and work order, health and safety regulations, fire safety regulations as well as the accepted method of confirming the presence and arrival at work and justification of absence from work, the employer may apply a warning or reprimand. In certain cases, the employee may be punished by the imposition of a minor financial penalty. The employee shall be informed about such punishment in writing. The punishment must be enforced within 2 weeks from the day in which the employer becomes aware of the misconduct, but no later than 3 months of the employee’s misconduct. The employee has the right to object to the punishment to the employer and to the court.

Harassment/Discrimination/Equal pay

Employees have equal rights in respect of the performance of the same duties. Any discrimination in the context of employment, whether direct or indirect, including in particular in respect of sex, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, political views, trade union membership, ethnic origin, creed, sexual orientation or employment for a definite or an indefinite period of time or on a full or part time basis, is prohibited. The above catalogue of grounds for discrimination is not exhaustive. Equal treatment applies to the hiring of employees, the conditions of employment, promotion and the access to training. Direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited. Employer is also obliged to counteract harassment.

Compulsory Training Obligations

The employer is obliged to organise training for the employees as it comes to the occupational health and safety rules in the workplace. The training shall take place within working hours, at the cost of the employer, before an employee starts performing his/her duties. The training shall be repeated periodically (with some exceptions).

Offsetting Earnings

Employer’s can offset an employee’s earnings but only when provided for by law or based on written consent of the employee. Deductions which do not require the employee’s consent concern amounts executed on the basis of enforceable titles, disciplinary fines and advance payments from the employer. The employer can deduct wages for unjustified absence from work. Other debts (including those credited by the employer) can only be deducted with the employee’s written consent. Depending on the kind of debt there are limits to the amounts which can be deducted, and part of the salary is protected from the deduction regardless of any legal title of a creditor.

Payments For Maternity And Disability Leave

During sick leave the employee receives a sick pay, which amounts to 80% of his/her usual salary. In certain cases (e.g. accident at work) a sick pay may amount to 100% of employee’s salary.

In total, the employee may be granted at least 52 weeks of paid leave (maternity leave plus parental leave) in order to take care of their child. They can receive maternity pay in the amount of:

  • 100% of their salary during maternity leave if they have not applied for parental leave,
  • 80% of the salary for the duration of both maternity leave and parental leave if the application is submitted no later than 21 days after the child's birth.
  • 100% of the salary during maternity leave and 60% during parental leave if the application has not been submitted within the 21-day limit.

Compulsory Insurance

The employer is not obliged to provide insurance other than social security. However, an obligation to insure may be imposed on the employer in certain kinds of business. The employees may conclude a contract with an insurance company without the assistance of their employer.

Absence For Military Or Public Service Duties

Since there is a professional army in Poland, the need for the employer to allow employees’ leave for military service is diminished significantly. Employees are entitled to take leave for public service duties.

Works Councils or Trade Unions

A works council may operate at an employer with at least 50 employees (taken as an average over a period of six months). After reaching this threshold, information about the right to establish a works council has to be immediately provided to the employees, who may request the employer to organise elections for the works council. Such a request is binding on an employer if it is made by at least 10% of the employees. When a works council has been elected and is operating, the employer is obliged to inform and/or consult with the works council about the following issues: (i) the activities and financial situation of the employer and any expected changes in that respect; (ii) the state, structure and expected changes in the level of employment, as well as activities which are intended to maintain the level of employment; and (iii) actions which may cause significant changes in the organization of work or the basis for employment.

Members of a works council are protected against termination of employment during their term of office in the works council.

A trade union is appointed to represent and defend the rights, and professional and social interests of employees. A trade union represents the individual interests of its members. However, in respect of collective interests, it represents all employees, regardless of trade union membership (including, for example, in respect of negotiations regarding the content of collective bargaining agreements or during collective disputes). The trade union may also agree to represent an employee who is not affiliated with it if he/she asks for protection in respect of a particular matter and, for such purpose, the person will be treated as a full member of the union.

Each trade union with at least 10 members is obliged to provide the employer with information on the total number of its members. Such information should be provided every six months, by the 10th day of the month following 30 June and 31 December. If such information is not provided, certain rights afforded to trade unions with at least 10 members do not apply until such information is provided.

Some actions undertaken by an employer require prior information and / or consultation with trade unions including, among other things the introduction of remuneration rules or amendments to them or the issue of special rules in respect of group dismissals.

Employees’ Right To Strike

Where there is a collective dispute, employees can declare a strike if the employer ignores their demands. A strike can only take place 14 days after the declaration of a collective dispute.

Employees On Strike

Where an employee goes on strike, in accordance with the statutory provisions, the employee’s actions do not constitute a breach of his/her employee’s duties. The employee keeps the right to receive social security benefits and other rights resulting from the employment relation, apart from the right to remuneration for the time of strike.

Employers’ Responsibility For Actions Of Their Employees

The employer is responsible for the employees’ actions which are performed in relation with the business activity of the enterprise. However, an employee is responsible for the damage caused to the employer. The employer shall be required to prove the employee’s responsibility.

Procedures For Terminating the Agreement

When an employer dismisses an employee, the employer must provide the employee with a written statement of termination. Where the employer dismisses an employee employed for an indefinite period or in case of termination of any type of employment contract without notice the statement of termination must include the reasons for the dismissal (there may also be an obligation to notify the trade union organisation).

Instant Dismissal

The employer may terminate a contract of employment without notice due to the fault of the employee in following cases: (i) gross breach of the employees’ basic duties, (ii) commitment of an offence by the employee during employment which makes further employment in the occupied position impossible (but only if the offence is obvious or has been established by a valid judgement) and (iii) the employee loses a permission/license necessary for performance of work in the occupied position. The employee must be instantly dismissed within one month of the employer knowing about the employee’s reason for the dismissal.

In some situations, the employer may terminate a contract of employment without notice without the employee’s fault (in the event of the employee’s incapacity to work by reason of long–term illness or in the event of a justified absence due to reasons other than sickness lasting for certain periods specified in the Polish Labour Code).

Employee's Resignation

An employee can resign at any time. The resignation can involve a notice period or it can be executed instantly. Resignation can be immediate in specific cases indicated in the Labour Code, for example, when the employer commits a gross violation of basic duties about the employee. In such situation the employee has the right to compensation for the period of notice.

Termination On Notice

Each party may terminate an employment contract by notice. Termination is effective upon the lapse of the termination notice period, which differs depending on the type of the employment contract. The length of the notice period of contract concluded for an indefinite period or fixed-term employment contract depends on the seniority (with the current employer) of the employee and ranges from 2 weeks to 3 months. The notice period for a probationary employment contract is from 3 days to 2 weeks.

Termination By Reason Of The Employee's Age

An employer is not allowed to terminate an employment contract for the sole reason of the employee’s age; such an action would be considered discriminatory. In addition, the employer may not terminate the employment contract of an employee who lacks no more than 4 years to reach the retirement age, if the period of employment enables him/her to obtain the right to pension upon reaching that age.

Automatic Termination In Cases Of Force Majeure

Termination in case of force majeure is a civil law construction. In the area of labour law, the parties may always terminate the employment contract by mutual agreement.

Collective Dismissals

The Act on Special Rules on Termination of Employment Relationships Due to Reasons Not Attributable to Employees (the “CR Act”) requires that the collective redundancy procedure described in the CR Act be applied in certain circumstances.

A collective redundancy procedure would be triggered if the following requirements are met:

    1. as at the date of the first redundancy, the employer has 20 or more employees;
    2. the reasons for the dismissal are not attributable to the individual employee; and
    3. within a period of 30 days, the employer makes redundant at least:
      • 10 employees, if the employer has less than 100 employees;
      • 10% percent of its employees, if the employer has at least 100, but less than 300 employees; or
      • 30 employees, if the employer has at least 300 employees.

Such a process requires, among other things, prior consultation with any trade unions or the employees’ representatives (if there are no trade unions at the employer), conclusion of an agreement with any trade unions or, in the absence of such agreement, the issue of special rules on group dismissals.

According to most recent judicial decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the collective redundancy procedure may also have to be observed in some cases of termination of employment conditions (without terminating employment itself) affecting the number of employees specified above. This issue should be checked carefully on a case-by-case basis before amending any employment conditions without the agreement of the affected employees.

Termination By Parties’ Agreement

The parties are free to terminate the contract by mutual agreement at any time. The agreement shall be concluded in writing.

Directors Or Other Senior Officers

There are no particular regulations concerning the dismissal of a director or other senior officer. The termination of such a contract depends on the statutory provisions concerning the particular institution or enterprise, its internal regulations and the contract.

Special Rules For Categories Of Employee

There are special rules for the dismissal of certain groups of vulnerable employees such as: pregnant women and the employees who are in the period of 4 years before their retirement age. It is also forbidden to terminate a contract with an employee during his/her justified absence from work (i.e. holiday leave, sick leave).

Specific Rules For Companies in Financial Difficulties

If the termination of the employment contract for an indefinite period or the fixed-term employment contract takes place due to bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer or for other reasons not related to the employees, the employer may, for the purpose of early termination of the employment contract, reduce the period of notice of three months, but no more than one month. In such case the employee is entitled to the compensation in the amount of remuneration for the remaining part of the notice period. In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer, the provisions concerning the protection of employees against termination or dismissal shall also not apply. Specific rules for companies in financial difficulties are also located in the “CR Act” mentioned above (“Collective Dismissals”).

Restricting Future Activities

If the employer and the employee have access to particularly important information, which if revealed could expose the employer to damage, the parties can conclude a contract concerning non-competition during the employment relation as well as after termination of employment relationship. The non-competition agreement for the period after termination of employment relationship is concluded in writing for a fixed period and provides the employee with compensation. The compensation cannot be less than 25% of the employee’s salary and is paid for the whole non-competition period stipulated in the contract. Where the employer fails to pay the due consideration, the employee is freed from the non-competition restriction but retains the right to claim compensation.

Whistleblower Laws

By the end of 2021, the Directive of the European Parliament and Council on protection of whistleblowers should be implemented into Polish law. The Directive sets forth minimum rules for the protection of whistleblowers, leaving the freedom to adopt more favorable rules for whistleblowers than those provided for in the Directive. It is not yet known exactly how this issue will look like in Polish law and what obligations employers will have to consider.

Special Rules For Garden Leave

According to the provisions of the Labour Code, dismissal from the obligation to provide work is allowed in connection with the termination of the employment contract. This is a unilateral decision of the employer, independent of which party to the employment relationship made a statement of termination of the employment contract, and for what reason it happened. During the termination period, the employee retains the right to remuneration.

Severance Payments

If the employment contract is terminated due to reasons not attributable to the employee, the employee is entitled to severance pay of the amount from 1 to 3 months salary, depending on the seniority of the employee. However, the amount of the statutory severance payment is capped at the level of fifteen times the minimum remuneration in Poland i.e., in 2021, the cap is PLN 42,000.

An employee is also entitled to severance pay in cases indicated in special regulations, for example when the employment agreement terminates because the employee reaches the retirement age. The right to severance pay may also arise from the agreement of the parties of the employment relationship or employer’s internal regulations.

In accordance with the special regulations related to the COVID-19 epidemic (called the “Anti-Crisis Shield”), where an employer’s economic activity has decreased due to the existence of a state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic, the value of severance pay, compensation and other financial benefits due to an employee in connection with the termination of their employment contract may not exceed ten times the statutory minimum wage (PLN 28,000 gross in 2021).

Special Tax Provisions And Severance Payments

In accordance with the special regulations related to the COVID-19 epidemic (called the “Anti-Crisis Shield”), where an employer’s economic activity has decreased due to the existence of a state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic, the value of severance pay, compensation and other financial benefits due to an employee in connection with the termination of their employment contract may not exceed ten times the statutory minimum wage (PLN 28,000 gross in 2021).

Allowances Payable To Employees After Termination

There are no obligations imposed on the employer to pay an allowance to employees after termination of an employment agreement. However, in some enterprises in which a Social Fund is established, the employees, whose contract was terminated for the reasons of pension or retirement, are sometimes included in the group of its beneficiaries.

Time Limits For Claims Following Termination

The time limit for most claims arising from the employment relation is 3 years. The time limit for claims by the employer concerning compensation for damage caused by employees is one year from the date of the damage, but no more than 3 years after the day the damage was caused.

In addition, the employee has 21 days to appeal to the court from the termination.

Specific Matters Which Are Important Or Unique To This Jurisdiction

Special regulations related to the COVID-19 epidemic (called the “Anti-Crisis Shield”) introduced a vast number of amendments to many areas of law, including labour law. The basic trigger for the application of the Anti-Crisis Shield’s provisions is the introduction of a state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic in Poland.

Remote Work

Employers are entitled to instruct their employees to undertake remote work. This is conditional on the employee having the necessary skills, and the technical and physical capabilities, to perform their specific work tasks remotely. At an employer’s request, an employee working remotely must keep a record of the tasks and actions performed, including, in particular, a description of these tasks and actions, as well as the time and date of their performance. The regulations also allow the employer to revoke their instruction to perform work remotely at any time. Remote work orders are permitted to remain in effect up to 3 months after a state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic is revoked.

Holiday Leave

Employers may provide their employees with up to 30 days of unused holiday leave from previous years, and such employees must use such holiday leave, at a time specified by the employer, without requiring the employee’s consent thereto and notwithstanding the holiday leave schedule.

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WKB Wierciński Kwieciński, Baehr


© 2021, WKB Wierciński Kwieciński, Baehr . All rights reserved by WKB Wierciński Kwieciński, Baehr. as author and the owner of the copyright in this chapter. WKB Wierciński Kwieciński, Baehr. has granted to Multilaw non-exclusive worldwide license to use and include this chapter in this guide and to sublicense Lexis Nexis, a division of RELX Inc. and its affiliates certain rights to use and distribute this Guide.

The information in the How to Hire and Fire Guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

Publication Date: June 2021