Legal Alert for Poland: Upcoming Act on remote work

A draft bill amending the Polish Labour Code, which replaces telework with remote work, is currently being discussed by the Government (the “Draft”).

The changes are intended to make home-office conditions more flexible, loosen obligations, and popularise hybrid working models.

Unfortunately, the result is quite the opposite of what was expected. Only occasional remote work of an average of one day per month is to be free from formal requirements. All other forms and models of remote working are to be qualified as 'full scope' remote working with a range of obligations on the parties.

It is difficult to predict when the changes will come into force, but the Draft states that employers will have six months to implement the changes thereafter.

In practice, these changes mean that employers must:

  • review their current model of teleworking and other hybrid forms (e.g. occasional remote working), and
  • adapt internal documents and individual agreements with employees to the conditions of performing remote work specified in the Draft.

The key amendments from the Draft are:

  • Two models of remote work:
    • full scope remote work to which the requirements apply, and
    • occasional remote work (maximum of 12 days per year), to which the requirements do not apply, except for some OHS obligations.

  • Implementation of remote work in the workplace requires:
    • an agreement with the trade unions,
    • issuing the regulations, when it is not possible to reach such agreement,
    • an individual agreement with the employee, or
    • an order from the employer in exceptional situations.

  • The costs of remote work to be borne by the employer have been further clarified by directly indicating the costs of electricity, internet access, other costs directly related to the performance of remote work. Payment of costs may be made in the form of a suitably calculated lump sum.
  • OHR - new obligations and rights, including the employee’s responsibility for the proper organization of the remote work station.
  • Electronic form has been popularised as a form of communication between the parties and fulfilment of formal obligations from the HR side.

Particular solutions provided in the Draft may be subject to change at a later stage. Our Bird & Bird Employment lawyers monitor the work of the Government in this area and will keep you informed of its progress.

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