This year sees a revolution in changes to employment law. Some changes have already come into force, while others are expected soon. Please find a summary below.
1. Remote work
New rules on remote working apply from 7 April 2023. The requirements for employers with employees working remotely (even occasionally) include:
New documentation and OHS procedures must be prepared and implemented.
Employers must decide how and how much to reimburse certain remote work costs (this does not apply to so-called occasional remote working).
We advise preparing new contract templates and other documents concerning full-time or part-time remote work (and annexes to existing contracts) and implementing rules for circulating documentation in this regard.
2. Sobriety checks
New rules apply from 21 February 2023 that define the possibility and the method of sobriety testing. To conduct such checks employers must familiarise themselves with and comply with the new rules.
3. Implementation of EU directives on work-life balance and transparent and predictable working conditions
The new regulations enter into force on 26 April 2023. For the employer this means, i.a.:
Terminating fixed-term contracts will require justification and may require trade union consultation.
Employees will gain new rights potentially increasing the number of days away from work (e.g. parental leave will be extended by nine weeks, which cannot be transferred to the other parent, carer's leave, days off due to force majeure), which may affect work organisation.
The requirement to develop a new template for the information on terms and conditions of employment under Article 29 § 3 of the Labour Code.
Extension of the right to refuse overtime, night work, posting outside the fixed place of work or covering with intermittent working hours to an employee raising a child up to the age of 8 (previously up to the age of 4).
New rights for employees to apply for, i.a., a change in the type of employment contract, full-time employment, applying flexible work arrangements.
Further other employer’s obligations and employees’ rights (e.g. information on promotion opportunities, broader protection against termination with or without notice for pregnant employees and employees exercising certain parental entitlements, restriction of the possibility to prohibit additional employment, additional breaks for working more than 9 and 16 hours).
4. Increasing the minimum wage
Two increases apply in 2023.
From January 2023, the minimum wage is PLN 3,490 gross and the minimum hourly rate is PLN 22.80 gross.
From July 2023, the minimum wage will be PLN 3,600 gross and the minimum hourly rate will be PLN 23.50 gross.
5. PPK (Employee Capital Plan) auto-enrolment
Every four years, the employer automatically enrols the employee (and other individuals covered by the PPK) in the PPK despite their previous opt-out from it, unless the employee resigns from the PPK again.
In early 2023, the first auto-enrolment took place. Employers had until the end of February 2023 to notify auto-enrolment to employees. Since the beginning of March 2023, employees can submit new PPK opt-out forms. If the employer has not acted on this, it is worth checking the status of the PPK.
6. Hiring foreigners
In 2023, the provisions of the so-called “special Act” on Ukrainian nationals and the provisions of the Act on Foreigners were further amended.
Beginning from 24 August 2023 (or earlier if the epidemic emergency status is recalled), the special provisions for foreigners introduced in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer apply. A significant number of foreigners rely on these provisions for their right to stay in Poland or work for the employer (e.g., extension of a PBH visa). Employers need to be prepared well in advance that these provisions will no longer apply.
Work continues on preparing a new Act on the Employment of Foreigners.
If you have any questions, Bird & Bird's Employment Law team and Immigration & Global Mobility team would be happy to assist you.