Employees' sick leave in Poland under public authorities' scrutiny – misleading official letters

By Karolina Stawicka, Katarzyna Magnuska

01-2019

Recently, the Polish Social Security Institution (ZUS) has been sending out letters regarding the employer's obligation to investigate their employees' sick leave.

The letter may give the wrong impression that employers have a statutory obligation to carry out such investigations and report their outcome to ZUS on a monthly basis.

We can clarify that, under the statutory laws currently in force (Article 68 of the Act on Social Security Benefits in case of Illness and Maternity), employers are not obliged to:
  • initiate and carry out the investigation of each and every employee sick leave for recovery and not for other purposes, and whether or not the length is justifiable
  • report the outcome of such investigation on a monthly basis to ZUS.

Carrying out such investigation is the employer's right (entitlement), not a mandatory statutory duty.

This means that, if this seems reasonable in terms of the employer's interests, the company may initiate such investigation (in particular in case of long-term sick leave, sick leave falling during the holiday season or any other festive season or long weekends).

However, in each case this is the employer's sole decision as to whom (which groups of employees) to investigate, and how to carry out such investigation (it can be done internally, or the employer may request ZUS to check on the sick employee).

Our Polish team supports clients in developing step-by-step internal procedures for investigating employee sick leave.