A single item of legislation, the Labour Code (Kodeks pracy) — originally adopted on 16 June 1974 and amended on numerous occasions since — governs almost all aspects of individual employment relationships in Poland. The Labour Code also deals with some aspects of collective employment relations, but there are separate Acts on matters such as trade unions, collective disputes, works councils and collective redundancies. Case law interprets the Labour Code and other employment legislation.
Collective agreements (which exist mainly at single-employer level) play a limited role in regulating employment, setting pay and conditions for no more than around 15% of employees. However, where certain issues — notably remuneration, working time, health and safety, attendance management and disciplinary matters — are not dealt with by a collective agreement, employers with at least 50 employees must draw up “work regulations” (including separate remuneration regulations) to govern them, based on negotiations with any trade unions that represent employees. Individual employment contracts are the other main source of employment law.
The provisions of employment contracts must not be less favourable for an employee than the provisions of employment legislation, an applicable collective agreement or work regulations — any that are less favourable are null and void and automatically replaced by the applicable provisions of the legislation, collective agreement or regulations. The provisions of work regulations must not be less favourable for employees than the provisions of employment legislation, or of an applicable collective agreement, while the provisions of collective agreements must not be less favourable for employees than the provisions of employment legislation.
This topic refers to employment law in the private sector only.
An employer can require a job applicant to provide personal data relating only to certain matters — the applicant’s name, date of birth and contact details, plus (where necessary for the particular job concerned) their education, vocational qualifications and employment history. Recruitment and Selection
If employment is to commence with a probationary period, this must be on the basis of a specific probationary contract with a maximum duration of three months. Recruitment and Selection
An employment contract exists where: an individual undertakes to perform work of a specified type for the benefit and under the supervision of an employer, at a place and at times designated by the employer; and the employer undertakes to employ the individual and pay remuneration in return. Employment Contracts
Employment contracts must in principle be in writing and contain certain information, and in any event the employer is required to inform the employee in writing about the main terms and conditions of employment. Employment Contracts
In general, an employer cannot employ the same employee on more than three successive fixed-term contracts with an overall duration of more than 33 months, though this rule does not apply in some cases, such as contracts entered into to replace a temporarily absent employee. Employment Contracts
If the terms and conditions of remuneration are not set by a collective agreement, employers with at least 50 employees must agree “remuneration regulations” with any trade union active in the establishment, while unions can require employers with 20–49 employees to draw up such regulations. Pay and Benefits
Remuneration must be paid at least once a month, by transfer into the employee’s bank account, unless the employer has requested cash payment, and various rules govern deductions from pay. Pay and Benefits
A statutory national minimum wage applies to all employees. Pay and Benefits
An employee’s normal working time must not generally exceed eight hours per day and 40 hours per week, calculated on average over a reference period (generally of up to four months but as long as 12 months by agreement), but a number of more flexible arrangements are available. Working Time, Rest and Holidays
Employees must work no more than 150 hours of overtime per calendar year, unless a higher limit is agreed, and are generally entitled to a statutory overtime supplement of 50% on top of their normal pay, or 100% for overtime worked at night or on a Sunday or public holiday. Working Time, Rest and Holidays
Employees are generally entitled to a paid rest break of at least 15 minutes if they work for at least six hours on any day, a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours and a minimum weekly rest period of 35 consecutive hours (usually including Sunday). Working Time, Rest and Holidays
Employees are entitled to paid annual leave of at least 20 working days if they have been in employment for less than 10 years and 26 working days if they have been in employment for longer. Working Time, Rest and Holidays
Working mothers are entitled to 20 weeks’ maternity leave and fathers to two weeks’ paternity leave, while both parents are, between them, entitled to take 32 weeks of parental leave and 36 months of childcare leave. Parenthood and Work-life Balance
Employees are entitled to receive sick pay from their employer, generally set at 80% of normal pay, for up to 33 days per year if they are under the age of 50 and up to 14 days per year if they are aged 50 or over. Parenthood and Work-life Balance
Discrimination in relation to employment is prohibited on grounds including sex, age, disability, race, religion, religious denomination, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, sexual orientation and trade union membership. Equality and Discrimination
Employees have the right to form and join trade unions and are protected from discrimination on grounds of union membership or non-membership, while trade unions have various rights to representation, consultation and negotiation in companies where they have members. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights
Strikes are permitted only where a statutory dispute-resolution procedure has been exhausted. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights
Employers have a general statutory duty to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for employees, and have numerous detailed obligations in this area, while employees have various duties and rights. Occupational Health and Safety
An employer may dismiss an employee: with notice for justified reasons attributable to the employee (eg misconduct) or the employer (eg redundancy); or without notice for specified reasons (mainly gross misconduct or long-term absence. Termination of Employment
When dismissing an employee with notice, the employer must observe a statutory notice period and, in certain cases of redundancy, make a severance payment. Termination of Employment
Where certain issues — such as working time, health and safety, attendance management and disciplinary matters —are not regulated by a collective agreement, employers with at least 50 employees must draw up work regulations to govern them, in negotiation with any trade union active in the establishment. Other key issues