On 8 February 2023, the Polish Parliament’s lower chamber passed a law that sees the implementation in Poland of two EU directives with the aim of introducing more transparent and predictable employment conditions and of maintaining a work-life balance for employees.

The changes to legislation are intended to help reconcile work and family life by, among other things, introducing new rights for employee-parents or extending their existing ones. Employers should prepare for the entry into force of the new rules and adjust their internal procedures and documents to the extent necessary.

We outline the most important changes below:

Parental and family rights:

  • Extending parental leave to 41 weeks and introducing the possibility for parent-employees to take it at the same time. In addition, each parent will be entitled to up to 9 weeks of parental leave, which cannot be transferred to the other parent. A 70% maternity allowance for the entire parental leave period for both parents will be introduced.
  • Additional care leave of 5 days when it is necessary to provide personal care or support to a family member (children, spouse, parents) or to another person with whom the employee lives and who requires support for important medical reasons.
  • Extension of the period (from 4 to 8 years - the age of the child) of the conditional prohibition during which an employee raising a child cannot be required to work during the night or to perform overtime and cannot be posted to a location other than their permanent workplace.
  • Exemption from work for up to 2 days or 16 hours due to force majeure in urgent family matters caused by illness or accident if the employee’s immediate presence is necessary. The employee retains the right to half pay for this time.
  • Flexible working time arrangements. An employee raising a child up to the age of 8 years may request that flexible working arrangements should apply to them, e.g. individual working time schedules, working mobile, intermittent, shortened or weekend working hours or a reduction in working hours.

Working conditions and working hours:

  • Employees who have been employed for at least 6 months with an employer will be able to submit a request once a year for a change in their contract to an indefinite contract or for more predictable and transparent working conditions. The employer has one month to respond and is required to provide reasons if such request is declined.
  • Reasons need to be provided for the termination or termination without notice of a fixed-term employment contract.
  • Information has to be supplied in writing to the company trade union organization representing an employee of the intention to terminate the employee’s fixed-term employment contract.
  • Additional two breaks of at least 15 minutes depending on the number of daily working hours. The second applies if the number of hours exceeds 9, and the third, if it exceeds 16.
  • Employers will not be able to restrict employees from working concurrently for another employer, with the exception of any period of non-competition during employment.
  • Employees will be entitled to paid training, which is included in working time, if such training is necessary for a specific type of work or position.