Introduction of a minimum hourly pay rate

From January 2017, certain individuals engaged under service contracts will be entitled to a minimum rate of hourly pay, meaning time spent working will have to be recorded. Importantly, the new regulations will not apply to individuals who can choose the place and time of work, as well in cases where remuneration is based on the result of the performed work.


Changes to duration of parental leave

Parental leave has now been extended to up to 32/34 weeks (depending on the number of births). It is also now possible to take parental or child-raising leave until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns six.

New provisions in the Labour Code impacting employment contracts

  • Employment contracts under Polish law for the duration of a specified task are not lawful. Individuals may, however, continue to perform work under employment contracts for a trial period, or an indefinite or definite period of time.
  • Restrictions on use of fixed-term employment contracts. Employers are allowed to conclude a maximum of three fixed-term contracts with the same employee providing the total duration of these contracts does not exceed 33 months. After this period, a fixed-term employment contract will have the same effect as a permanent contract.
  • There is a new right for employers to put employees on gardening leave.
  • The notice periods for fixed-term contracts and permanent contracts will need to be the same and will be calculated based upon length of service with the particular employer.
  • New rules concerning use of trial period contracts.
  • New obligation to provide an employment contract before starting a new job. Employers who do not comply with the new regulations may incur a fine of between PLN 1,000-30,000.

Restrictions on posting employees to Poland

One of the most important changes of 2016 was the implementation of the EU Posted Workers Directive into Polish law. Under this legislation, foreign employers must ensure that the working conditions of employees posted to work in Poland meet the requirements of Polish law. Employers posting employees to Poland have to notify the National Labour Inspectorate (NLI) of certain matters necessary for conducting inspections at the workplace.

Review of protections for pregnant and breastfeeding women to bring it into line with EU law

From August 2016, new provisions of the Polish Labour Code provide certain protections for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding from harmful and difficult working circumstances. The amends stem from EU recommendations which provide that prohibiting women from performing certain types of work is a form of discrimination and, in fact, limits work possibilities. The Polish Council of Ministers will issue a new list of work prohibited for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

With thanks to Izabela Szczygielska of Wierciński Kwieciński Baehr for her invaluable collaboration on this update.