January 2017 brought several amendments to Polish employment law, including: an extension of the period to appeal against dismissal; limits on the obligation to adopt workplace and remuneration regulations and to establish a social benefit fund and issue work certificates; and the introduction of a new minimum hourly rate for civil law contractors.

Appealing termination

With effect from 1 January 2017 the law was changed to unify and extend the time allowed for appealing against a termination of employment. The appeal period was previously 7 days in the case of a termination upon prior notice and 14 days in the case of termination without prior notice. Following the amendment, the period for appeal is now 21 days in both cases, with time beginning to run from date of delivery of the statement giving prior notice of termination of the employment contract or the statement of termination without prior notice.

Mandatory workplace and remuneration regulations

From 1 January 2017 the obligation to adopt workplace regulations and remuneration regulations applies to employers with at least 50 employees, if the employees are not covered by collective labour agreements in this respect.

Previously, this requirement applied to employers employing at least 20 people. Following the amendment, an employer with at least 20 employees, but fewer than 50, may introduce such regulations, and is required to do so if requested by an enterprise trade union organization.

Analogous rules apply to the obligation to establish a company social benefit fund. Employers employing at least 50 employees (calculated as the equivalent of 50 full-time positions) as at 1 January in any given year are required to establish a company social benefit fund. Employers of the equivalent of at least 20 full-time positions, but fewer than 50, must establish a social benefit fund if requested by an enterprise trade union organization.

New rules on work certificates

Employers are no longer required to issue a work certificate to an employee if they intend to establish another employment relationship with the employee within 7 days after termination or expiration of the previous employment relationship. They are no longer obliged to issue work certificates for completed periods of employment with the given employee, after 24 months of employment.

Minimum hourly rate for civil law contractors

From 1 January 2017 a minimum hourly rate of pay in the amount of PLN 13 was introduced for persons performing work personally under a contract of mandate or a contract for services. The minimum hourly rate will be fixed each year in line with the monthly minimum wage for work, which in 2017 amounts to PLN 2,000.

The parties to a contract of mandate or contract for performance of services should agree in the contract how they will confirm the number of hours worked in performance of the mandate or services.