The date of the employee’s holiday is usually determined much earlier. The employee knows when they can expect time off and the employer knows when they need to arrange for a replacement.
The starting day has come, the employee is absent from work. But I need him or her to help in an important business.
Can I as an employer require the employee to shorten their holiday and return to work? Can I order them?
Polish Labour Code protects the employee’s right to holiday
You cannot order to shorten holiday once it has started, unless there are exceptional circumstances, which could not be foreseen on the starting day of the holiday. These exceptional circumstances must be supported by the employer’s particular needs which could not be satisfied without the employee’s presence.
For example, the employer may not require the employee to return to work only for the purpose of terminating the employment contract. During holiday the employee is protected from termination.
Legally, the employer’s request in an employment law order, which the employee should obey. Otherwise they may face sanctions, including immediate termination of the employment contract – provided that the employer had the right to require the employee to return to work.
The employer should reimburse the employee for costs of breaking holiday
When the employee shortens hir or her holiday at the employer’s request, the employer should reimburse the employee for the related costs, e.g. costs of earlier return. However, it is for the employee to prove the amount of such costs in order to be able to claim them from the employer.