Holiday entitlement in Poland

holiday entitlement in Poland

The summer and vacation time are already here. This is a good time to write about statutory holiday entitlement in Poland. The weather in my home town is beautiful today. I live near the sea so I can see people flooding in to take the finest place on the beach.  Holiday is one of the most pleasant areas of labour law, so why not give it some attention?

Holiday for all employees

Polish Labour Code provides for annual continuous and paid holiday for all employees. The employee may not waive the right to paid holiday. In particular, you cannot exchange holiday for money. There is only one exception to that. When the employment contract terminates and the employee has unused holiday, the employer must pay for it.

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How much holiday am I entitled to?

Holiday entitlement in Poland depends on the employee’s overall length of employment so far and years of education. As for education, the greatest credit is given for university education, which counts as 8 years of employment. And so:

  • employees with a total length of employment of up to 10 years are entitled to 20 days of holiday per year,
  • employees with a total length of employment of at least 10 years are entitled to 26 days of holiday per year.
The employee and the employer may extend the holiday entitlement in Poland above the statutory requirement, but they must not shorten it. In other words, Polish Labour Code provides for a statutory minimum. Other labour related provisions equip certain categories of employees with longer statutory holiday entitlement, e.g. working minors, teachers, judges, prosecutors, firefighters.

Part-time employees

Part-time employees are entitled to holiday on a proportionate basis. It means that an employee generally entitled to 26 days of holiday per year, when employeed half-time, has the right to 13 days of holiday per year.

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  1. I terminated my Employment contract with previous employer and I had 20+ days of unused holidays. But the employer only paid for 2 days. They say their system only shows 2 days which is not true. I asked them to provide me the dates that I took holidays but no reply.
    Do I have legal claim here?

    1. It depends. First, it should be verified whether some of the accrued holiday has not become statute-barred. Second, it should be checked how much holiday has been used so far. Third, when the employment contract terminates during the calendar year, holiday entitlement is calculated prorata. So possibly you have a claim here, but without detailed data it is impossible to say to what extent.

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