By when do I have to use accrued leave for 2011?

On February 7, 2012, in Working Time and Leave, by Kalina Jaroslawska

In the entry on 2012 changes to Polish labour law I wrote that

vacation leave accrued in the foregoing calendar year will have to be used up by the end of September of the following year, which gives additional 6 months – by the end of 2011 accrued vacation leave had to be used up by the end of March

This seems quite simple but the lawyers started to think by when accrued leave for 2011 should be used: by the end of March 2012 or by the end of September 2012?

There are several arguments in favour and against each of the options. The National Labour Inspection has taken the stand that the new legislation will apply only to vacation leave earned in 2012, so the leave accrued in 2011 should be used in accordance with the old rules, i.e. by the end of March 2012.

What I think?

In my opinion vacation leave accrued in 2011 may be used by the end September 2012. Why? The most important argument in favour of that opinion is that vacation leave accrued in 2011 becomes outstanding on January 1, 2012, i.e. on the day when the new legislation is already in force. I can see no rational reason to postpone the time by which accrued leave should be used – and by almost a year (which is a long time), when the new legislation does not provide for such extension. There is no legal retroaction here, as the supporters of the National Labour Inspection’s standpoint claim.

And what do you think?

Image: vichie81 /

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