Something unexpected happened? Request a day off

On August 13, 2012, in Working Time and Leave, by Kalina Jaroslawska

Polish Labor Code grants the employee a very useful right to request up to 4 days off in each calendar year, should there be a need for dealing with personal or family issues.

Essentially, it’s up to the employee to decide on the exact date of the leave. These 4 days are not included in the official schedule of leave or in any other holiday plans previously consulted with the employer and can be used separately or at once.

However, days of leave at the request of the employee reduce the employee’s length of annual leave by a corresponding number of days. Moreover, the legal character of leave at the request of the employee is basically the same as the “normal” employee leave, so the general provisions apply – such as the rule that one day of leave corresponds to 8 hours of work.

In the vast majority of cases, the employer is obliged to grant leave to the employee. However, this obligation is not unconditional. The Polish Supreme Court ruled that the employer can refuse to grant leave if the refusal is justified by special circumstances which require the employee to be present at work.

Employee’s request for a day off can be also treated as abuse of the right to leave in question, if used in a manner that would be contrary to its socio-economic purpose or the principles of community coexistence, for example, as a way of exerting pressure on an employer by a group of employees to achieve particular benefits.

As a consequence of the employee’s duty to respect the interest of the employer’s organization – which is one of the main and most important duties of an employee provided for in the Polish Labor Code – the employee should request a day off before the working day starts.

The request doesn’t need to be made in writing, any effective method (e.g. phone call) is sufficient.

Please note that the employee is entitled to maximum 4 days of leave in a calendar year, regardless of the number of employers with whom the employee has an employment relationship in a given year.

Contributed by: Mateusz Kamm

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