The blog has a new name – Polish Labour Law Blog

On October 12, 2011, in General, by Kalina Jaroslawska

As you have noticed, the blog changed its name to the Polish Labour Law Blog.

Why is that?

The Polish Employment Law Blog has been online for about 9 months now. During that time I have given some thought to its formula and deliberated on which one is the best for the readers. As a result, I decided to focus mostly on labour law in Poland rather then employment matters, which is a wider term and covers a number of issues not of interest to the users (as I suppose, based on the instruments that I could use). From now on the the blog will be labelled as Polish Labour Law Blog (although the domain will stay as it was for a couple of months) and concentrate on those aspects on Polish labour law which are regulated in the Polish Labour Code, i.e.:

  • wage management;
  • non compete agreements and employees’ competitive activity;
  • liability for loss or damages caused by the employee to the employer;
  • work time, leaves and parents’ rights;
  • employers’ offences against employees.
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Polish labour law

On October 2, 2011, in General, by Kalina Jaroslawska

Have you ever had to do with Polish labour law? Probably not but since there are many US and UK based companies opening their branch offices in Poland there is a chance you may soon have to deal with it, especially if you are an employer representative.

If that’s the case, the first and foremost piece of legislation related to Polish law labour law that you need to look into is the Polish labour code. The Polish labour code will tell you:

  • how to conclude an employment contract and how to terminate it,
  • how to manage wages,
  • what are employee and employer statutory duties,
  • how you can prevent employee competitive activity via non compete agreements,
  • when the employee is liable for damage or loss caused to you,
  • what you need to know about work time, leaves and parents’ rights,
  • whether you can employ a minor,
  • what safe and healthy measures you need to take in your workplace,
  • how to go about union agreements (barganing agreements),
  • when you may be charged with an offense against an employee.

For some more detailed issues you may need to look into specific pieces of legislation. For example, if you require information on mass layoffs, you will have to get familiar with the Collective Dismissals Act.

Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/601967

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Irrespective of the kind of the employment contract, if it was terminated without notice in an unfair or unlawful manner, the employee may file for:

  • reinstatement to his or her previous position or
  • damages.

The choice of the remedy to make use of belongs to the employee.

The amount of damages depends on the kind of the employment contract:

  • if an employment contract for indefinite time was terminated without notice, the damages equal, as a rule, to the employee’s wages for the applicable notice period;
  • if an employment contract for definite time was terminated without notice, the damages equal, as a rule, to the employee’s wages for the time, until which the terminated employment contract was supposed to last, though for no longer then 3 months.

The court may award damages even if the employee demanded otherwise if it is found that, despite the termination being unfair or unlawful, it would be impossible or purposeless to continue employment.

Specifically in relation to employment contracts for definite time, sometimes the employee may be entitled to damages only. This restriction applies in situations where the period for which the employment contract was supposed to remain in force has already lapsed or where the period in question is so short that reinstatement seems inexpedient judging by the facts of the case.

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www.sxc.hu

In certain cases the employer is empowered to terminate the employment contract with immediate effect even without the employee’s fault. Grounds for such termination are connected to the employee’s long-lasting absence.

First, the employment contract may be terminated if the employee’s incapacity to work due to illness:

  • is longer than 3 months – with regard to employees whose length of employment with a particular employer is shorter than 6 months,
  • is longer than the period covered by sick pay and sickness benefits (i.e. 182 days) and the first 3 months covered by the rehabilitation benefit – with regard to employees whose length of employment with a particular employer is at least 6 months or whose incapacity to work was caused by an accident at work or an occupational disease (irrespective of the length of employment).

Second, the employer may terminate the employment contract without notice if the period of the employee’s justified absence at work for reasons other than illness exceeds 1 month.

Termination is prohibited after the employee has returned to work because the reason for absence ceased to exist.

Moreover, subject to the employer’s situation, the employee dismissed on grounds discussed above should be re-employed if, within 6 months of termination, they report ready to return to work immediately after the grounds for termination have ceased to exist.

As in other cases of termination, the employer’s statement to that effect must be made in writing and provide the reason for termination.

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In practice, employment contracts for a period to perform a specific task are not very popular.

The distinct feature of such an employment contract is that its duration is determined by a specific task to be done. This means that the contract names the task (e.g. prepare a financial statement), upon completion of which employment comes to an end. There is closing date like day-month-year, although the parties do need to indicate the date when the task is to be started.

A contract of that kind, if used at all, is mostly suited for works, duration of which is hard to determine in advance but which, due to their nature, may be seen as a process with the beginning and the end (e.g. harvest, seasonal works).

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