News - Poland

Poland - September 2013

Changes in the Labour Code - working time

A material amendment to the Labour Code with respect to working time entered into force in August 2013.

The new provisions allow for the extension of the working time settlement periods up to 12 months in any working time system, provided that it is justified by objective or technical reasons or reasons concerning working time organization.

Furthermore, the new law makes it possible to introduce flexible working hours, in two scenarios:

  1. the working time schedule provides for different hours of starting work on particular days, or;
  2. the working time schedule provides for flexible time bands, within which an employee may decide when to start his/her work.

It has been explicitly regulated that taking advantage of the flexible working time schedule shall not constitute overtime work. Unionized employers can introduce both the extension of the settlement period and flexible working time schedules only in a collective bargaining agreement or in an agreement with unions. Non-unionized companies need to agree on such changes with elected employee representatives.

In addition the new law provides that:

  • working time schedules may be set up either in writing or in electronic form;
  • working time schedules may be prepared for the period shorter than the working time settlement period, however they must last for at least 1 month;
  • employers need to announce the working time schedule to the employees at least a week in advance;
  • the time for making up for credit hours due to periods of short leave granted to an employee upon his/her written request for the purpose of dealing with the employee’s private matters does not count as overtime work.

The new law will give much more flexibility in working time management and will clarify certain contentious issues. On the other hand, one should be prepared to encounter certain difficulties, including insufficient flexibility in amending the working time schedules already communicated to the employees, if such amendment is required due to an urgent situation.

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Jaroslaw Bieronski, on +48 22 608 70 52 or mobile phone: +48 602 105 255 at Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak - www.skslegal.pl

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