News - Poland

Poland - May 2014

Polish Labour Code contravenes equal treatment of fixed term workers

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the provisions of the Polish Labour Code regarding termination periods for fixed-term agreements infringe the prohibition of treating fixed-term workers less favourably than permanent workers (Council Directive 99/70/EC) if the situation of those workers is comparable.

The Court held that a fixed term workerís situation is comparable to that of a permanent employee if he or she carries out work that is identical or similar in nature to the work of the permanent employee.

An open issue that remains is how the Courtís judgment is going to affect Polish courtsí practice in similar matters. Polish courts may assume that as long as the provisions of the Labour Code in this respect remain unchanged, the two-week period of termination for fixed-term agreements (see Art. 33 of the Labour Code) remains in force. One may not rule out, however, a refusal to allow the two-week termination notice for fixed-term workers. The judgment may be a guideline for courts in other matters concerning fixed-term workers, e.g. in disputes stemming from the lack of an obligation to justify the termination of fixed-term agreements.


Judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union dated 13 March 2014 (C-38/13)

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 -


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