Labor Code Changes 2022.
Labor code changes are related to the implementation of two EU directives: the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions in the EU and the so-called Parental Directive.
EP and EU Directive 2019/1152 of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions
This directive should be implemented in member states on August 1, 2022. It aims to ensure minimum rights for all workers in the European Union, improve working conditions, and introduce more transparent and predictable employment.
This directive deals with changes regarding:
- entering into employment contracts for a probationary period,
- extending workers’ rights to more complete and up-to-date information,
- establishing new minimum rights for workers.
Contract for a trial period – changes in the Labor Code
Changes in the Labor Code regarding the probationary employment contract concern:
- ensure that the probationary period is commensurate with the anticipated duration of the fixed-term employment contract and the type of work;
- the possibility of re-entering into a probationary employment contract with the same employee if he or she is hired to perform a different type of work;
- guarantee the possibility for the parties to the employment relationship to agree to extend the probationary contract by the time of the employee’s absence from work if his/her absence from work during the contract was excused.
Right to concurrent employment with another employer
Another right to be guaranteed is that of ensuring the right of an employee to concurrent employment with another employer (regulating the prohibition of prohibiting an employee from concurrent employment with another employer and prohibiting inferior treatment of an employee for that reason).
Request for a more favorable form of employment
The proposed regulations introduce the right to apply to the employer for a more favorable form of employment for the employee. This guarantees more predictable and safer working conditions. This right applies to an employee employed for at least 6 months. It can be used once per calendar year. The employer would be obligated to issue a written response to this request along with a justification. The drafters provided a deadline of 1 month for this, counting from the date of receipt of the request.
Employee’s right to free training – Labor code changes
The employee will be entitled to the unpaid training necessary to perform a specific type of work or in a specific position. Such training will be unpaid and will count as working time. It shall be conducted, if possible, during the employee’s working hours.
EP and EU Directive /1158 of 20 June 2019 on the work-life balance of parents and carers
The deadline for implementing the second directive is August 2, 2022. It aims to ensure minimum requirements that equalize the situation of women and men in the labor market and equal treatment. The purpose of the directive is to seek to equalize the distribution of childcare responsibilities between women and men.
Parental leave and the Labor Code
- the introduction of an individual right to parental leave for female and male employees. The total length of this leave for both parents will be up to 41 weeks. This applies to the birth of one child in a single birth or up to 43 weeks in the case of multiple births,
- making the right to parental leave independent of the child’s mother’s employment (insurance) on the day of delivery,
- Introduce within the above-mentioned parental leave a non-transferable part of the leave of up to 9 weeks for each parent (this means that each parent can take up to 32/34 weeks of the leave),
- setting the amount of maternity allowance for the entire period of parental leave at 70% of the basis of the allowance assessment (however, if the employee submits an application for parental leave no later than 21 days after childbirth, the monthly maternity allowance for the period of maternity and parental leave will be 81.5% of the basis of the allowance assessment). In any case, the employee – father of the child for the non-transferable 9-week part of the leave will be entitled to an allowance equal to 70% of the basis of assessment of the allowance;
In 2022, the so-called caregiving leave may be introduced. According to the new provisions in the Labor Code, parents would be entitled to care leave (5 days per calendar year).
When will this leave be available? If the employee needs to provide personal care or support to a close family member, such as a child, mother, father, or a person in the joint household requiring substantial care or substantial support for serious medical reasons. However, no pay is provided for the duration of this leave.
Paternity leave a major change in the labor code
The Directive requires Member States to guarantee the right to 10 days of paternity leave. In Poland it is 14 calendar days. The change that concerns paternity leave will be shortening of the period to which this entitlement may be used. Currently the father can use the guaranteed 14 days until the child is 24 months old. The amendment shortens the period to 12 months from the day of child birth.
Severance from work due to force majeure
A force majeure exemption for urgent matters ( 2 days or 16 hours) will be implemented. Urgent matters are family matters caused by illness or accident. This type of leave will be available in the case of necessary, immediate presence of the employee. The employee will retain the right to 50% of his/her remuneration for this time calculated as vacation pay.
Flexible working arrangements
The amendments to the Labor Code are aimed at introducing flexible work organization by increasing the rights of the employee according to his/her individual needs. The use of such solutions is promoted as:
- flexible working time schedules (flexitime, individual working time and interrupted working time)
- part-time job
This flexible working arrangement applies to parents who are caring for a child under the age of 8 and carers (i.e. employees who provide care or support to a relative or person living with the employee in the same household who requires substantial care or substantial support for serious medical reasons). The employee will be able to make a request to this effect. If the employer refuses, the employer must provide written reasons for doing so.
Obligation to justify termination of fixed-term employment contract
One of the key and most controversial modifications concerns changes in the regulation of termination of fixed-term employment contracts. The EC pointed to three aspects of inequality of fixed-term contracts in relation to contracts for an indefinite period in the provisions of the Labor Code:
- no obligation to justify termination of a fixed-term contract;
- No obligation to consult a union;
- inability to seek reinstatement.
In connection with the above, the bill will also amend the existing provisions on fixed-term employment contracts. This involves the introduction of an obligation to justify the termination of a fixed-term employment contract, union consultation and the possibility to apply for reinstatement – also in the case of a fixed-term employment contract.
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