European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case PL-2020-13/1158 – measures in Poland

Social partners protest against government's attempt to breach their autonomy

Protest organizacji pracodawców i związków zawodowych Rady Dialogu Społecznego i autonomię organizacji partnerów społecznych

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 28 March 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Other
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics) and Eurofound
Case created 18 September 2020 (updated 21 September 2020)

Background information

In the anti-crisis legislation known as the Anti-crisis Shield, the government included regulations allegedly violating the autonomy of the Social Dialogue Council and of social partners themselves. The controversial provisions introduced amendments to the Social Dialogue Council Act (Article 46 of the Anti-crisis Shield). All national level social partners protested against the new regulations in a joint protest signed by all eight representative organisations.

Content of measure

By virtue the Article 46 of which the Prime Minister would gain the right to dismiss any member of the central level tripartite body if he/she commits an act of “misappropriation of the Council's activities, leading to the inability to conduct transparent, substantive and regular dialogue between employees 'and employers' organizations and the government”.

In the position, the signatories argue that "Independence and autonomy of trade union organisations and employer organizations is the foundation of social dialogue, guaranteed not only by national legislation, but also by international law, including the Constitution of the International Labor Organisation and the Treaties of the European Union. Giving such right to the government body - the Prime Minister - is an attack on independence of trade unions and employer organisations".

Use of measure

The protest by all national level social partners against the new regulations met with understanding reaction of the President of Poland who signed the Special Act but at the same time requested the Constitutional Court to review legality of the controversial clauses. That means they are suspended for the time being.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

All national-level social partners signed the protest. It was their own joint initiative.

Views and reactions

It was joint initiative of all national-level social partners.

Sources

  • 28 March 2020: Protest organizacji pracodawców i związków zawodowych w sprawie zamachu na niezależność Rady Dialogu Społecznego i autonomię organizacji partnerów społecznych (pracodawcyrp.pl)
  • 31 March 2020: The Act of 31 March 2020 amending the Act on the System of Development Institutions (prawo.sejm.gov.pl)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Social partners protest against government's attempt to breach their autonomy, case PL-2020-13/1158 (measures in Poland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.