Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure PL-2020-14/837 – Updated – measures in Poland
|Country||Poland , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 01 April 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
|Author||Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||11 May 2020 (updated 16 August 2021)|
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemics the government proposed the legislative package of measures intended to counter-act the direct economic effects of the public health crisis. The package, commonly referred to as the Anti-crisis Shield, consist of three legislative acts which all came into force on 1 April.
Of the three acts, the Act amending the Act on Special Measures regrading Prevention, Counteraction and Combating COVID-19 Other Contagious Diseases and Crisis Situations Related and Some Other act of Law is the key piece of legislation regarding the unfolding economic crisis. The Act (abbreviated as the “Special Act”) is a follow-up to the initial ad-hoc regulation introduced in early March.
Ustawa z dnia 31 marca 2020 r. o zmianie ustawy o szczególnych rozwiązaniach związanych z zapobieganiem, przeciwdziałaniem i zwalczaniem COVID-19, innych chorób zakaźnych oraz wywołanych nimi sytuacji kryzysowych oraz niektórych innych ustaw.
Clause 15 of the Special Act opens a possibility to introduce working time arrangements less favourable for employees than the those stipulated by the Labour Code. In particular, employers may reduce the uninterrupted rest periods, both daily and weekly. In normal circumstances, they must amount to 11 and 35 hours, respectively. In current circumstances, they can be cut down to 8 and 32 hours respectively. Yet, the shortened hours of rest must be returned to employees within eight weeks at the longest. Another possibility given by the Special Act is to introduce an equivalent working time system with number of daily working hours increased to 12. Longer hours on certain days must be compensated be shorter hours on other days, so the total working time is balanced within the period of 12 months.
In addition, the employer may introduce less favourable working conditions than those stipulated by the Labour Code.
In order to legally use those options, employers have to meet the following conditions:
In all aforementioned cases the employer must obtain consent of the onsite employee representation, either company-level trade unions or in the absence of such, with employee represenatives elected in a 'way usual for the employer', in line with the Clause 23/1a of the Labour Code.
The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.
|12 August 2021||
The measure is expected to remain in force until the state of pandemic is over.
Data on the extent of the measures is not available.
|Applies to all workers||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
No special funding required
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||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Employers must obtain consent of the onsite employee representation, either company-level trade unions or, in the absence of such, with employee representatives elected in a 'way usual for the employer', in line with the Clause 23/1a of the Labour Code. In general, trade unions are skeptical of the legal grounds (ratio legis) of the measure (NSZZ "Solidarność" has expressed such opinion).
Eurofound (2020), Flexible working time arrangements and introduction of less favourable working conditions, measure PL-2020-14/837 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PL-2020-14_837.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.