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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-2020-40/1633 Updated – measures in Poland

Social partners address economic challenges: central government

Ogólnopolscy partnerzy społeczni zajmują stanowisko w sprawie wyzwań dla gospodarki: administracja rządowa

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 30 September 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Non-binding recommendations or other texts
Category Employment protection and retention
– Other
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics) and Eurofound
Measure added 30 December 2020 (updated 16 August 2021)

Background information

Following the spring outbreak of COVID-19 and hasty implementation of anti-crisis government policies, virtually no social dialogue at the central level has been taking place. The situation became even more tense after an attempted move by the government to limit the autonomy of the Social Dialogue Council (RDS), the central tripartite body see case PL-2020-13/1158 .

In late summer the climate started to improve somewhat see case PL-2020-10/1378 and in late September RDS met for the first time in several months, which resulted in a series of bipartite (employee and employers sides, no government) resolutions on vital issues of the body's interest in the current situation.

This entry is about the Resolution no. 89. The Resolution expresses disapproval for the intended job cuts and steps that may lead to deterioration of employment conditions in the central public administration (government), especially in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, offices supporting cabinet ministers, offices supporting government administration bodies in voivodships, as well as in units subordinate to and supervised by the Prime Minister, a relevant cabinet minister or a voivode.

Content of measure

The Resolution 9 does not include any specific postulates, as its main purpose is to protest against governmental plans which are seen as not only anti-employee in their essence (lay offs and increased workload on the staff that would remain in employment) but also potentially harmful for the state and society. Furthermore, social partners express their disappointment with the government failing to observe the rules of social dialogue, as the planned measures were not subject to tripartite consultations.

The controversial regulations criticised by the RDS include in particular Art. 15zzzzzo. 1) If the negative economic effects of COVID-19 cause a state of threat to the state's public finances, in particular an increase in the state budget deficit or state public debt higher than assumed in the Budget Act, the Council of Ministers, at the request of the Head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, approved by the Head Civil Service, may, by regulation, determine the type of solutions applied in the field of limiting the personnel costs of in the entities listed in art. 15zzzzzp par. 1, taking into account the needs of the state budget, as well as the need to ensure the proper performance of government administration tasks. 2) Fulfillment of the obligation to reduce employment referred to in art. 15zzzzzo par. 2, subpar. 1, is to be reached by reducing the number of jobs in the entity by a number which is a ratio of the employment reduction rate and the average number of jobs.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

02 August 2021

Following the adoption on the controversial regulation in March, trade unions requested the Constitutional Court to check whether the provision did not violate the Constitution. The Constitutional Court refused, which means that in August 2021, the regulation remains in place (until the state of pandemic is over) and can be put into action anytime by government decree.

Use of measure

The bipartite resolutions have declaratory power and symbolic meaning only, as government does not have to acknowledge any postulates of social partners expressed in such form.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
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 Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

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

Involvement

The resolution emerged as a result of the social partner's initiative.

Views and reactions

The resolution emerged as a result of the social partner's initiative.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      O - Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security O84 Public administration and defence; compulsory social security

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 16 April 2020: The Act of 16 April 2020 on Special Support Measures Related to Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Virus (Ustawa z dnia 16 kwietnia 2020 r. o szczególnych instrumentach wsparcia w związku z rozprzestrzenianiem się wirusa SARS-CoV-2) (dziennikustaw.gov.pl)
  • 30 September 2020: Resolution no. 89 (www.dialog.gov.pl)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Social partners address economic challenges: central government, measure PL-2020-40/1633 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PL-2020-40_1633.html

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