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Numerous changes to Poland’s Labor Code were discussed in 2018, but only some of them were passed. A summary of the new provisions taking effect with the start of 2019 is included below. The changes coming into force relate to:
- Method of Salary Payment;
- Storing Personal Files in Electronic Form; and
- Employee Documentation.
Method of Salary Payment
Starting in 2019, employers are required to pay remuneration to the bank account of any employee. To receive a salary in the form of cash, a special application must be submitted – submission can be done in paper or electronic form.
An employee will have to provide employers with a bank account number, for which the employee wants to receive remuneration.
- All employees should be informed about the need to provide a bank account number by January 21, 2019.
- Any employee who wants to receive a cash payment should submit an application for receiving remuneration in the form of cash within 7 days from receipt of employer’s letter asking for the account number.
Storing Personal Files in Electronic Form
On January 1st new provisions on personal files take effect. Until now (2018), employers were obliged to keep documentation related to the employment relationship and personal files in paper form.
From 2019, the employer will have a choice as to the form of keeping employee documentation, meaning that they can now collect and store employment related documentation in electronic form. Employers also now have the option to replace paper files with electronic documents.
For paper files to be valid, the printout of the documents should be signed by the employer or an authorized agent, who will confirm the conformity of the paper version with the electronic original.
Apart from personal files, employers are currently obligated to keep records of working time and other documents related to the employment relationship (e.g. remuneration paid for work and other work-related services, payments related to clothing and work footwear, etc.). Effective January 1, 2019, employers will be required to keep the employee documentation for 10 years after the termination of employment, counting from the end of the calendar year in which the employment relationship expired or was terminated.
Employee documentation should be protected from damage and destruction both during employment and 10 years after its termination or termination of employment.
- Every employer will have to inform the employee about the new 10-year period of mandatory storage of employee files. Employees have the right to access employee documentation by the end of the calendar month, which falls after the obligation to keep the documentation ceases.
- If the documents are not picked up within the prescribed period, the employer will have to inform the employee about the obligation to destroy the documentation.
What to Expect in 2019
Additional changes to the labor code will likely be passed sometime in 2019. These changes will impact other areas regulated by the labor code, like annual leave entitlement and carryover. Any changes passed most likely will not go into effect until the start of 2020.