Last updated on: April 25th, 2023
The Labour law in Poland is regulated mainly by the Labor Code, 1974. The Code governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays, rest periods, wages, overtime, leave and termination of employment, etc. The other regulation that governs labour relationships is the Non-working Days Act of 18 January 1951.
Hours & Pay Regulations
An employee is entitled to:
- 20 working days: if an employee has been employed for fewer than 10 years;
- 26 working days: if an employee has been employed for at least 10 years.
The leave is granted on days that are working days for the employee. An employee acquires the right to subsequent leave in each successive calendar year.
In the calendar year in which an employee takes up work for the first time, he acquires the right to leave after each month of work amounting to 1/12 of the leave he is entitled to after one year of work. Employees are entitled to fractional or proportional leave on the first year of employment irrespective of the month of joining. The employee acquires the right to the first leave accrual after the end of the month of work, not the end of the calendar month.
For example – when the employee has joined on Nov 22nd, he shall receive 1.66 days (i.e. 20 × 1/12 = 1.66) of accrual on Dec 22nd.
One day of leave corresponds to 8 working hours. A part of a day of leave shall be rounded up to a full day. Any partial calendar month is rounded up to a full month.
Granting of Leave
The leave is granted on days that are working days for the employee, in accordance with the working time schedule applicable to him. The leave may be divided into parts at the request of the employee. In such a case, however, at least one part of the vacation should last no less than 14 consecutive calendar days. Employees must take at least 14 consecutive calendar days of vacation in a leave year.
Any unused vacation is carried over to the following year and should be used by Sept. 30 of that year. If this does not happen, however, the employee is entitled to request the vacation by the time the entitlement for a given calendar year expires. The limitation period is three years.
Postponement of Annual Leave
The employer may postpone part of the leave unused to a later date due to temporary incapacity to work due to illness, isolation due to an infectious disease, undergoing military exercises or military training, or performing territorial military service on a rotational basis for up to 3 months or maternity leave.
During the annual leave, the employee is entitled to the remuneration that the employee would have received if he had been working at that time. Variable remuneration components can be calculated on the basis of the average remuneration for the 3 months preceding the month in which the holiday begins in cases of significant fluctuations in the amount of remuneration, this period may be extended to 12 months.
Termination of Employment
During the period of notice of termination of the employment contract, the employee is obliged to use the leave he is entitled to if the employer grants him to leave during this period. If all or part of the leave to which an employee is entitled is not used prior to the termination or expiry of the employment relationship, the employee is entitled to the cash equivalent.
If an employment relationship ends with one employer and a new employment relationship commences with another in the same calendar month, the leave is rounded up to a full month by the previous employer. Article 155-167 of the Labour Code.
Effective January 1, 2023, the national minimum wage in Poland is PLN 3490 gross per month.
The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the Eurostat website for the current rates.
Any employee shall be entitled to paid leave for a duration of 33 days in a calendar year for the below-mentioned reasons –
- illness or isolation due to an infectious disease where the employee retains the right to 80% of the remuneration unless the provisions of the labor law in force at the given employer provide for higher remuneration.
- an accident on the way to or from work or an illness during pregnancy where the employee retains the right to 100% of the remuneration.
- undergo the necessary medical examinations provided for candidates for donors of cells, tissues, and organs, and undergo the procedure of cell, tissue, and organ donation where the employee retains the right to 100% of the remuneration.
Employees who are aged 50 or more shall be entitled to 14 days of leave. The remuneration for sick leave shall be paid for each day of incapacity for work, not excluding holidays. Article 92 of the Labour Code.
Electronic Sick Leave System – Poland’s electronic sick leave system (e-ZLA) which was introduced in 2019, lays down the process of reporting and managing sick leave on the ZUS portal. When an employee requires time off due to illness, they shall report their illness to their employer through the ZUS portal, with details on the nature of the illness and, the start and end time of the absence. The employer gets the sick leave certificate (e-ZLA) from the portal automatically once it is uploaded by the employee’s doctor. Article 53 Act of 25 June 1999 on Sickness Insurance.
A female employee is entitled to the following periods of maternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child:
- 20 weeks for the birth of 1 child;
- 31 weeks for the birth of 2 children;
- 33 weeks for the birth of 3 children;
- 35 weeks for the birth of 4 children; and
- 37 weeks for the birth of 5 or more children.
Before delivery, an employee may take up to 6 weeks of maternity leave. The remaining leave must be taken in full immediately after childbirth. A female employee must take a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave before returning to work. Any untaken leave beyond 14 weeks can be used by the child’s father. Following maternity leave, working mothers are also entitled to parental leave.
Pay – The 20 weeks of maternity leave is paid at either 80 percent or 100 percent of the mother’s average earnings for the 12 months before the birth, with no upper limit on payments. If the mother (of a single child) chooses to take the 100 percent option, any Parental leave taken afterward will be paid at 100 percent for the first six weeks, then at 60 percent for the remaining period, up to 26 weeks; if she chooses the 80 percent option, any Parental leave will also be paid at 80 percent. Funding is done by social insurance funds.
A female employee who works more than 6 hours a day and is breastfeeding a child must be allowed to take 2 half-hour breaks per day. Female employees who are breastfeeding more than one child are entitled to two 45-minute breaks from work. Article 179-184, 187 of the Labour Code.
An employee father raising a child shall be entitled to paternity leave of up to 2 weeks, but not longer than:
- until the child reaches 24 months of age, or
- until the expiry of 24 months from the date on which the decision on the adoption of a child becomes final and no longer than until the child reaches the age of 7, and in the case of a child for whom the decision to postpone the compulsory education has been made, not longer than until the child reaches the age of 10.
Paternity leave may be used once or not for more than 2 parts, none of which may be shorter than a week.
Pay – An employee on paternity leave is entitled to benefits covered by the public sickness insurance fund operated by the State Social Security Office. Article 182(3) of the Labour Code.
Employees (both parents) shall be entitled to up to 41 weeks in the case of giving birth to one child and 43 weeks in the case of multiple births.
Furthermore, each parent will receive an exclusive right of 9 weeks of parental leave (from the leaves specified above) at 70% on the basis of the allowance assessment, which cannot be transferred to the other parent. Also, the maternity allowance will be raised for the duration of parental leave. Monthly maternity pay for the duration of maternity and parental leave will be 81.5% of the basis of the allowance assessment if an application for parental leave is submitted no later than 21 days after childbirth.
In accordance with the amendment an employee raising a child until the age of 8 will be able to apply for various types of flexible working arrangements, namely remote or flexible work, intermittent working time system, shortened working week system, working weekend system, and individual distribution of working time.
The employee must submit the application at least 21 days prior to the flexible working arrangement’s anticipated start date. The employer shall be required to take into account the employee’s demands.
Both parents of the child may take parental leave at the same time. In this case, the total length of parental leave may not exceed the maximum amount of leave given above.
Pay – Payment for Parental leave depends on the payment option chosen by the mother taking Maternity leave. If during Maternity leave, she opts to be paid at 100 percent of earnings, the first six weeks of Parental leave (eight weeks in the case of numerous births) are also paid at 100 percent, and the next 26 weeks (maximum) of the Parental leave benefit are paid at 60 percent of the mother’s (or father’s if he takes the leave) average earnings for 12 months before the birth, with no upper limit on payments. Funding is done by social insurance funds.
Employees who are parents of children with disabilities can take up to 30 days unpaid leave per year in case of illness of their child. Parents of disabled children can also request flexible work time and remote working arrangements. Amending the Act on Vocational and Social Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons and Certain Other Acts, 2018 (Polish).
Employees shall be entitled to up to 36 months of unpaid childcare leave. It is not dependent on Parental or Maternity leave; it is dependent on the period of work done by the employee (over six months). Parents can use the leave until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns six years old. Out of this, 34 months are a family entitlement, with one month as an individual entitlement for the mother and another month for the father.
Leave can be taken until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns six years old. Parents can take leave in one continuous period or in a maximum of five separate blocks. Parents can take leave at the same time. Employees shall be entitled to up to 36 months of unpaid leave for a disabled child. The same rules as for regular childcare leave apply, except for the age of eligibility – which is extended up to the child turning 18 years old.
Pay – A parental allowance of PLN400 [€90.84] 2 per month is paid for 24 months to parents taking leave as a supplement to family benefit if monthly household income per capita does not exceed PLN764 [€173.50]. The leave is funded by general taxation.
An employee who accepted a child for the upbringing and applied to the guardianship court to initiate proceedings for the adoption of a child or who has adopted a child for upbringing as a family substitute, except for a foster family, has the right to leave the same as maternity leave in the following way:
- 20 weeks if 1 child is adopted;
- 31 weeks in the case of simultaneous adoption of 2 children;
- 33 weeks in the event of the simultaneous adoption of 3 children;
- 35 weeks in the event of simultaneous adoption of 4 children; and
- 37 weeks in the case of the simultaneous adoption of 5 or more children.
The leave shall be given to the employee until the child reaches 7 years of age and in the case of a child who has been permitted to postpone compulsory education, no longer than until they reach the age of 10.
If an employee has adopted a child under the age of 7, and in the case of a child whose compulsory schooling has been postponed, up to the age of 10, he or she is entitled to leave on the terms of maternity leave for a minimum period of 9 weeks.
An employee who took a child for the upbringing and applied to a guardianship court with a request to initiate proceedings on the adoption of a child or who took a child for upbringing as a foster family, with the exception of a professional foster family, will also be entitled to parental leave, after the end of maternity leave stated above of up to –
- 32 weeks – in the case of 1 child;
- 34 weeks – in the cases of 2 – 5 or more children;
- 29 weeks – If the employee has adopted a child up to the age of 7 and in the case of a child whose schooling has been postponed, up to the age of 10.
Paid training leave may be granted to employees who improve their qualifications on the initiative of the employer or upon the employer’s consent. The amount of leave is the following:
- 6 days for employees who take external examinations;
- 6 days for employees joining the matriculation qualifications;
- 6 days for an employee joining the examination confirming professional qualifications;
- 21 days in the last year of studies for the preparation of the diploma thesis, as well as preparation and admission to the diploma examination.
Employees shall be granted training on days that are working days for the employee, in accordance with the working time schedule applicable to the employee. Article 103(1) (2) of the Labour Code.
The employee may be granted unpaid leave if the employee makes a written request to the employer. If the duration of unpaid leave is longer than 3 months, the employer may recall an employee to work from the leave for important reasons.
The employer may grant the employee unpaid leave to perform work for another employer for the period specified in an agreement between the employers. The period of unpaid leave shall be included in the period of work on which the employee’s rights with the current employer depend. Article 174 and 174(1) of the Labour Code.
Employees shall be entitled to an unpaid leave of 1 month during a calendar year for performing basic military service or its alternative forms, preparatory service, periodic military service, territorial rotational military service, military training, or military exercises. Article 155(2) of the Labour Code.
Employees shall be entitled to 5 calendar days of unpaid carer’s leave. Employees will be entitled to carer’s leave in order to provide personal care or support due to serious medical reasons to family members. Children, parents & wife will be considered as family members. The employee will be able to take this leave in one go or in parts. The carer’s leave will be included in the period of employment. Article 173 of the Labour Code.
Employees shall entitle employees to a new type of leave of absence for 2 days or 16 hours per calendar year due to force majeure events in urgent family matters caused by illness or accident where the employee’s immediate presence is necessary while retaining the right to half of the remuneration.
Employees who work part-time are entitled to hourly leave that is prorated based on the number of hours they actually work; any incomplete hours of leave shall be rounded to a full hour. Article 148 of the Labour Code.