Last updated on: April 27th, 2022

Labor Requirements

The Labour law in Poland is regulated mainly by the Labor Code, 1974 (last amended 2020). 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

Normal Working Hours

Under Polish labor law, working time is the time during which the employee is at the disposal of the employer in the workplace or other place designated for the performance of work.

 

Working time generally may not exceed 8 hours in a 24-hour period and an average of 40 hours in a 5-day working week.

      • 24-hour period means – 24 successive hours, beginning when the employee starts work in accordance with the binding working time schedule,
      • A week means – 7 successive calendar days, beginning with the first day of the calculation period

The calculation period normally consists of a five-day working week within a maximum duration of 4 months. The calculation period may be extended, but not more than 12 months, subject to the general principles of protection and the safety and health of employees if it is justified by objective or technical reasons or reasons relating to the organization of work.

 

Weekly Working Time

Weekly working time, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours on average in the adopted calculation period. There are different forms of the working system applicable for employees which basically consists of  –

      • Balanced Working time system, 
      • Jobs involving continuous activities
      • Interrupted Working Time
      • Job Involving Monitoring Equipment
      • On-Call Work
      • Shortened working week system, and
        Weekend work

Working Time Schedule

The working time schedule may provide for different hours of starting work on days which, according to this schedule, are working days for employees. In the working time schedules, performing work again on the same day does not constitute overtime work.

 

Performing work in accordance with working time schedules, may not violate the employee’s right to daily & weekly rest. Art. 140 (1) of the Labour Code.

 

On-Call Work

The employer may request the employee to remain on-call, outside normal working hours, ready to perform work under the employment contract at the workplace or in another place designated by the employer. The on-call time shall not be included in the working time if the employee did not perform work during the on-call time. 

 

With the exception of on-call work from home, the employee shall be entitled to time off from work in the amount corresponding to the duration of the on-call time, and if it is not possible to grant time off, a remuneration, determined by the hourly or monthly rate and if such the remuneration component has not been separated in determining the remuneration conditions – 60% of the remuneration. This shall not apply to employees managing the workplace on behalf of the employer. Art. 150 of the Labour Code.

 

Recording Requirement

The employer is obliged to keep records of working time, including overtime work. Working hours are not recorded for employees in relation to employees covered by the task-based working time system, managing the workplace on behalf of the employer and employees receiving a lump sum for overtime or night work. The record must be kept for 3 years. Art. 149 of the Labour Code.

Overtime

Work performed in excess of the working time standards applicable to the employee, as well as work performed in excess of the extended daily working time, resulting from the applicable system and working time schedule, constitute overtime work. Employees shall not work more than 150 hours per year at the request of their employer.

 

Pay for Overtime Work

Employees shall be entitled to 50% remuneration in addition to regular wage for overtime work. The remuneration for overtime work includes the employee’s basic salary determined by the hourly or monthly rate.

 

In the case of employees with a 12-month calculation period, which is the same as the calendar year, the payment of supplements for average weekly overtime (in the amount of 100% of remuneration) should be made at the end of the 12th month of the calculation period, unless the exceeding of this standard of working hours was due to overtime work for which the employee is entitled to the premium of 100% in addition to normal wage.

 

For employees who do overtime work permanently outside the workplace, the remuneration of 100% may be replaced with a lump sum, the amount of which should correspond to the expected amount of overtime work.

 

Time off in lieu

In exchange for the time worked as overtime, the employer, upon the employee’s written request, may grant him the same amount of time off work. Employees may be granted time off without a written request also. In such a case, the employer grants time off from work, before the end of the calculation period, amounting to 1.5 times the number of hours worked as overtime. Article 151 – 151(2) of the Labour Code.

Night Work

Night work is a duration of 8 hours between 9 pm and 7 am.  An employee whose schedule of working time includes at least 3 night-time hours of work in each 24-hour period or where at least one-quarter of his working time in a settlement period falls at night, is considered to be a night employee.

 

The working time of a night employee cannot exceed 8 hours in a 24-hour period if he holds a job that is particularly dangerous or involves a considerable physical or intellectual effort. 

 

Pay for Night Work – An employee who performs work at night is entitled to an additional remuneration of 20% of the hourly rate. In relation to employees who provide work at night outside of the work establishment on a regular basis, the additional remuneration may be replaced by a lump sum equivalent to the expected length of work at night.

 

Pay for Overtime Work at Night – Employees who work overtime during night hours shall be entitled to 100% additional remuneration for every hour worked.

 

In exchange for the time worked overtime, the employer, upon the employee’s written request, may grant him the same amount of time off work. Article 151(7) of the Labour Code.

Breaks

Rest Breaks

An employee whose daily working time is of at least 6 hours, is entitled to a paid break of at least 15 minutes. This break is included in the working time of an employee. Art. 134 of the Labour Code. 

 

Meal Breaks

The employer is entitled to introduce one unpaid break at work which is not counted into the working time, no longer than 60 minutes, for having a meal or settling private matters via a collective labour agreement or in absence of agreement via an employment contract. Article 141 of the Labour Code. 

 

Daily Rest

Employees are entitled to at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest in each 24-hour period. 

 

The daily rest does not apply to employees managing the workplace on behalf of the employer or cases of necessity to conduct a rescue operation in order to protect human life or health, property or the environment, or to remove a failure. Art. 132 of the Labour Code.

 

Weekly Rest

Employees are entitled to at least 35 hours of uninterrupted rest every week including at least 11 hours of uninterrupted daily rest. The weekly rest should fall on Sunday. Sunday covers 24 consecutive hours, starting at 6.00 am on that day unless a different time has been set by the employer.

 

Uninterrupted rest in a given week should generally fall on Sundays. In each working time system providing for the working time schedule including work on Sundays and public holidays, employees will be guaranteed a total number of days off corresponding to at least the number of days off in an average five-day working week falling in that period. Art. 132-133 of the Labour Code.

Sunday Work

Work on Sundays is allowed in commercial establishments when carrying out work necessary for their social utility and the daily needs of the population. An employee working on Sundays must have a Sunday off at least once every 4 weeks.

 

Work on Sunday

If an employee works on a Sunday then another day off is given within the period of 6 calendar days preceding or following that Sunday. If the employee is not given another day off within the 6 calendar day period then the employee is entitled to a day off before the end of the calculation period, and if this is not possible, then a premium of 100% is given per hour of work.

 

Overtime Work on Weekly Rest

Employees shall be entitled to a premium of 100% for overtime work performed on days off, Sundays, or any non-working day in addition to the normal remuneration.

 

Time off in lieu – In exchange for the time worked overtime, the employer, upon the employee’s written request, may grant him the same amount of time off work. Art. 147 & 151(3)(10)(11) of the Labour Code. 

Public Holidays

Employees are generally entitled to the following 12 public holidays:

  • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day;
  • Jan. 6: Epiphany;
  • Easter Sunday and Monday;
  • May 1: Labor Day;
  • May 3: Constitution Day;
  • 1st Day of Whitsun Holidays;
  • Corpus Christi;
  • Aug. 15: St. Mary’s Ascension Day;
  • Nov. 1: All Saints’ Day;
  • Nov. 11: Independence Day;
  • Dec. 25 and Dec. 26: Christmas.

Work on public holidays shall be deemed to be work performed between 6.00 am on that day and 6.00 am on the following day unless a different time has been established by a given employer. Any national holiday that falls on a Sunday during any given year must remain on that date.

 

Work on Holiday

An employee performing work on Public Holiday shall be entitled to another day off in exchange for work on Public Holiday within the calculation period. If it is not possible to use the day off from work in exchange for work on Holiday within the calculation period, employees shall be entitled to a remuneration in the amount of 100% for every hour worked on a Public Holiday.

 

The provisions on work on Sundays shall apply to work on a public holiday falling on Sunday.

 

Pay for Overtime work on Holiday

Employees shall be entitled to 100% remuneration for overtime work performed on Public holidays, in addition to the normal remuneration.

 

Time off in lieu – In exchange for the time worked overtime, the employer, upon the employee’s written request, may grant such employee time off in lieu for the duration of overtime work performed. 

 

All holidays in Poland are considered paid non-working days with two exceptions. Any national holiday that falls on a Sunday during any given year must remain on that date. Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday (Pentecost) always fall on a Sunday and this is considered a day of rest in Poland. Only the employees who are actively scheduled to work on these days receive another day off with pay.

 

In each working time system providing for the working time schedule including work on public holidays, employees will be guaranteed a total number of days off corresponding to at least the number of public holidays in an average five-day working week falling in that period. Article 147 & 151 (11) of the Labour Code  & Article 1, Non-working Days Act of 18 January 1951.

Annual Leave

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.

 

Carry Forward

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.

 

Vacation Pay  

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.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2022, the national minimum wage in Poland is PLN 3010 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.

 

Special Leave

Illness & Donor Leave

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.

Maternity Leave

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.

 

Breastfeeding Break

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.

Paternity Leave

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.

Parental Leave

Employees (both parents) shall be entitled to up to 32 weeks of parental leave (34 weeks for multiple births) immediately after using maternity leave. Employees will have to request this leave no fewer than 21 days prior to its planned commencement to be eligible for full paternity leave. 

 

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.

Leave for Parents of Disabled Child

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).

Childcare Leave

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 from general taxation.

Adoption Leave

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.
Training Leave

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.

Unpaid Leave

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.

Military Leave

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.