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Working remotely in Poland – possible legislative changes

The Polish government has recently published the essentials of a proposal to amend the Polish Labor Code to permanently regulate the issue of performing work remotely.

Based on information released by the government, the main legislative changes envisaged are as follows:

1) it will be possible to reach an arrangement regarding working remotely at the moment an employment contract is concluded, or at a later stage during employment;

2) it will be possible for an employer to order a switch to remote work in special cases (i.e. during a state of emergency, a state of pandemic or when it is necessary due to the employer’s obligation to provide the employee with safe and hygienic working conditions), provided that the employee declares beforehand that they have the premises and technical conditions to work remotely;

3) a requirement that rules on remote work be regulated in:

  • an agreement concluded between the employer and the company trade union, OR
  • in regulations established by the employer – if no agreement with a company trade union is reached and if there are no trade unions at the company (in this case the regulations would be issued after consultation with employee representatives);

4) the possibility of work being performed remotely at the request of an employee;

5) that for a period of three months following the change to remote work, both the employer and the employee will be able to decide to discontinue working remotely, and this decision will be binding for the other party;

6) introduction of uniform rules on monitoring of an employee by an employer in the place of remote work;

The government is also considering allowing employees to submit any requests in electronic form for which the Labor Code requires the written form.

The proposed regulations will replace the current provisions on telework in the Labor Code.

The bill is scheduled to be adopted by the government in Q3 2021, and is currently undergoing public consultation. Next stage would be the proceedings at the Polish Parliament.