New rules on working remotely will take effect as of 7 April, 2023. Employers that wish their employees to work remotely (hybrid form) need to begin drawing up the relevant documentation now. The most important document that will be required is an agreement on working remotely – if there are trade unions at the employer, or, if there is no trade union or an agreement is not reached with the trade union, the employer’s regulations on working remotely. That agreement or the employer’s regulations must specify policies on working remotely, and address for example the issues of related costs, work materials and tools to be issued, and monitoring of the work performed by the employee. In addition to working remotely in the standard way, the act also provides for remote work from time to time, which may only occur at an employee’s request, and for no more than 24 days per calendar year.
Starting from 21 February, 2023, employers will be able to conduct testing regarding sobriety and the presence of substances that have a similar effect to alcohol (drugs). It will be possible to test not only employees, but also contractors working for the employer on a civil law basis or who are self-employed. To exercise this power, information will have to be provided, in a collective bargaining agreement, employment by-laws, or an announcement, as to the group or groups of employees subject to sobriety testing, the procedure for conducting the tests, the type of device used, and the time and frequency of the tests.
Implementation of the Work-life Balance and Transparency Directives
The Polish parliament has resumed work to implement the Work-Life Balance and Transparent Working Conditions Directives – on 8 February, 2023, the parliament passed an act implementing the directives into the Polish legal system, and it has now gone to the Senate. The changes to be made include
- an additional nine weeks of childcare leave, which is not transferable to the other parent,
- unpaid leave for a caregiver of five days per calendar year,
- time off from work due to force majeure events, of two days or sixteen hours,
- the option of requesting flexible working hours for an employee raising a child up to the age of eight,
- additional breaks from work, depending on the working time system over a 24-hour period,
- changes to rules on giving notice of termination of employment contracts for definite periods (grounds for termination must be stated) and to rules on concluding trial period contracts,
- the option of requesting a form of employment in more predictable or safer working conditions.