Remote work and sobriety checks

15 Dec 2022

New legislation: an amendment to the Labor Code regarding remote work and sobriety checks was approved by Parliament (Sejm) on December 1, 2022, and on December 15, 2022, the Senate passed the fourth resolution on the amendment (act).

The new developments under the amendment include an employer’s obligation to provide the employee with the installation, servicing, and maintenance of work equipment, or to cover the related costs, as well as to cover the costs of electricity and telecommunications services necessary to work remotely.

The new legislation will impose a number of new obligations on employers.

As it is very likely that the legislation will be passed, employers need to start preparing internal regulations/documents, such as:

  • an agreement or bylaws on remote work rules (a key regulation),
  • an update to the information referred to in Article 29 § 3 of the Labor Code (the employer’s notification obligation),
  • the data protection policy for the performance of remote work and confirmation that an employee has reviewed the information regarding the procedure,
  • occupational risk assessments – possible universal risk assessment for different groups of remote work positions,
  • employee declaration confirming that they have reviewed the occupational risk assessment and health and safety information,
  • employee declaration agreeing to health and safety requirements at the remote work location.

In addition, according to the new legislation, the introduction of sobriety checks, the group or groups of employees to whom they apply, the applicable procedure, including the type of device used,, and the time and frequency with which they are conducted shall be established in a collective bargaining agreement or in work regulations, or in an announcement if there is no collective bargaining agreement in effect or there is no requirement to establish work regulations.

Currently, the act is sent to the Sejm, which will consider the amendments proposed by the Senate (including extending occasional remote work from 24 to 30 days, extending vacatio legis in the field of remote work regulations from 2 to 3 months).

The bill will now go to the Senate. The specific effective date of the legislation is not yet known, but it is possible that the amendment will come into force in the first Q of 2023 (at this point, we assume remote work two months after the promulgation of the new law, sobriety checks fourteen days after promulgation).