Labour law updates and recommendations

Introduction of changes to the law governing the functioning of trade unions

The amended provisions of the Act on Trade Unions will come into force on 1 January 2019. One of the most important changes will be that civil law contractors (i.e. individuals hired under civil law contracts such as a contract of mandate or a contract for performing a specified task, as well as individuals running their own business activity as sole traders) will be entitled to set up or join a trade union. This change is a result of a judgment of the Polish Constitutional Court from 2015 which stated that the applicable provisions cannot limit the right to set up and join a trade union only to employees, i.e. individuals who are employed under the rules described in the Labour Code. The amendment may have a major impact on enterprises that cooperate with civil law contractors, who will enjoy the rights and privileges connected with trade union membership, including special protection against termination. The new provisions will also grant civil law contractors the right to initiate or participate in collective disputes with the employer as well as they will prohibit their discrimination on the ground of trade union membership.