Labour law updates and recommendations

Changes in the law concerning discrimination and mobbing

New provisions of the Polish Labour Code will come into force on 7 September 2019 that introduce significant changes to how employees can seek protection against discrimination and mobbing.

The main change is the introduction of an open catalogue of grounds for discrimination, which in practice allows employees to claim discrimination by the employer for reasons not listed in the Labour Code. As a result, any unequal treatment of employees without objective reasons may be considered as discrimination, which means that employers need to thoroughly review their terms and conditions of employment to ensure they avoid any potentially discriminatory practices.

In addition, employees will be guaranteed the right to claim compensation in connection with mobbing regardless of whether they decide to terminate their employment relationship with the employer. Under the existing rules, in order to obtain compensation in connection with mobbing, an employee should first terminate his/her employment contract on the grounds of being subject to mobbing. According to the new provisions, an employee may also claim compensation during the period of employment. At the same time, the minimum amount of compensation that can be awarded to an employee remains unchanged, i.e. an amount equal to the statutory minimum monthly remuneration for work, which in 2019 is PLN 2,250 gross (approx. EUR 525).

In connection with the entry into force of the new regulations, we recommend that employers introduce changes into their internal employment-related documentation and procedures regarding mobbing and discrimination. In particular, employers should amend the text of the provisions on equal treatment in employment, which should be made available to every employee employed in the workplace, in order to ensure its compatibility with the new rules.