Labour law updates and recommendations

Recalculating the benefit base

The Anti-Crisis Shield, which we have discussed many times, provided for the possibility of reducing the working hours of employees as part of the support provided to companies.

However, this has led to negative consequences for people on sickness, care and parental benefits, and in particular for women who gave birth and acquired the right to maternity benefit during the pandemic. Their benefits have been reduced in line with the reduction in working hours introduced by many employers in recent months.

The recent update of the Anti-Crisis Shield, which is a response to many appeals from many circles, introduces the possibility of recalculating the benefit base basis of benefits and granting appropriate compensation in relation to benefits already paid.

Most of the provisions of this Act Modifying Certain Acts To Counteract The Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 came into force on 9 October 2020, but with respect to the recalculation of benefits, the law is a break from the lex retro non agit principle and applies retroactively – from 31 March 2020.

The adjustment of benefits is possible upon an application made by of the beneficiary (i.e. it is not initiated by the employer or the Social Insurance Institution – ZUS). The application should be submitted to the employer (if it is authorised to pay benefits to its employees) or to ZUS.  There is currently no formal application template, so the application can be filed  the “ZAS-58 Skarga” form.  instructions on completing the form are  available on the ZUS website. If the application is submitted to the employer, it must be immediately forward to ZUS.

Moreover, the above  probably applies also to sickness pay, which was reduced by employers during the pandemic in proportion to the reduction of working hours. This would mean that employees can claim compensation and payment of remuneration for this period from their employers, which is related to additional costs for the employers. Such information was initially provided by ZUS. We are waiting for an official statement on this issue.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.