After having been regulated for some time on a temporary basis, on 27 January 2023 the Polish President has signed an amendment that will permanently introduce remote working into the Labour Code. Within a few days, the new legislation should be published in the Journal of Laws, and from that date employers will have two months to introduce the relevant changes into their internal regulations.
What are the key features of the new remote working regulations?
- Remote working will completely replace teleworking in the Labour Code;
- The employer will only be able to issue a unilateral instruction to work remotely in exceptional situations defined by the legislation (e.g. during an epidemic). In other cases, the employer and the employee should reach an agreement on remote work;
- Pregnant women, parents of children under the age of four, and employees caring for people with disabilities will be able to demand the right to work remotely and the employer will only be able to refuse if it is not possible due to the organisation of work or the type of work performed by the employer;
- The employer will be required to cover the costs incurred by the employee associated with remote working, including the costs of electricity and telecommunications services;
- The place from where the remote work is to be performed should be agreed with the employer;
- If the performance of remote work was agreed upon during the course of employment (rather than at the conclusion of the employment contract), either party may demand the reinstatement of the previous working arrangements;
- A completely new instrument will be introduced – occasional remote working of up to 24 days per year, during which some of the employer’s rules and obligations will not apply (e.g. the obligation to cover costs related to remote working).
What documents should employers prepare?
- an agreement (concluded with the company’s trade union organisation) or regulations (consulted with employee representatives) on the rules of remote working; this also involves the possible removal or modification of existing regulations on remote working from the workplace regulations and from employment contracts;
- a statement from the employee confirming that his/her remote workstation meets health and safety requirements;
- a statement from the employee confirming that he/she has read the risk assessment and safety information concerning health and safety at work;
- an occupational risk assessment – a universal risk assessment is possible for different groups of remote work positions; updating information on employment conditions;
- a data protection policy related to the performance of remote work and confirmation that the employee has read it.
Emilia Kalecka, Associate