Legal know-how, employment updates and recommendations

Changes in the way of keeping employees personnel files

A draft regulation of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy on employee documentation has been posted on the website of the Government Legislation Centre. The draft proposes significant changes to the method and conditions of keeping and storing employees’ personnel records. One of the key changes is the introduction of a new structure for personnel files, which – according to the draft regulation – should consist of four parts. Under the current rules, employees’ personnel files have three parts: (i) part A (documents related to the application for employment), (ii) part B (documents related to the employment relationship …

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Minimum wage in 2019

In 2019, employers will be obliged to pay full-time employees at least PLN 2,250 gross (approx. EUR 580) per month. This increase in the minimum wage will have an impact on other financial benefits received by employees in connection with their employment, i.e. there will be an increase in severance pay in the case of collective dismissals or in the special allowance for working at night. According to the new provisions, the minimum wage for performing services on the basis of a service agreement will also increase – to PLN 14,70 (approx. EUR 3,5) for each hour of performing the …

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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 …

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Amendments to the Act on Combating Unfair Competition

On 7 August 2018, the President of Poland signed the Act amending the Act on Combating Unfair Competition and some other acts. Its purpose is to adapt the provisions of Polish law to Directive 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of classified know-how and classified commercial information (business secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure. The most important changes introduced by the Act include: – Amendment of the definition of “an act of unfair competition” According to the new regulations, “an act of unfair competition” means not only disclosing …

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The consequences of incorrect recording of working hours

Employers are required to keep a record of employees’ working hours in order to correctly determine their remuneration and other work-related benefits. Employers should record in particular information on work on Sundays and public holidays, work at night, overtime work, time when an employee was on-call, holidays, any  other absences from work. The main risk resulting from the incorrect recording of working hours is the possibility of claims for overtime pay from employees. In the case of overtime claims, the burden of proof rests with the employee (i.e. the employee must prove that he/she has worked overtime); however, the correct …

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Flexible place and time of work for parents caring for sick children

New provisions of the Labour Code recently came into force which introduce significant changes in flexible working arrangements for employees who are parents taking care of sick children. The changes concern employees who are expecting the baby provided that the pregnancy is at risk, parents of children who have a certificate of severe and irreversible impairment or an incurable life-threatening illness that arose during prenatal development or delivery, as well as employees who are parents of children with disabilities or who have special educational needs, (including those over the age of 18 years). In the case of the indicated categories …

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Electronic medical sick leave certificates obligatory from December

The date of entry into force of the provisions introducing mandatory electronic sick leave certificates has been postponed again. Currently, doctors can issue sick leave both in paper and electronic form. Issuing paper sick leave certificates will be possible only until 30 November  2018 – subsequently,  the sick leave  certificates will have to be issued in electronic form only. The reform of the rules on the issuing of sick leaves certificates aims to improve the process of justifying the absence of an employee from work. According to the new rules, the employer – as a social security contributions payer – can review …

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Reduction of the obligatory period of keeping employees’ personnel files

New provisions of the Polish Labour Code will come into force on 1 January 2019 which will reduce the obligatory period of keeping employees’ personnel files. This period is currently 50 years after the termination of the employment relationship, whereas according to the new provisions, it will be reduced to 10 years. However, employers will have to provide the Social Security Institution with more detailed information about the amount of income received by employees to help them determine the amount of their retirement  pension. The reduction of the obligatory period of keeping personnel files will only be applicable to employees …

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Verification of a candidate’s / employee’s criminal record in the financial sector

In general, Polish law limits the scope of data that employers are allowed to process, i.e. there is a specific catalogue of personal data that may be collected and processed during the recruitment process and during the period of employment. This catalogue does not include information about the criminal record of a given candidate/employee, so the conducting of such screening may be deemed an infringement of data protection law. Nevertheless, there are some specific statutory provisions that authorise an employer to collect such information. A new law has recently been passed according to which employers from the financial sector (banks, …

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Changes to immigration law

In order to facilitate access to the Polish labour market for foreign citizens, the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy has prepared a bill that amends the resolution of 29 January 2009 on circumstances when a work permit is issued regardless of the specific requirements for granting work permits for foreigners. According to the bill, a local labour market test will not be required when applying for a work permit for a foreigner to work in one of 197 jobs listed therein. These jobs include: manufacturing and industrial engineers, electrical engineers, medical specialists, software analysts, IT designers, masons, roofers …

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Legality of conducting background screening tests

“In recent years, it has become increasingly common in Poland for employers to conduct background screening, i.e. to verify information presented by candidates during the recruitment process, as well as to collect additional information on employees during their employment, including from third parties. It usually takes place by contacting former employers or by reading the social media accounts of candidates and employees. Under the current legislation, the accessing of a candidate’s/employee’s personal data that is not listed in the catalogue of personal data that an employer may process is questionable. This is particularly the case when the employer (or the …

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Changes in the way of paying employees’ remuneration

As of 1 January 2019, employers will be required to pay remuneration into the bank accounts indicated by their employees, unless an employee submits a request to receive the remuneration in person. In practice, this means that  employers will be not longer obliged to obtain consent from an employee to pay the remuneration by bank transfer into an account indicated by the employee. These new rules on paying remuneration will require amending the employer’s internal bylaws, including workplace regulations or remuneration regulations (if they provide for different rules of paying remuneration). Within 21 days of the new provisions coming into …

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Changes to the bill on employee pension schemes

Work is in progress on the Act on Employee Pension Schemes, which will form the obligatory means of securing a pension for working people, including employees and contractors, enabling them to accumulate additional resources for their retirement. Under the new act, all entities employing individuals entitled to participate will be legally obliged to conclude an agreement on the management of their pension scheme. The funds for the pension schemes will be collected both by the working individuals (2% of their monthly remuneration – which may be increased up to 4%) and by the employing entity (1.5% of the monthly remuneration …

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New rules of the monitoring of employees

The Act of 11 May 2018 on the Protection of Personal Data introduced following rules on the camera monitoring of employees into the Polish Labour Code. Justification of monitoring According to the new rules, camera monitoring must serve a specified purpose and cannot be used in order to obtain and process sensitive data about employees. Employers are entitled to use camera monitoring only in connection with the safety of the employees, the protection of property, the supervision of production, or to prevent the disclosure of business information which could expose the employer to damage.   Scope of monitoring Camera monitoring may be used …

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New act on counteracting money laundering and the financing of terrorism

In July 2018, the new Act of 1 March 2018 on Counteracting Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism will come into force. It will be of particular importance to financial institutions, banks and other entities that are involved in transactions for goods in cash with a value exceeding EUR 10,000. Under the new act,  entities will be obliged to adopt whistleblowing policies setting out the rules for the anonymous reporting of any potential irregularities by employees and other individuals cooperating with the entity. According to the new act, the policy must include in particular information about the individual responsible …

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