The new principles of hiring temporary employees come into force
Better protection of pregnant employees, more stringent time limits and new obligations for temporary employment agencies
Employer zone: tax and law 7/2017 | 10 May 2017
On 6 May 2017 the Polish President signed the amended Act on the employment of temporary workers. The amended act introduces new principles of hiring temporary employees, new obligations for temporary employment agencies, user employers and for employees.
The new law came into force on 1 June 2017. The key changes.
More stringent employment time limits for hiring temporary workers
The new regulations make time limits for hiring temporary workers more stringent and efficient. In line with the amended act, the user employer will have the right to use the work of a given temporary employee for the period not exceeding the total of 18 months in the period of 36 consecutive months, irrespective of whether the employment has been organized by one or more temporary employment agencies. The limit will apply to temporary employment organized by temporary employment agencies under employment contract and other contracts entered civil law regime (also if used interchangeably).
Consequently, new obligations have been imposed on the agency, user employer and a temporary worker. Before posting an employee, an agency will be obliged to check if the limits stipulated in the act have not been exceeded. To this end, a temporary worker will have to present an employment separation certificate and employment records (or own statements) to certify the temporary employment period with a given user employer before a contract is signed with the agency.
At the same time, a user employer will have to keep records of all temporary employees, including the start and end date of employment in the period of 36 consecutive months. The user employer will be obliged to keep such records in the 36 reporting period and for another 36 months after the end thereof.
Any breach of the employment limits in question shall be considered as an offence.
Protection of pregnant women
Contracts between temporary employment agencies and pregnant women, which would have been terminated after the third month of pregnancy, will be extended automatically until the date of confinement. The provision will apply to female temporary workers with at least 2-month posting period to a given temporary assignment by a given agency under an employment contract in a 36-month reference period.
The 2-month employment period and the 36-month reference period will be calculated as from 1 June 2017 also for employment contracts concluded before the amendment entered into force, i.e. before 1 June 2017.
More precise provisions of a ban from hiring temporary workers
The amendment introduces more detailed provisions on the territorial scope of a ban from hiring temporary workers to do a job covered by group layoffs by a user employer. In line with the amended act, the restriction applies only to the municipality/district where the organizational unit which employed and subsequently dismissed a given person is located. The former regulations did not provide any detailed instructions in this respect.
The 3-month grace period has not changed.
New obligations and new sanctions
Apart from employment period limitations, temporary workers, agencies and user employers are obliged to comply with a number of new reporting and formal requirements.
The catalogue of offences under the act has been extended considerably. In particular, the employment of temporary workers for a period exceeding maximum employment limits or hiring temporary staff to carry out assignments which may not be awarded to temporary employees will be punishable. Maximum fine which can be imposed on temporary work agencies and user employers violating the act has been increased from PLN 5,000 to PLN 30,000.
The act modifying principles of hiring temporary employees has been signed by the President. In particular:
(i) it clarifies and extends the limitations for hiring temporary employees. A company will be allowed to hire a given temporary employee for the maximum period of 18 months in a 36-month reference period, regardless whether this employee is assigned to that company by one or several temporary employment agencies and regardless whether hired based on labour law or civil law regime;
(ii) employment contracts concluded with pregnant employees that would expire after the first trimester of pregnancy will automatically be extended until the date of birth;
(iii) companies hiring temporary employees and temporary employment agencies will have numerous new formal obligations;
(iv) the catalogue of offences on the grounds of the temporary employment act has been extended;
(v) also the maximum fines that may be imposed on the grounds of this act have been increased from PLN 5,000 to PLN 30,000.
The new provisions come into force as of 1 June.
Anna Skuza | Attorney at Law, Managing Associate
Karolina Romanowska | Attorney at Law, Senior Associate