Revolutionary changes to the Labour Code


Revolutionary changes to the Labour Code

Remote work, sobriety control, implementation of work-life balance directive and transparent and predictable working conditions

The Labour Code, 10 March 2023

February 2023 is the month of many revolutionary changes to the labour law. An amendment concerning remote work and sobriety testing procedures was published on 6 February 2023. Two days later the Parliament unexpectedly passed another amendment implementing two European directives into the Labour Code (the so-called work-life balance directive and the directive on transparent working and predictable conditions).

What are the consequences of these changes for HR?

Remote Work

Employers have only two months to introduce the new remote-work regime in their organizations. Among other things, they are required to:

  • draft new remote work regulations (the current ones will expire);
  • calculate, based on documented costs, the work-from-home lump sum allowance or its equivalent;
  • cooperate with the Occupational Health and Safety Service to develop new occupational health and safety documents;
  • prepare a new procedure for protecting personal data during remote work;
  • agree the new remote work policy and regulations with trade unions or employee representatives;
  • conclude new annexes to employment contracts with employees – it may be helpful to consider conducting the process electronically.

Many new obligations related to the changes in the labour law and introduction of the remote-work regime will be imposed on employers, and it might be a good idea to properly schedule and carry out the necessary activities based on an informed plan.

Rewolucyjne zmiany w prawie pracy

Praca zdalna, badanie trzeźwości, dyrektywy dot. work-life balance i przejrzystych warunków zatrudnienia

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Sobriety control

New regulations on employee sobriety control which provide legal grounds for checks for alcohol and alcohol-like substances come into force on 21 February 2023.

In order to be able to apply them, employers need to introduce a detailed sobriety testing procedure which must be incorporated into the collective bargaining agreement or work regulations or introduced in the form of a notice. Employers will be able to perform the tests both at random as a preventive measure and in the event of a reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of an illegal substance.

However, we are still waiting for the law's implementing regulations, and the analysis of the content of the new laws raises more and more doubts about the issues that are crucial for employers. It is worthwhile to consult specialists before the introduction of the new rules and policies in that respect.

Implementation of the directives on work-life balance and transparent and predictable working conditions

The law that implements these directives introduces changes that significantly affect the organization of work in companies.

Below is a brief description of some of the changes to the labour law:

  • Parental leave will be extended by 9 weeks. The leave will be structured in such a way that if it is not used by the child's father – it will be forfeited. This is intended to encourage working fathers to exercise their rights.
  • A new type of leave will be introduced, namely the care leave lasting 5 working days to be used to care for a sick family member. The care leave is unpaid.
  • Employees will be able to take additional 2 days off work due to force majeure. They will be entitled to 50% of the salary for that time off.
  • Termination of a fixed-term contract will require justification and consultation with trade unions (if there are any in the workplace), just like termination of a contract for an indefinite period.
  • An employee raising a child aged 8 and below will have the right to request flexible work arrangements, such as remote work, flexible work schedule or part-time work. Refusal to allow such an employee to work under a flexible work arrangement will need to be objectively justified.
  • Major changes are also expected regarding probationary contracts. The length of such a contract will depend on the period for which the employer intends to hire the employee after the probationary contract ends.

The law implementing the directives on work-life balance and transparent and predictable working conditions is to come into force 21 days after its announcement which is expected to happen in about 2 months. We are monitoring the legislative work and will keep you updated on any developments.

Should you have any questions regarding the regulations discussed above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our HR Deloitte Legal team.

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