The Polish government has introduced new legislation on remote working that was first introduced in 2022 but has recently been adopted as of 30 January 2023.
Like many other countries around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic caused Poland’s workforce to shift to remote working. And according to a recent study, almost 40% of people feel they’ve become more efficient and productive because of this setup. But it will likely come as no surprise that 14% of people—mostly women—found the structure more challenging because they had more home-based responsibilities, like take care of children.
But, because of the many advantages of remote work, a lot of organisations in Poland ended up implementing the setup more permanently for employees. In the same way, the government realised that there were a number of loopholes that needed to be fixed to make sure that both employers and employees would be in a win-win situation. They also realised how valuable remote workers are, especially those employed by foreign organisations.
And this is why Poland has recently recognised the rights of remote workers and the regulations that employers must abide by based on this newly signed law under the labour code. This was first introduced last year and has made lots of progress since its announcement. Let’s look at what it entails…
What's included in this Act?
- Rules that require employers to cover costs directly related to remote work. It includes the cost of operation, installation, service, and maintenance of work-related tools. In some instances, it can be as simple as electricity cost.
- Rules on health and safety inspections of employees.
- Rules wherein the employer is required to adopt internally appropriate procedures for protecting personal data.
- Rules wherein the employer must establish rules for remote work either directly in the agreement concluded with the employee or in an order addressed to the employee. Keep in mind that this order is voidable in specific circumstances, such as the impossibility of providing safe and hygienic working conditions or a state of emergency/epidemic.
So, can an employee request to work remotely?
According to the new law, employers are obliged to grant remote working requests if the employee is pregnant, raising a child below four years old or caring for disabled persons living in the same household. The exception to this rule is if remote work is not possible due to the organisation or tasks performed by the employee in their role.
The employee can occasionally request to work remotely, provided it will not exceed 24 days per calendar year. In this case, it is not necessary to conclude agreements on the rules of performance or for the employer to cover employee costs related to working from home.
Sobriety inspections and other updates
Based on the law, employers must conduct testing of employees for the consumption of alcohol and drugs. The provisions regarding sobriety checks came into force 21 February 2022.
On top of that, the government is working on introducing new kinds of paid and unpaid employee leave. It may affect internal regulations and costs of employment—this is why it’s crucial that organisations with remote employees in Poland take this into account when planning the budget for this year.
When will this take effect?
This law has already been adopted. Working remotely was permanently introduced into Poland’s labour code after President Andrzej Duda signed the law 30 January 2023. The new regulations come into force at the end of March 2023, exactly two months after promulgation.
The next step for employers
For employers to fulfill their obligations and comply with new law, they should review and amend their current internal regulations pertaining to remote work or introduce such regulations if they haven’t got any in place yet. The rules for performing remote work are to be set by the employer in an agreement concluded with trade unions or, in the absence of trade unions, in internal regulations after consultation with employee representatives.
The good news is that Cintra Global has the expertise and experience to help your company prepare these new regulations. We offer professional solutions across international payroll and employment that are fully tailored to meet your needs.
Are you planning to employ a remote worker in Poland? Speak to one of our experts today!