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Poland – Changes to Labour Code: discrimination and bullying, work certificates and parental leave

Written by
Raczkowski largest boutique firm focusing on HR law.
Changes to the Polish Labour Code will take effect on 7 September 2019, relating to discrimination and bullying in the workplace, work certificates and maternity and parental leave.  

From 7 September 2019, a few amendments to the Labour Code will come into force. They will require changes to work regulations as well as to anti-bullying and anti-discrimination procedures. Employers will also have to use a new template of the work certificate.

Discrimination policy and bullying 

If you inform your employees about the text of discrimination regulations in an appendix to work regulations, the content of this appendix should be amended to reflect the changes in the law. It is also necessary to verify the content of the procedures and policies against discrimination and bullying. These documents usually repeat the definition of discrimination, which will change from 7 September. From that date, discrimination will include any unequal treatment of employees that is not justified by objective reasons. A bullied employee will have the option of demanding compensation even if he or she has not terminated the employment contract due to bullying. It is enough that he or she suffers some damage as a result of bullying.

Work certificates 

In Poland a work certificate contains information about terminated employment relationship, including: date of start and finish an employment relationship, position, method of termination of the employment contract, number of days of annual leave used in the year the employment ends and number of days of other absences. If an employee does not agree with this information, he or she can request that the employer correct the work certificate.

Following these changes, the deadline for applying to the employer with a request to correct a work certificate, and to file such a request with the court will be extended from seven to 14 days. As a consequence, it is necessary to change the template for certificates of employment used in your organisations, since the template includes instructions that refer to the soon-to-be outdated deadline. Moreover, if employer does not issue a work certificate at all, employees will now be able to apply to the court with a request to force an employer to issue one.

Maternity and parental leave 

From 7 September 2019, maternity leave and parental leave will be available to employees who are ‘other members of immediate family’ on the same basis as to employee mothers and employee fathers bringing up children. These people will be also be covered by special protection against termination of their employment. They will also be able to take full vacation leave directly after maternity or parental leave.

Iwona Jaroszewska-Ignatowska
Partner - Poland