We have repeatedly covered in the pages of our blog various issues related to the amendment of labour regulations in 2023. The introduction of regulations on employee sobriety checks or remote work to the Labour Code, as well as the implementation of the work-life balance directive to the Polish legal order, have also contributed to the fact that some executive acts issued on the basis of the Labour Code have been amended. One of them is the Decree of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy of December 30, 2016 on the labour certificate, which, as a result of the amendment, introduced new requirements for labour certificates issued to employees from May 23, 2023, which we discuss in this post.
What is an labour certificate?
In the mentioned regulation we do not find a statutory definition, of the labour certificate, however, we can clearly state that it is a document issued by the employer to the employee in the situation of:
- expiration of the employment contract,
- termination of the employment contract.
It is worth noting that the obligation to issue it rests with the employer regardless of what type of employment contract was concluded with the employee, i.e. it applies to employment contracts:
- concluded for an indefinite period,
- concluded for a definite period,
- concluded for a trial period.
Content of the labour certificate
The Labour Code defines for us only a few basic elements of the content of the labour certificate, such as:
- the period and type of work performed;
- the positions held;
- the mode of termination or circumstances of expiration of the employment relationship;
- other information necessary to establish employee and social security rights.
For more detailed content of the labour certificate, we should refer to the Decree of the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy of December 30, 2016 on the labour certificate, which points us to additional information covered by the labour certificate, concerning, for example:
- the employee’s working hours during the employment relationship;
- vacation leave to which the employee was entitled in the calendar year in which the employment relationship ended;
- used unpaid leave and the legal basis for granting it;
- used parental leave and the legal basis for its granting;
- used maternity leave and the legal basis for its granting;
- the period of active military service or its substitute forms;
- the period of work performed in special conditions or in a special nature;
- receivables from the employment relationship recognized and not satisfied by the employer until the date of termination of this relationship due to lack of funds.
In addition, the labour certificate shall include a reference to the seizure of remuneration for work in accordance with the provisions on enforcement proceedings, while at the employee’s request, the labour certificate shall also include information about the amount and components of remuneration and qualifications obtained.
What are the changes in connection with the amendment of the labour law?
According to the Decree of the Minister of Family and Social Policy of May 11, 2023, which introduces the changes, amending the Decree on the labour certificate, employers issuing labour certificates will be required to include additional information in the certificate, which includes information on:
- force majeure leave used in the calendar year in which the employment relationship ended;
- care leave used in the calendar year in which the employment relationship ended;
- the number of days of remote occasional work performed in the calendar year in which the employment relationship ceased.
In connection with the above, a new template of the labour certificate is available as an attachment to the Regulation supplemented with the above elements.
A very good and conscious move by the legislator is the amendment of the regulation on the labour certificate, which indicates new requirements for its content. This will certainly avoid doubts and remove any problems that may arise in the interpretation of the new regulations. So far, doubts have been raised about, among other things, determining the number of days of remote occasional work to which an employee is entitled, remaining to be used in a given calendar year. The new regulations seem to have resolved this problem.
Undoubtedly, it is important to remain vigilant and keep track of the recent changes in labour law that appear every now and then, so we encourage you to read our blog articles, in which we present the latest changes in the regulations.
Mateusz Turowski, Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)
Paula Staszak-Urbańska, LL.M., Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)