Recently, we have been receiving an increased number of questions about aspects related to the calling of an employee to territorial military service in the Territorial Defense Forces (WOT). Calling up to the WOT triggers a number of obligations on the part of the employer and entitlements on the part of the employee, which must be kept in mind, and above all – to be performed within the statutory deadlines. In today’s blog post, we will outline what employers whose employees have volunteered to serve in the WOT must keep in mind.
The Law of March 11, 2022 on the Defense of the Fatherland, which regulates the performance of territorial military service by an employee, imposes a number of obligations on employers arising from the fact that an employee is called up to perform territorial military service. These include:
- paying the employee a severance payment in the amount of two weeks’ salary, calculated according to the rules for determining the equivalent of vacation leave within a statutorily defined period of time – with the employer having the option of seeking reimbursement for the severance payment paid;
- granting, at the employee’s request, unpaid leave for the duration of training;
- prohibition of termination of the employment relationship without the employee’s consent during the period from the date of delivery of the employee’s card of call to territorial military service, until its termination in cases specified by regulations;
- granting the employee 1 day’s leave from work after performing territorial military service continuously for at least 30 days.
The above obligations strongly affect the employment relationship between the employer and the employee, as well as its implementation, such as granting the employee unpaid leave for the period of service. These obligations may involve additional costs to the employer. However, it is possible to grant a benefit by the Head of the Military Recruitment Center in whose area the employee is serving, which includes reimbursement of costs incurred by the employer related to the employee-soldier’s military service in the WOT.
Entitlements of the employee
The aforementioned Law on Defense of the Fatherland also regulates the various entitlements available to an employee who has decided to perform territorial military service in the WOT. These include:
- receipt from the employer of a severance payment in the amount of two weeks’ salary, calculated in accordance with the rules for determining the equivalent of annual leave;
- retention of the right to salary in the event of referral by the commander of a military unit to take courses and specialized training;
- submitting a request to the military unit for payment of lost salary as a result of unpaid leave granted for the period of territorial military service.
It is also worth noting that the employee is obliged to inform the employer of the date of territorial military service, as well as any changes to this date.
The calling of an employee to perform territorial military service in the Territorial Defense Forces means that both parties to the employment relationship must pay attention to a number of obligations imposed on them by law, as well as be mindful of their rights. Should any problems arise with the appointment of an employee to serve in the WOT – we encourage you to contact us.
Paula Staszak-Urbańska, LL.M., Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)
Mateusz Turowski, Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)