It’s been more than 2 weeks since one of the biggest amendments to the labor law came into force related to the implementation of the so-called work-life balance directive, i.e. the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) of June 20, 2019 on work-life balance for parents and caregivers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU, which has been the subject of many of our previous blog posts. This time we will take a look at the changes covering issues relating to the employment contract between employer and employee.
Mandatory elements of any employment contract
As a result of the need to implement the provisions of the work-life balance directive, Article 29 of the Labor Code, which indicates the requirements for the content of an employment contract, has been amended. As of April 26, 2023, each newly concluded employment contract (regardless of whether it is concluded for a definite or indefinite period or for a trial period) must specify:
- the parties and type of contract,
- the address of the employer’s registered office, and, in the case of an employer who is an individual without a registered office, the address of residence,
- the date of conclusion of the contract
- the type and place or places of work,
- remuneration for work corresponding to the type of work, indicating the components of remuneration,
- working hours,
- the day of commencement of work.
Additional changes for probationary and fixed-term employment contracts
In addition to the above elements, a fixed-term employment contract must also include
- its duration or
- the day of its ending,
while a contract of employment for a probationary period must indicate:
- its duration or the day on which it will end, and, when the parties so agree, a provision for extending the contract for the period of vacation, as well as for the period of the employee’s other excused absence from work, if such absences occur,
- the period for which the parties intend to conclude a fixed-term employment contract after the expiration of the term of the probationary contract, or a provision to extend the probationary contract once.
As a result of amendments to the Labor Code, the re-entry of a probationary employment contract with the same employee is now permitted only in a situation where the employee is to be hired to perform a different type of work. Thus, the possibility of concluding such an agreement with an employee after at least 3 years from the date of termination or expiration of the previous employment contract has been removed, if the employee is to be employed to perform the same type of work.
Some of the changes are formal and organizational in nature, such as the need to include the employer’s address in the employment contract, but some of the above changes touch on the sphere of employee rights, which employers cannot violate or limit. The legislator is not sparing employers in 2023, which has brought so many changes in more than a dozen aspects of the labor law that not a single entrepreneur will be able to figure out what specifically in his situation is changing and what actions he needs to take or how to structure an employment contract to comply with the statutory requirements. We keep our hand on the pulse and check the changes in labor law on an ongoing basis to be ready to help employers during this time of intense amendments that impose further obligations on employers in the sphere of the employment contract with a new employee.
Paula Staszak-Urbańska, LL.M., Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)
Mateusz Turowski, Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)