The year 2023 is a time of fundamental changes in Polish employment law, which we systematically analyse and comment on in our blog. 23 March 2023. President signed a law amending the Labour Code in connection with the obligation to implement Directive 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the EU Council of 20 June 22019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU, conventionally referred to as the “work-life balance directive”. The amended regulations will take effect within the next month.
Category: Labour law
The amendment to the Labour Code, which we have already described in our blog, introduced an extremely important way of working, especially popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is remote work. The main advantage of remote work is the possibility of performing it outside the employer’s premises, practically from anywhere in the world where the employee can perform his or her duties and obligations towards the employer. But can you work remotely for a Polish employer while staying abroad?
Remote work in the amended Labour Code
According to the newly added Article 6718 of the Labour Code, work may be performed:
- entirely or
- at a location specified by the employee and
- agreed upon each time with the employer, including at the employee’s place of residence,
- in particular, using means of direct communication at a distance.
It is therefore important for both parties to the employment relationship to agree whether the work performed by the employee can be performed remotely and where the employee will perform the work.
In which document should the place of remote work be established?
The amendment provides several possibilities for introducing regulations on the place of remote work, including:
- a remote work order;
- an individual agreement between the employer and the employee;
- a remote work regulations;
- an agreement with a trade union organization.
In each of the above-mentioned documents, the parties to the employment relationship may specify how they will regulate the employee’s remote work.
Can the place of remote work be located outside the borders of Poland?
Looking at the statutory definition of remote work, it is possible to perform it outside the borders of Poland.
However, this solution may raise many more questions and doubts than it seems at first glance.
First of all, it should be kept in mind:
- in which country the employee will work remotely – due to tax regulations – the employee’s situation is simpler in the case of remote work in countries with which Poland has signed agreements on the avoidance of double taxation (such as Germany, France, Italy, or Sweden) – then the provisions of the relevant agreement apply, which regulate the nature of tax obligations due to being a tax resident of one or the other country;
- issues related to the insurance of an employee working remotely outside the borders of Poland – here, too, the choice of the country in which the employee decides to work should be carefully considered; this situation can be extremely important, for example, if there is an accident at work.
The situation will be problematic and raise doubts if the employee works remotely from a country with which Poland has not signed an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation (e.g., Colombia), because there is a risk of double taxation of income, so depending on the choice of the country in which the employee intends to work remotely, the provisions of the relevant country should also be taken into account.
What else should be considered?
It is also worth noting:
- if remote work is carried out on the employer’s directive, the employer has the right to revoke the remote work directive with at least two days’ notice – then the employee must return to work at the employer’s premises;
- Prohibition of discrimination due to performing remote work, as well as due to refusal to perform such work – allowing an employee to work remotely abroad, it should be noted that they must be treated like employees who do not work remotely, so as not to create potential liability for the employer to pay compensation.
To summarize the issue of the possibility of remote work by an employee abroad, we recommend a careful analysis of the specific situation of each employee, taking into account the above-mentioned legal and tax factors.
The decision to allow remote work by an employee, especially for a longer period of time, should be properly considered and planned by the employer. The possibility of taking a so-called “workation” may sound very tempting for employees, but they should also remember about their duties and obligations towards the employer resulting from remote work.
Paula Staszak-Urbańska, LL.M., Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)
Mateusz Turowski, Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)
Occasional remote work, an institution provided for by an amendment to the Labor Code, entitling employees to work remotely for 24 days per calendar year, is already very popular in practice, especially among employees. What do employers think about it?
As we have mentioned in previous posts, the beginning of 2023 is marked by one of the biggest amendments to labour law in several years. Extremely intriguing for all subjects of the employment relationship is the possibility of remote working introduced by the Act amending the Labour Code, in connection with which a number of practical questions arise, such as – under what circumstances can an employer refuse an employee to perform remote work, which we answer in the following post.
Yelling, critical remarks and looks, insults in the company of co-workers – these are the most frequent manifestations of mobbing which draw the attention not only of witnesses to these situations, but above all, of the person affected by such behaviour. Mobbing is not always manifested that explicitly – how can we prove that something bad is going on?
On 6 February 2023, an amendment to the Labour Code regarding remote work and sobriety checks among employees was published in the Journal of Laws. Many questions have been raised about the possibility for an employer to carry out a sobriety check on an employee working remotely. Can employers apply it in such a case and how?
The year 2020 contributed to the surge of digital transformation. Organizations, in the face of the epidemic, implemented remote work more willingly, seeing in this solution not only business benefits but also often organizational and social coercion. Undoubtedly, the result of growing popularity of such work provision, both in the employees’ and employers’ environment was the implementation of remote work in Polish law. The amendment to the Labour Code regarding remote work has already been signed by the President and announced in the Journal of Laws, which means that from 7 April employers can officially implement the solutions provided for by the amendment. The upcoming changes and the many fears employers have about it have created many questions and at the same time many answers, quite a few of which significantly miss the truth. In this article, we debunk the 7 most common myths about remote working.
It has been more than two months since the last conference “Discrimination and mobbing at work”, organised by our law firm. Numerous participants in the event and a wide interest the topic once again proved how important the issues we touched upon were and, above all, how important it is to raise awareness of employers and employees in this area. During the meeting, many questions were also asked about how to protect people employed under civil law contracts from mobbing and discrimination.
2023 is the year of changes to the Labour Code. The most important of these are the provisions on home office and sobriety control introduced into the Polish legal order by the amendment of 13 January 2023, signed by the President of the Republic of Poland on 27 January 2023. The amendment on sobriety control will enter into force two weeks after its publication in the Journal of Laws, while the amendment on home office will enter into force two months after its publication in the Journal of Laws. There will be a lot of changes to be made, so it is worth preparing in advance.
Labour law provides for several types of leave for working parents: maternity leave, parental leave and unpaid extended post-maternity leave. In addition, employee-fathers can take so-called paternity leave of two weeks. Statistics show, however, that while paternity leave is used more and more, parental leave is only used by 1% of men. Perhaps, the work-life balance directive will change this.