Employment Contracts in Poland

1. Minimum Requirements

The Labour Code distinguishes a number of employment contracts, including an employment contract for a trial period, an employment contract for a fixed term and an employment contract for an unlimited term.

Regardless of its type, the employment contract should define the parties to it, the contract’s type, the date of its conclusion, and the conditions of work and remuneration, in particular the kind of work, the venue of work, the remuneration for work reflecting the type of work performed with a specification of the components of the pay, working time, and the date of commencement of work. The employment contract is concluded in writing. If this form has not been preserved, then at the latest on the day of starting the work by the employee, the employer should confirm in writing for the employee the conditions as regards the parties to the contract, its type and terms and conditions.

2. Fixed-term/Open-ended Contracts

The Labour Code does not differentiate between the principles of concluding employment contracts. Independently of its kind, the employment contract is concluded under the same principles.

Unlimited-term contracts are most typical. Recently, however, there is a trend to depart from this form of employment toward fixed-term contracts or agreements in civil law.

A fixed-term employment contract is concluded either until an agreed calendar date or until the date, which can be defined by a fact, which will occur in the future.

The Labour Code allows an employer to conclude consecutive fixed-term employment contracts with the same employee. However the period of employment under a fixed-term contract, as well as the total period of employment under fixed-term contracts concluded between the same parties of the employment relationship, may not exceed 33 months, and the total number of the contracts may not exceed three. There are four exemptions, when fixed-term employment contracts can exceed the period/number mentioned above.

3. Trial Period

The trial period may not exceed three months. After the trial period, the parties may not conclude another contract for a trial period except in the situation where the employee is hired to perform a different type of work. It can be also concluded once, after the lapse of at least 3 years from the termination or expiry of the previous employment contract.

4. Notice Period

Requiring a notice period in an employment contract is acceptable if provisions of law state so. The Labour Code allows for a notice period in a contract concluded for a trial period, for a fixed-term and for an unlimited term. The notice period to an employment contract concluded for a trial period depends on the period for which the contract was concluded (two weeks, month, or three months for both fixed and unlimited term and 3 working days, 1 week or 2 weeks for contract concluded for trial period). The notice period in an employment contract concluded for fixed or unlimited term depends on how long the employee’s length of service was.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Poland, please contact A. Sobczyk & Wspólpracownicy
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