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Working Conditions in Poland

1. Minimum Working Conditions

The most important principles regarding working and remuneration conditions are set forth in the Labour Code. Nevertheless, the provisions of the Labour Code in this scope constitute only a minimum of employee rights, which can be broadened by the employer.

2. Salary

The basis for the amount of employee’s remuneration is found in the employment contract concluded with the employee’s employer. The most popular and the most important criteria for setting the amount of one’s salary are the kind of work and the qualifications required to perform the work and the quantity and quality thereof. For his/her work, the employee has, however, a guaranteed minimum pay, which is set pursuant to the principles and the procedure provided for in the Minimum Wage Act. If, however, a higher minimum salary has been set in collective labour agreements or the remuneration rules and procedures, then the employer is obligated to respect such agreements in place of the act. Apart from his/her basic pay, an employee may receive different allowances. Additional remuneration can be divided into the obligatory ones (e.g., extra pay for working overtime, extra pay for working at night), and the optional ones (e.g., extra pay for working shifts, service premiums). An employee can also be awarded different kinds of awards and bonuses.

3. Maximum Working Week

The working time may not exceed eight hours a day and forty hours in an average five-day working week in an accepted settlement period, which does not exceed four months. This means that a weekly norm always has an average character and its character may vary depending on the system and organization of the working time.

4. Overtime

Working overtime is accepted in two situations only: in the event when there is a necessity to conduct a rescue mission to protect human life or health, to protect property or the environment, or to remove a breakdown, or in the event of special employer’s needs. It is the employer who assesses whether there have occurred special needs which justify working overtime. It is the employer’s duty to ensure an employee an uninterrupted eleven-hour rest period per 24-hour day.

5. Holidays

An employee is entitled to annual, uninterrupted, paid holiday leave whose duration, depending on the number of years worked, is twenty or twenty-six days. Apart from the holiday leave the employee is entitled to Sundays and public holidays off work. At present, there are thirteen public holidays in a calendar year.

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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