Employee rights in Poland

If you work as an employee in Kraków, you will enjoy rights protected under Polish labour law. These rights limit the hours you can be required to work, fix the minimum that you can be paid, govern holidays, and more. Here’s a brief rundown of the basics.

Payment
As of January 1 2012, the minimum wage in Poland is 1,500zł per month (Dziennik Ustaw z 2011 r. Nr 192, poz. 1141). However, this is the gross figure, ie, before tax, social insurance and other deductions have been made.

Working hours
You can work up to eight hours per day, and an average of 40 hours per week. If you work overtime, the weekly average cannot be more than 48 hours. If you work overtime, you should be paid, or given time off in compensation.

Holidays
Polish employment law bases holiday on the employee’s entire working history – not on the length of time they have been working for any given employer. For someone with less than ten years work history in Poland, the paid holiday entitlement is 20 days. For those with at least ten years employment history, it is 26 days. If you have a university degree, this usually counts towards your employment history.

Parental leave
New mothers are entitled to 20 weeks maternity leave on full pay. If a woman has twins, this rises to 31 weeks, and to 33 weeks for triplets. It is possible to extend maternity leave on request, by two to three weeks. New fathers can get a week off, and either parent can take parental leave of up to three years in order to raise the child, until the child is four years old.

Sickness and other leave
If you are sick, you will be entitled to leave providing you have been signed off by your doctor. You may also get time off for marriage, childbirth, the death or funeral of a close family member, or for any other reason by agreement with your employer.

Termination
Polish labour law offers many protections to employees. For example, your contract can only be altered in writing, and with the agreement of the employer and employee. A contract can be ended at any time, with or without notice, if the employer and employee agree. If your employer wants to terminate your contract without agreement, they must usually give you notice of two weeks if you have been working there for less than six months. This rises to a month if you have worked for at least six months, and three months for three years service.
Your contract may be terminated without notice for reasons such as gross misconduct, unexplained absence, loss of licences required to carry out a job, extended sickness, or if you have been convicted of a crime that makes it impossible to do your job.
Your employer has obligations too – and you can terminate a contract without notice on some health grounds, or if your employer seriously neglects their obligations to you, for example regarding safety.

You can read much more information about this subject, at EURES, the European Jobs Network.

Are you an English-speaking employment expert in Kraków? Email info@anthonycasey.pl to find out how KrakówPolska can help you reach ex-pat employees in the city for less than 1zł per day.

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