Amendments to the Labour Code in 2021
Work on the amendments to the Labour Code has been ongoing for many months. We do not know when the work will be completed, but it is possible that it will happen this year. The changes that we can expect to see affect several areas, mainly related to pay, paternity leave and remote working.
Higher minimum wage
This is the subject that interests employees most. The minimum wage is to be increased again. Although the amount of the increase is still not astounding, because it is PLN 142, it will make people earn at least PLN 2062 net (PLN 2800 gross). Please remember that in 2020 the minimum wage is PLN 2600 gross.
Hourly rates will also increase, inter alia, under civil-law contracts, i.e. on the basis of popular commission contracts. The minimum hourly rate in 2021 will be PLN 18.30 net, which is PLN 1.30 more per hour in your pocket. If you work 160 hours per month this means a salary of PLN 2928.
New rules for remote working
During the pandemic, the government recommends remote working, if possible. In many positions, you can work online, fulfilling your duties reliably. Most employers are reluctant to use this form of cooperation, perhaps due to the lack of precise legal regulations for such work. From next year onwards, this is expected to change in line with the expectations of employers and trade unions. The new guidelines will be based on the current rules on teleworking, with appropriate amendments.
Among the planned provisions, we can expect new regulations on the reimbursement of electricity costs or the use of own equipment when working from home, as well as regulations on the observance of health and safety rules. An employee performing remote work will have to make a statement that their workstation at home has been adapted to health and safety regulations. OHS officers will therefore be required to provide remote workers with new risk assessment rules for the job and information on the health impact of work. The new regulations will be a prelude to complete regulation of work performed permanently at the home office.
New paternity leave
Based on decisions of the European Parliament, the Polish Labour Code will also have to be amended as regards the additional period of 2 months of paternity leave, which would apply to employees with a new child. The leave could be taken by the dad instead of the mum – at the cost of shortening the maternity leave. However, these regulations will probably not enter into force until 2022.
The fight for women’s rights has also entered into the Labour Code. Women still earn around 20% less than men doing the same job. The European Parliament is also forcing changes in this area, which means that women who earn less than their colleagues with the same responsibilities will be able to sue their employer on these grounds.
Changes for the better
The new Labour Code is regarded by many as revolutionary. We will see how big the changes will be for employees and employers after its publication in the final form. If you prefer to forget about the formalities of hiring employees, read about employee outsourcing as a great alternative to classic employment contracts.
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