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  • Less favourable employment conditions for employees than under employment contracts

Less favourable employment conditions for employees than under employment contracts

02 April 2020

The Act of 31 March 2020 amending the Act on special solutions related to the prevention and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them and certain other acts introduced the possibility to limit uninterrupted daily rest, to conclude an agreement on the introduction of an balanced working time and to conclude an agreement on the application of less favourable employment conditions for employee.

What are the conditions for applying the abovementioned solutions?

The abovementioned solutions are acceptable if:

1. there has been a decrease in economic turnover due to coronavirus, understood as a decrease in sales of goods or services, in terms of quantity or value:

  1. not less than 15%, calculated as the ratio of the total turnover during any 2 consecutive calendar months (after 1 January 2020) compared to the total turnover during the same 2 consecutive calendar months of the previous year,
  2. not less than 25% calculated as the ratio of the turnover for any given month (after 1 January 2020) compared with the turnover for the previous month; and

2. the employer in question has no arrears in the payment of tax liabilities, social security contributions, health insurance contributions, Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund (Fundusz Gwarantowanych Świadczeń Pracowniczych) contributions, Labour Fund (Fundusz Pracy) contributions or Solidarity Fund (Fundusz Solidarnościowy) contributions until the end of the third quarter of 2019. (however, there are exceptions to this condition).

What exactly are these solutions?

An employer who meets the above conditions may:

  1. limit the uninterrupted daily rest from 11 to 8 hours and the weekly rest from 35 to 32 hours. In such a case, the worker shall be entitled to an balanced period of rest, the difference between 11 hours and the number of hours of shorter rest periods taken by the worker. The employer shall grant the employee an balanced period of rest within a maximum of 8 weeks;
  2. conclude an agreement on introduction of balanced working time system, in which an extension of the daily working time up to 12 hours, within a reference period not exceeding 12 months is permitted. Extended daily working time is balanced by shorter daily working hours on certain days or days off;
  3. conclude an agreement on the application of less favourable employment conditions than those resulting from the employment contracts concluded with those employees, to the extent and for the time determined in the agreement.

In case of concluding the abovementioned agreements, the terms and conditions of employment contracts and other acts constituting the basis for establishing an employment relationship resulting from the company's collective labour agreement and the company's collective labour agreement shall not apply.

Who should we make agreements with?

These agreements are concluded with the relevant trade unions or, in the absence thereof, with workers' representatives.

If you need more information and help with these formalities, we encourage you to contact our specialist in this area:

Małgorzata Mędrala PhD

[email protected]