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Employment Conditions in Poland

Terms & Conditions of Employment in Poland

Non-compete clauses

Prohibiting an employee from joining a competitor after their employment ends requires a separate agreement, and the employer must compensate the employee. The compensation cannot be lower than 25% of the monthly remuneration paid to the employee for the duration of the non-competition ban. If the agreement does not specify the amount, the employee must be compensated at the statutory minimum amount.

A non-competition agreement that prohibits an employee from competitive activities during employment, or for a period after it, is permitted if they have access to essential information, which will damage the business if they disclose.

The agreement must have a defined period or otherwise may be declared invalid. The term of the agreement itself is not limited. Therefore, as long as the employer pays the compensation and the agreement period is reasonable, the parties' obligations to the agreement remain enforceable.

Work and Remuneration regulations

Employers with 50 or more employees must introduce work and remuneration regulations in the workplace. Employers employing less than 50 employees may introduce work / remuneration regulations if they want but are not mandated to do it.

Those regulations cannot have less favourable terms for employees than those in the Labour Code, other legal regulations, or collective agreements.

The work regulations that define the workplace rights and obligations of the employer and employees outline:

  • Work organisation
  • Conditions for staying at the workplace during and after work
  • Equipping employees with tools and materials, including work clothes, shoes and personal protective equipment and personal hygiene
  • Systems and working time schedules and accepted accounting periods for working time
  • Date, place, time and frequency of salary pay
  • Lists of job positions prohibited for juvenile workers and women
  • Types of work and a list of job positions that young employees can perform as vocational training
  • List of light work allowed for young employees employed for purposes other than vocational training
  • Health & safety and fire protection obligations
  • Ways employees are informed about occupational risks associated with their work
  • Methods of confirming the employees' arrival and presence at work, as well as justifying their absence from work
  • Information on penalties for the breach of order by employees

The work regulations enter into force two weeks after they have been disclosed to employees. The employer has to present the work regulations to each employee before they start work. The employee, in turn, confirms in writing that they have read the regulations. The employer should keep that document in the employee's file.

The remuneration regulations determine the conditions of remuneration for work. An employer may also outline in it other work-related benefits and how they grant them.

While it's the employer that determines the remuneration regulations, they must agree on them with the enterprise trade union if there is one.

Employers with more than 50 employees must create a Works Council to maintain employee rights. They must then consult them on the following matters:

  • Changes in the level and structure of employment
  • Actions aimed at keeping the employment level unchanged
  • Actions that may lead to significant changes in the work organisation or the employment basis

Employees records

Employers must keep and maintain paper or electronic records on the employment relationship and personal employee files.

The employer is obliged to:

  • Keep employee records for the employment duration and the following additional period:
    • Ten years from the end of the calendar year in which the employment relationship ceased (for individuals employed after January 1st, 2019)
    • Ten years from the end of the calendar year, the information report was submitted to ZUS (for individuals employed between January 1st, 1999 and December 31st,2018). If the employer has not submitted the information report to ZUS, they have to keep the personal files for 50 years
    • Fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which the employment relationship ceased (for individuals employed before December 31st, 1989)
  • Store employee records, so their confidentiality, integrity, completeness, safety and availability is guaranteed
  • Give the employee information about:
    • The period of how long the employee records will be stored
    • The option to receive their records by the end of the calendar month after the employer no longer has to keep them
    • The destruction of employee documentation beyond the above period when they can get them
  • Give the employee a copy of all or part of the employee records
  • Destroy the documentation so it cannot be reconstructed within 12 months after its receipt by the employee.

The employer must keep separate records for each employee on matters related to the employment relationship, including:

  • Documents concerning the recording of working time
  • Documents on applying for and taking vacation leave
  • Card (list) of paid wages and other work-related benefits
  • A record card for the allocation of work clothes and shoes and personal protective equipment (and the payment of the cash equivalent for the use of own clothes and shoes and their washing and maintenance).

The employer must also keep registers of suspicion of occupational diseases, occupational diseases and accidents at work.

Intellectual property

Any work that an employee creates during their employment is covered by IP rights (e.g. economic copyrights in works, trademarks, inventions) and belongs to the employer. It should have been created within the scope of the employee's duties, unless otherwise stipulated in the employment contract. This does not apply to moral rights, which always remain with the author/inventor.

If an employee creates an invention (not a trademark or work) outside the scope of their duties but with the employer's help, the employer can use it in the limited scope provided for by law.

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