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Leave in Poland

Holiday Entitlement in Poland

All employees have the right of an annual unbroken paid vacation, and employers must enforce that it's taken. Just starting their work experience, an employee attains the right to paid time off, entitled to 1/12 of their whole vacation for every month they work.

The general assumption about paid leave is that employees will take it all at once. However, employees can request a split as long as at least one period is 14 days unbroken.

Vacation entitlement is as follows:

  • Twenty days - if the employee has been working for less than ten years
  • Twenty-six days - if the employee has been working for at least ten years.

Part-time employee's holiday entitlement is calculated in proportion to their working hours, always rounded up to a full day.

The working period that determines vacation entitlement also includes time spent in education, depending on its type. Having a higher education degree, for instance, has an equivalent of eight working years.

Unused vacation days are transferred to the following year and must be taken by September 30 of the following year. It is forbidden to pay employees for not taking their leave, except if their employment is ending.

Bank holiday

There are 13 paid public holidays per year that every employee is entitled to. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, such as Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday (Pentecost), which is an official rest day in Poland, there is no extra pay. The only exception is made for employees who have been scheduled to work on these days, in which case they receive a paid day off. Holidays that fall on a weekend day are not moved to the next working day.

However, employees may take an extra day off if the holiday falls on their day off according to their work schedule for an average five-day workweek. If the holiday falls on Sunday, the employee doesn't get extra work for this holiday.

Employees are entitled to a day off in lieu of working on a public holiday, regardless of the number of hours worked. If their employer does not provide them a day off, the employee is entitled to an additional payment of 100% for each work hour.

Poland 2022 Holiday Calendar

DATEWEEK DAYHOLIDAY
1/1/2022SaturdayNew Year's Day
6/1/2022ThursdayEpiphany
17/4/2022SundayEaster Sunday
18/4/2022MondayEaster Monday
1/5/2022SundayLabour Day
3/5/2022TuesdayConstitution Day
5/6/2022SundayWhitsun/Pentecost
16/6/2022ThursdayCorpus Christi
15/8/2022MondaySt. Mary’s Ascension Day
1/11/2022TuesdayAll Saints Day
11/11/2022FridayIndependence Day
25/12/2022SundayChristmas Day
26/12/2022MondayBoxing Day

Types of Leave in Poland

Sick leave

Employers are responsible for paying employees on sick leave 80% of their salary for the first 33 days of illness in a calendar year, regardless of breaks. The amount increases to 100% if the employee becomes ill during pregnancy or were in an accident going to or returning from work. The difference, in this case, is covered by the Social Security Institute.

After the first 33 days, the Social Security Institute covers the leave, generally at 80% of the base pay for a maximum of 182 consecutive days per year (inclusive of the 33 days paid by the employer).

For employees aged 50+, the company must only cover the first 14 days of sick leave. The rest is covered by Social Security.

Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to the following maternity leave periods after childbirth or adoption of a child seven years old or younger:

  • 20 weeks for a birth or adoption of one child
  • 31 weeks for two children
  • 33 weeks for three children
  • 35 weeks for four children
  • 37 weeks for five or more children

The Social Security Institute covers maternity pay at 100% of the employee's salary.

Maternity leave cannot start earlier than six weeks before the expected childbirth date and must continue immediately after childbirth. If the employee did not use the maternity leave before giving birth, her maternity leave starts when the child is born.

Employees should take a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave after childbirth before returning to work. They can transfer any untaken leave beyond 14 weeks to the child's father.

The adoption leave may be used by both the adoptive father and the adoptive mother. However, under the Labour Code, it's not possible for the leave to be taken simultaneously by both parents on the terms of maternity leave.

Breastfeeding Break

A breastfeeding employee working more than six hours a day is entitled to two half-hour breaks per day. If she is breastfeeding more than one child, she is entitled to two 45-minute intervals. However, if breastfeeding employees work between four and six hours, she is entitled to one break per day.

Paternity leave

Employees are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave within the first 24 months after the child's birth (or from the date of adoption, before the child turns 7). The leave can be taken in a maximum of two instalments, each not shorter than one week. Social Security pays the leave at a rate of 100% of the employee's salary.

If a female employee wants to return to work early (after completing the 14 weeks of mandatory maternity leave), the child's father can use the maternity leave's remaining balance.

Parental leave

Parents are entitled to a maximum of 32 weeks (34 weeks for multiple births) of paid parental leave, which can start once maternity leave has been fully used. Parental leave may be used:

  • Entirely by only one of the parents
  • Simultaneously by both parents, but the leaves combined cannot exceed 32 weeks for one child and 34 weeks for multiple births
  • Alternately by both parents who divide the 32 or 34 weeks between them

Parental leave is also granted to adoptive parents (after exhausting the maternity leave), up to:

  • 32 weeks if one child is adopted
  • 34 weeks if multiple children are adopted
  • 29 weeks if adopting a child older than six but younger than seven years old

For the first six weeks, the leave is 100% of the employee's salary (eight weeks in case of multiple children and three weeks if adopting an older child). The remaining time is paid at 60%. Social Security covers the leave.

If the employee submits a written request for parental leave no later than 21 days after delivery, the pay is 80% of the employee's salary for the whole period, paid by Social Security.

Employees can take parental leave as one continuous period or several periods (not more than four). Each period should not be shorter than eight weeks. They can use up parental leave until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns six.

Employees can return to work part-time (no more than half time) during their parental leave if they give at least 21 days' notice. Employers have the right to reject an employee's request for part-time work for operational reasons.

Disabled child

Parents of disabled children (with a significant degree of disability or a disability certificate and who require permanent or long-term care) can take up to 30 days' leave per year in case of their child's illness. They can further request flexible work arrangements (telework, work intermittent hours, work flexible hours, or work an individual work schedule).

Childcare leave

An employee raising at least one child aged up to 14 years is entitled to two paid days off a year, covered in full by the employer.

Additionally, employees who have worked for at least six months are entitled to a further three years unpaid childcare leave until the child is five years old (18 years old if the child is disabled).

During a childcare leave, an employee can work for the current employer or another one. As is the case with parental leave, the employee may request to reduce their working hours to no less than half of their full-time hours during the leave period, which the employer should grant them. Further to that, an employee taking a childcare leave can also receive education or training if they can combine it with taking care of the child.

After finishing the childcare leave, the employee is entitled to reemployment in the former or an equivalent position.

Special event leave

Employees are entitled to two days off for close family member life events, such as a wedding, a child's birth, or a funeral. The entitlement is one day in cases of a child's marriage or the death of a sibling or in-law family members. Employees have the right to full remuneration during their leave.

An employee must also be given leave in cases outlined in specific regulations. Examples include court or public authorities appearances, or compulsory medical examinations or blood donation.

Study leave

The leave varies in length and is granted to employees who are either in employer initiated education or have received permission for it:

  • Six days for extramural exams
  • Six days for professional qualification confirmation
  • 21 days for diploma dissertation and examination

Employees are paid during their study leave.

Unpaid leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave that can be used for any purpose, including working for another employer.

The employee must request such leave, but the employer has the right not to grant it.

If the unpaid leave exceeds three months, the parties may allow for a provision that interrupts it if the employee needs to come back to work for important reasons.

This page was last updated on 
22 September, 2022,
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