Every person in Poland employed pursuant to an employment contract is entitled to exercise certain basic rights, including the right to remuneration and the possibility to take annual leave. If these rights are contravened, the employer may be financially penalized and in severe instance, their freedom may be restricted.
The Polish Labour Code explicitly specifies the scope of employee’s responsibilities, yet it grants a number of rights as well.
Only duties ensuing from the contract
An employment contract is the basic document which governs mutual relations between the employer and the employee. Namely, the primary right of an employee is to work pursuant to provisions set out in the employment contract, which cannot be inferior to the provisions of the Polish labour law. Type of a contract depends on individual agreement between the employee and the employer.
In order to render the contract valid, it needs to specify parties to the employment relationship and its type. What is more, the document should indicate the conditions of work and payment, the place of work, the remuneration which corresponds to type of work (as well as individual components of the remuneration), the working time and the starting date.
The agreed remuneration shall be paid at least once a month, in regular and predetermined periods. Moreover, its amount should be fair.
What does it actually mean?
First of all, the remuneration amount should correspond to the type of work and the qualifications required for its fulfilment as well as take into account the volume and quality of provided work. At the same time, the employer is entitled to decrease the remuneration only within the limits specified by the law.
Furthermore, the principle of fair remuneration requires setting such an amount of payments which guarantees the employed and their families a dignified life. The minimum remuneration of an employee in Poland is legally determined and it may increase in 2015 from PLN 1680 to PLN 1750.
Finally, the principle of fair remuneration requires that when a given person conducts the same type of work or works on the same position as another employee, their remuneration shall be equal.
Principle of non-discrimination
Unfair remuneration may be considered a discrimination. In Poland, however, the principle of equal employment rights requires that every employee, regardless of their gender, shall enjoy the same rights because of performing the same obligations in the same manner.
The principle of equal treatment in employment obliges the employer to employ everyone equally within the following scope:
- starting and terminating the employment relationship;
- employment conditions;
- access to training courses which allow developing professional skills.
What is more, the principle of non-discrimination is applied with regard to sex, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, political preferences, trade union membership, ethnic origin, religious convictions and sexual orientation as well as irrespectively of working for definite or indefinite period of time or having a full-time or a part-time job.
The right to leisure
Basic rights of an employee include also the right to leisure which is stipulated in the regulations on working time, holidays and annual leave.
The working time is a period when the employee remains at the disposal of his/her employer, both within the company’s premises as well as within other place specified by the company. It cannot exceed 8 hours per day and 40 hours per each averagely a five-day working week within reference period not exceeding 4 months. In total and including overtime, the weekly working time shall not exceed 48 hours within the adopted reference period.
In each week, the employee is entitled to at least 35 hours of uninterrupted rest which includes at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest per day. Moreover, every person employed pursuant to an employment contract can take advantage of an annual and uninterrupted paid leave which equals 20 days (if the person is employed for less than 10 years) or 26 days (if the person is employed at least 10 years).
In Poland, public holidays include all Sundays and series of other days, including 3rd of May (the National Holiday of the 3rd of May) or 11th of November (the Independence Day).
The right to safe and healthy working conditions
Every employee (regardless of the type of their contract) has the right to work in safe and healthy conditions.
The employer is fully responsible for ensuring appropriate working conditions within the company and obliged particularly to:
- organize the work in a way which guarantees safe and healthy conditions for its fulfilment;
- ensure that regulations and principles of work safety are observed, to order elimination of any irregularities within that scope and to supervise accomplishment of those orders;
- ensure that all orders, applications, decisions and rulings are issued by bodies which supervise the working conditions.
The employer should fulfil all these objectives by applying modern solutions which make use of scientific and technological achievements.