Legal Alert – Amendments to the Labour Law

Below we present the major changes implemented in the Labour Code, following a recent enactment of new regulations. The changes may have significant implications for the employers’ obligations towards their current employees, and with reference to agreements to be concluded after particular amendments enter into force.

Changes resulting from the Act of 10 January 2018 on Amendment of Certain Acts Due to Shortening the Employee Files Storage Period

Under the Labour Code currently in force in is not possible to maintain and store the employee files in the electronic form. The regulations provide that the employer is required to maintain the employment-related documentation and the employee personal files, and to store those documents in secure conditions, to ensure that the documentation cannot be damaged or destroyed. Moreover, the Labour Code includes no regulations that would indicate the time during which the above-mentioned documentation must be stored. Still applicable 50-year storage period stems from the Act of 14 July 1983 on National Archival Resource and Archives, and the Act of  17 December 1998 on Retirement and Disability Pensions from the Social Insurance Fund, and it is an unusual phenomenon in Europe.

The above-mentioned act of 10 January 2018 provides, among others, for shortening, from 50 to 10 years, the time when the employer is required to store personal and payroll files of all its employees and contractors engaged from 1 January 2019. In addition, under the new regulations employee files may be maintained in the electronic form.

As a consequence of the above-mentioned changes, amendments to the Labour Code have been introduced in the scope of:

  • employer’s responsibilities concerning the maintenance and storage of the employee documentation, including a change of the documentation form from paper to electronic and vice versa;
  • employer’s information duties towards current and former employees;
  • return of the employee documentation to the employee and destroying the employment files not collected from the employer;
  • extension of the employer’s powers to cover the ability to demand certain information when establishing the employment relationship;
  • remuneration payment modes.

Changes introduced under the Act of 19 March 2009 on Amendment of the Education System Act and Certain Other ActsThe above-mentioned changes will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

With regard to lowering the primary school starting age, hence the secondary school completing age, it was necessary to implement proper changes in the Labour Code with reference to the definition of the adolescent employee and introduction of an exceptional admissibility of employment of persons, who completed the secondary school under the age of 15.

Taking into consideration the fact that this year in September the labour market will for the first time see the graduates, who began their primary schools as six-year-olds (in the school year of 2009/2010), the amended regulations will come into force on 1 September 2018.

Changes stemming from the Act of 10 January 2018 on Limitation of Trade on Sundays, Public Holidays and Some Other Days

On 1 March 2018 entered into force regulations, which introduced a ban on trade and trade-related activities on Sundays and public holidays, and a prohibition of entrusting employees and persons rendering work under civil law contracts with the performance of work in trade and other trade-related activities. The new law also introduced the limitation of performing and entrusting work in trade on Christmas Eve and Holy Saturday.

Following implementation of the above-mentioned regulations, changes have been introduced in the Labour Code with reference to days off, public holidays work ban and the compensation for work on Sundays and public holidays.