In the face of a threat of SARS CoV-2 virus spread in Poland, state authorities have been implementing various measures to prevent the spread. Under the Act of 5 December 2008 on Preventing and Combating Infections and Infectious Diseases in Humans, on 20 March 2020, the Minister of Health issued the Regulation on introduction of the state of epidemic emergency within the territory of the Republic of Poland (hereinafter: the “Regulation”).
Below we present aspects of the Regulation most vital from the labour law perspective.
Obligatory quarantine after return from abroad
The Regulation introduces detailed provisions regarding the introduction of a mandatory 14-day quarantine for persons entering the Polish territory. From 20 March 2020 until further notice, persons crossing the border to get to their places of residence or stay should:
- provide Border Guard officers with information on the address of residence or stay at which a person will undergo mandatory quarantine, and a telephone number at which a person may be contacted, and next
- undergo a 14-day quarantine at the place notified to the Border Guard.
Border Guard officers forward the received information to the State Sanitary Inspection.
Under the Regulation, the obligation to undergo mandatory quarantine does not apply to persons performing professional activities, e.g.:
- within the territory of the Republic of Poland or in a neighbouring state by a person who carries out their professional activities in those states,
- by a ship crew within the meaning of maritime safety regulations or a crew of an aircraft within the meaning of the Aviation,
- by drivers performing road transport services as part of international road transport or international combined transport within the meaning of the provisions on road transport,
- by drivers performing road transport services as part of international road transport or international combined transport within the meaning of the provisions on road transport, who return from abroad by means other than the vehicle used for road transport:
- to have obligatory rest within the territory of the Republic of Poland in accordance with the EU regulations,
- after having a rest abroad in accordance with the EU regulations and after a break in the performance of work in the circumstances specified in the Act on Working Time of Drivers.
Notification obligation for persons performing work
In accordance with the Regulation, a person who is undergoing an obligatory quarantine due the Polish border crossing is required to:
- inform the employer about undergoing an obligatory quarantine – the employer may be informed about the obligatory quarantine via ITC systems or communication systems, including a phone,
- provide the employer or the entity required to pay a sickness allowance with a written confirmation of fulfillment of the quarantine obligation – a person who was required to undergo a quarantine should provide a relevant confirmation within 3 business days from the end of an obligatory quarantine, however, this may be done via ITC systems or communication systems.
Submission of a relevant confirmation by a person subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine means that such a person is entitled, for the period of quarantine, to receive a remuneration referred to in art. 92 of the Labour Code or a sickness allowance specified in separate provisions. Next, the contribution payer (employer), who is not required to pay a sickness allowance, immediately, and not later than within 7 days, forwards such a statement to the Social Insurance Agency.
In accordance with the Regulation, the confirmation constitutes evidence that justifies absence from work at the time of obligatory quarantine after return from abroad.
The Regulation indicates information that must be provided in the confirmation. Hence, the confirmation by a person who undergone an obligatory quarantine must include:
- particulars of a person who undergone an obligatory quarantine:
- forename and surname,
- personal identification number (PESEL), if given,
- series and number of a passport, if shown to the Boarder Guard during the control,
- quarantine starting and ending dates,
- signature of a person who undergone an obligatory quarantine.
Right to control contents of the confirmation made by persons who render work
Under the Regulation, employers and entities required to pay the sickness allowance are entitled to control the contents of the confirmation on an obligatory quarantine after return from abroad, made by a person who renders work.
The employer or entity required to pay the sickness allowance may request that a competent body of the State Sanitary Inspection verifies information included in the confirmation. Reasons justifying the request must be stated.
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Information contained in this publication is of general nature and does not relate to the situation of a particular company. Due to frequent changes in Polish legislation, we kindly request that you make sure that on the day you are reading this publication the information contained therein is still up to date. We suggest that you consult our advisers before making any decisions.