At the common meeting of the working team for labour law and the working team for the development of social dialog, which was held on April 19th, social partners and government representatives initiated discussion on changing the Trade Unions Act. Both employers and unions voiced objections to suggestions presented by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy.
As emphasized by representatives of the Ministry, the aim of the draft is to broaden the right to coalition in accordance with the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal from June 2nd 2015, to encompass the self-employed and employees on civil contracts. As a consequence, they would be entitled to all the benefits resulting from union membership, such as a.o. employment protection and the so-called “union jobs”. The amendment also addresses a number of other problematic issues which require regulation, such as ad hoc union activity or higher thresholds for union representativeness.
However, according to employers, the solutions proposed by the Ministry may prove to be unconstitutional and unfit for the standards of the International Labour Organization. Similar objections were voiced by the unions, who are of the opinion that the draft does not fully realize the ruling of the Tribunal with regards to broadening the right to coalition. Organizations of employers emphasized that the planned changes extend beyond the issues addressed in the ruling and discussed by social partners in the course of autonomous dialog in recent years. Given the revolutionary nature of the propositions and the objections voiced in response, employers put forward a motion to prolong the deadline for social consultations and work on the draft within the framework of autonomous dialog in the Social Dialog Council. Participants of the meeting agreed to such a solution and declared that they will present their positions before the end of May, before commencing negotiations.
Viceminister of Family, Labour and Social Policy Stanisław Szwed assured of his openness to dialog with social partners and declared that the solutions elaborated by social partners will be taken into consideration when the Ministry prepares the final version of the draft.