We support initiatives which contribute to stabilizing employment on the basis of fixed-term contracts. Employers of Poland consider the draft prepared in this regard by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy to be a balanced proposition. At the same time, we are satisfied that it does not involve regulations we have criticized – the obligation to justify fixed-term contract terminations and to consult them with trade unions.
We accepted the introduction of a legal limit on the duration of fixed-term employment. However, it should be noted that restricting it to 33 months would contradict earlier declarations made by Minister of Labour and Social Policy Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, who announced that the limit would be set at 36 months. At the same time, we would like to remind that employers’ organizations have postulated the maximum duration of work on the basis of a fixed-term contract to be established at 48 months. Moreover, the project involves a relation between the duration limit with the number of fixed-term contracts – parties would be allowed to sign a maximum of three such contracts. In our opinion, such a solution would significantly restrict the use of fixed-term contracts.
However, the project lacks another solution – previously supported both by employers and by trade unions – regarding increasing the maximum duration of a trial contract to 6 months. Such a mechanism would let employers to better evaluate the skills of an employee, which would be particularly useful when it comes to specialist positions.
We also have very serious objections towards the elimination of deputy contracts and contracts for the duration of specific work from the Labour Code. According to the project, they would function as exceptions, extraordinary contracts. We would like to stress that the Labour Inspectorate does not signal irregularities in implementation of such contracts. Thus, we believe that liquidating the separate status of such documents is unjustified. We think that current regulations in this regard should be maintained when it comes to deputy contracts and contracts for the duration of specific work should involve the possibility of termination with a two-week notice period.
Our objections extend to interim regulations. We are concerned that applying new regulations to fixed-term contracts currently in force may have negative consequences for employees. There is a risk that employers will terminate contracts even before the changes come into force.
Representative employers’ organizations are currently working on a common position with regards to the Project presented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. This opinion will be presented to Minister Kosiniak-Kamysz. We hope that the final shape of legal changes will include employers’ suggestions.
Employers of Poland