Tomorrow, Sejm will proceed changes in the Labour Code, aimed at restricting the use of fixed-term contracts of employment. This is one of the most important amendments to the labour law. However, employers are critical in their assessment of it.
As of now, in accordance with art. 25 (1) of the Labour Code, signing two fixed-term contracts is allowed, as long as the time between the end of the previous contract and the start of the new one does not exceed 1 month. After the changes all contracts of this kind signed with the same employer will count towards the limit.
Another restriction consists in establishing a maximum total duration of fixed-term contracts signed with the same employer. According to the draft, this total could not exceed 33 months. This unusual duration is a consequence of adding the maximum duration of a trial contract, that is 3 months. However, the assumption the employers will be interested in signing a trial contracts for its full duration in every case is not justified as it is not obligatory and the time negotiated may be less than the legal limit.
The draft involves several significant exceptions to the rules mentioned above. These include fixed-term contracts signed:
Prolonging the duration of fixed-term contracts to 48 months, as suggested by employers, could restrict the use of controversial exceptions. The clause with a very general scope is necessary, as the conditions on the labour market vary and are impossible to predict all at once – not to mention including them in an act.
Monika Gładoch, attorney at law, adviser to the President of Employers of Poland