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Legislation Monitoring Centre
In Poland there is neither an internet portal nor an institution for employers responsible for monitoring the legislation process of regulations that determine the rules for business activity. At present employers  learn about changes in the law mainly from mass media or simply through the grapevine, usually with delay.



Revolution in fixed-term contracts is ever closer


The Social Policy and Family Commission of the Sejm has passed the government draft of an amendment to the Labour Code regarding fixed-term contracts of employment, after it had been worked on by the Labour Market Sub-commission. Employers still have objection to some solutions included therein, particularly the limits on the duration of contracts and short limits for trial contracts. At the same time, we are aware that regulations have to be adapted to EU law and abuses related to fixed-term contracts have to restricted.


Employers are also aware that such changes have to be introduced and are now getting ready for them to come into force, since they will surely constitute a revolution in fixed-term contracts. The draft involves:


  • abolishing the distinction between stand-in contracts and contracts for the time need to do a specified task;
  • the possibility of re-signing of a trial contract with the same employee for a different job and after 3 years of working the same job;
  • introducing limits on the duration of fixed-term contracts – a maximum of 33 months total and no more than 3 contracts, after which the term will no longer be fixed;
  • specified exceptions to the rules mentioned above: stand-in work, temporary or seasonal work, the duration of a term in a particular position  and objective causes on the part of the employer (the need to satisfy a real, temporary need which is necessary in light of all the conditions in which the contract is signed;
  • the obligation to notify the Labour Inspectorate in written form or by mail within 5 working days of the signing of a contract due to objective causes on the part of the employer – failing to do so will be a contravention to be punished with a fine of 1 000 to 30 000 PLN;
  • the possibility of unilaterally releasing an employee from the duty to perform a job during the trial period.


It is worth pointing out that the draft includes conciliatory solutions in an attempt to reconcile the interests of employers and employees. The Ministry of Labour and  Social Policy tried to strike a balance and considers the draft in its current form the best it could have come up with. However, the ministry does not rule out returning to the discussion on fixed-term contracts in the future, including discussing the proposition of a single contracts tying employee rights to work experience.


The amendment aims to stabilize employment based on fixed-term contracts which would be beneficial for employees. For this reason, it is striking that some opposition parliament members did not support it in the Social Policy and Family Commission and abstained from voting. Intriguingly,  they voted in favour of the draft in the first reading. Could they now not want to support pro-employee solutions?


Wioletta Żukowska, expert of Employers of Poland