The coming of the act into force means that the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs is now a thing of the past – to be replaced by the Social Dialog Council. This change is also a return, after more than two years, to tripartite dialog, as well as a new opening for social dialog in Poland.
As of now, the Council is in the process of being established: social partners and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy are negotiating the rules of the Council and its Office, as well as the areas of interest of the working (of which there were 9 in the Tripartite Commission).
The chairmen of the Council, the task forces, and the regional councils also have to be elected – for a one-year, rotational term. Employers and trade unions will nominate 6 and 8 representatives respectively, as well as 2 representatives each for each task force – to be nominated by the president. The regional council will consist of representatives of social partners as well as the marshall of the voivodeship and the voivode. Any issues which have not been finalized by the Tripartite Commission will be continued by the Council – both at the central and regional level.
The first meeting will most likely be held in October, as many socioeconomic problems have to be dealt with urgently – such as the changes in the collective bargaining agreement (resulting a.o. from the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal granting the right to unionize to employees on contracts other than contracts of employment) or the public procurement law – which should incentivize companies to use contracts of employment – as well as healthcare and taxes.
Both employers’ organizations and trade unions who have collaborate on the draft of the act place grate hopes in it. However, the new regulation is only a legal framework and the effectiveness of the Social Dialog Council will depended on the commitment of the social partners themselves and the government, as well as their good will and capacity for compromise. Otherwise, the numerous rights granted to the Council (such as a.o. the right to create drafts of acts and to inquire at the Supreme Court for legal issues to be resolved) will be little more than paperwork.
Wioletta Żukowska, expert of Employers of Poland