One of the most important changes to employment law in Poland in 2023 will be the formal regulation of remote work. Companies that allow their employees to work from home should adapt their employment contracts and work regulations accordingly. The amendments to the Labour Code are expected to come into force in early 2023.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home (also known as, home office or remote work) has become extremely popular. Remote work is now an integral part of many workplaces. The ability to work from home is becoming the norm in the post-pandemic workforce.
Discuss and regulate remote work together
The introduction of remote work must be mutually agreed between the employer and the employee, say the Ecovis experts. Unilaterally, employers will only be able to instruct a particular employee to work from home in exceptional circumstances (e.g. lockdowns, natural calamities). The arrangements can be amended and the initiative to cease working remotely will also be with both the employer and the employee. A request made by one party to change the working conditions will be binding on the other party.
We review employment contracts and adapt them to the new regulations for remote work. Michał Mieszkowski, attorney at law, ECOVIS LEGAL POLAND Law & Tax, Warszawa, Poland
What rules must be set for remote work
The terms and conditions of remote working should be included in a company’s remote work regulations. This document should specify:
A group of employees who have the option to work remotely
The rules for reimbursement of expenses related to remote working (including a lump sum for increased consumption of utilities and an allowance for the use of the employee’s own tools)
The rules for communication between the employer and remote workers (including the method of confirming attendance at work)
The principles of monitoring work performance
The principles of health and safety inspections
The principles of checking compliance with security and information protection requirements, including procedures for the protection of personal data
The rules on the installation, inventory, maintenance and updating of software and the servicing of work tools provided to remote workers.
Regulating remote work in companies with employees’ representatives
According to the bill, remote working regulations may be introduced after consultation with employees’ representatives. If there is no employee representative in the workplace, it will be necessary to elect one – it will be the preliminary stage before the implementation of remote work. For workplaces with a trade union presence, it will be necessary to reach an agreement with these organisations.
The remote work regulations will undoubtedly become an essential document in the operation of a workplace and drafting and implementing them will require an analysis of the specific issues related to working outside of the employer’s premises. At Ecovis, we can provide full support to employers with the introduction of remote working.