Obligation to conclude an employment contract in writing - Labor Code 2016

Service

On June 9, 2016, the Senate adopted the draft labor code without amendments, which obliges the employer to conclude an employment contract with an employee in writing or to confirm its terms in writing before starting work. This amendment aims to:

  • increase the protection of workers' rights,

  • prevent illegal employment,

  • equip the National Labor Inspectorate with effective control tools in the field of legal employment of employees.

Having a written employment contract or a written confirmation of the basic arrangements related to the conclusion of an employment contract in a form other than in writing before being admitted to work is to facilitate the assertion of benefits and rights under the employment relationship for employees.

Obligation to conclude an employment contract in writing - current legal status

Art. 29 § 2 of the Labor Code required the employee to confirm in writing the basic arrangements related to the conclusion of the employment contract on the day of commencement of work at the latest, which meant that the employer could fulfill his obligation by the end of the employee's first day of work. In practice, it often happened that the contract is prepared after a few days or even weeks. The National Labor Inspectorate responded to this issue and noted that in practice this regulation was used by employers to illegally employ workers.

During the inspection carried out by the labor inspector, it was a rule that employers provided a translation that employees did not have employment contracts yet, because this is the first day on which they were allowed to work, and a written confirmation will be provided to employees by the end of their working day in accordance with Art. . 29 § 2 of the Labor Code.

Obligation to conclude an employment contract in writing - changes from September 1, 2016

The legislator imposed an obligation on the employer to conclude an employment contract in writing and to make arrangements for the parties to the contract, the type of contract and its terms before the employee is allowed to work in a situation where the employment contract is not concluded in writing. It follows that the employer will have to provide the employee, before allowing him to work, a written employment contract or a written confirmation of the basic arrangements related to the conclusion of the employment contract in a form other than in writing. Failure to comply with this provision will be subject to a fine from PLN 1,000 to PLN 30,000.

Other changes to the Labor Code

Amendment of Art. 29 § 2 resulted in changes to two other articles. Their goal is to standardize the nomenclature related to the employer's obligations that must be fulfilled before the employee is allowed to work. Currently, the employer is required to familiarize the employee with the content of the work regulations, and - in the case of a juvenile employee - with the list of light work, before allowing the employee to work. In these provisions, the term "commencement of work" has been replaced by the term "admission to work". It follows that all obligations that are currently related to the date of commencement of work are to relate to the employee's admission to work. The above-mentioned changes entered into force on September 1, 2016.

European Union law and the obligation to conclude a written contract of employment

Comparing the Polish and EU legal systems, it can be concluded that the Polish legislator in this matter introduces quite strict regulations on the one hand and very solid on the other. Council Directive 91/533 / EEC of 14 October 1991 on the employer's obligation to inform employees about the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship approaches the problem in a liberal manner and indicates that the information should be provided in writing to the employee no later than two months. after taking up employment. The UK applies this rule, Sweden and Germany apply a period of one month from taking up employment, while Luxembourg, Iceland and Latvia provide information to the employee on the day they start work.

Will this change really solve the problem of illegal employment? To a large extent, it will depend on both the awareness of the importance of the problem on the part of employers and the actions of the National Labor Inspectorate related to the enforcement of the new regulations.