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Labor Code – changes. Carer’s leave, time off due to force majeure, parental leave and benefits. Grant Thornton explains

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Changes in parental leave and benefits, a new carer’s leave, time off due to force majeure and additional breaks if the daily working time exceeds 9 or 16 hours – provides for the government’s draft amendment to the Labor Code, which has been submitted to the Sejm. The most important changes in the regulations were analyzed by the consulting company Grant Thornton.

the Council of Ministers On January 10, it adopted the draft amendment to the Labor Code. The idea is to achieve equality between women and men in terms of opportunities on the labor market and treatment in the workplace by making it easier for employees who are parents or carers to reconcile work and family life. The project is both the implementation of EU directives and the fulfillment of a milestone related to the National Housing Plan.

The document was sent for the first reading in the Sejm. The new solutions are to enter into force 21 days after being published in the Journal of Laws. According to the Minister of Family and Social Policy, Marlena Maląg, the regulations will come into force around April.

The consulting company Grant Thornton analyzed the most important changes related to the entry into force of the regulation.

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Extended parental leave

As GT points out, duration parental leave is to be extended by 9 weeks – from 32 to 41 in the case of single births, or from 34 to 43 in the case of multiple births. Both parents of the child will be entitled to the increased parental leave (as before), however, the additional 9 weeks will be “non-transferable” to the other parent (unused leave will be forfeited).

“So in practice, each parent will be able to use a maximum of 32/34 weeks of this leave. Parental leave can be divided into 5 parts (instead of 4, as before) – until the end of the calendar year in which the child turns 6” – explained.

Higher parental benefits

The amendment changes the rules for paying parental benefit. – Today, a parent who decides that he will benefit immediately after maternity leave from parental leave, i.e. submits the so-called long application, receives 80 percent of the benefit basis for the period of maternity leave and parental leave. The draft amendment assumes solutions that in practice also give the opportunity to submit an application for the payment of the allowance in the average amount over the entire period of these leaves and an increase in the aforementioned allowance base to 81.5 percent, Minister Maląg recently explained.

Grant Thornton explains that if you apply for Parental Leave no later than 21 days after giving birth (on the birth of one child):

– maternity leave (20 weeks) – it will be paid in the amount of 81.5% (currently: paid 80 percent); – parental leave (32 weeks) – it will be paid in the amount of 81.5 percent. (currently: paid 80 percent); – parental leave for the other parent only (9 weeks) – paid 70 percent (currently: not available).

When applying for parental leave at least 21 days after the birth (if one child is born):

– maternity leave (20 weeks) – will be paid 100% (as it is now) – parental leave (32 weeks) – will be paid 70 percent. (currently: the first 6 weeks – 100% paid, the next 26 weeks – 60% paid) – parental leave entitled only to the other parent (9 weeks) – 70% paid.

New carer’s leave

A novelty introduced to the Labor Code is a carer’s leave of maximum 5 days. Experts from Grant Thornton explained that it will be available to people who need to take care of their immediate family members staying in a common household. The said group is to include: daughter and son as well as the applicant’s spouse, as well as his mother and father.

“This leave is to be granted in situations that will require significant care or significant support from the applicant for serious medical reasons. An employee exercising this right will not retain the right to remuneration for such leave” – ​​they noted.

Flexible working time for parents of children up to 8 years old

Another change is the addition of a provision that will allow parents of children up to the age of 8 to submit an application for adjusting working time to their individual needs, including through: teleworking/remote workflexible working hours, individual working hours and even intermittent working hours.

Grant Thornton experts pointed out that the application will have to be submitted no later than 21 days before the planned start of using the flexible work organization. The employer will have to respond to it within 7 days, and in the case of refusal, provide the reason for it.

An employee who takes advantage of the new, more flexible working conditions will be able to submit a request to return to the previous work organization at any time, before the deadline specified in the original request – if this is justified by a change in circumstances, which was the original basis for the submitted request.

Force majeure, work stoppages

New in the Labor Code will be leave due to force majeure, which entitles to take 16 hours or two days off during a calendar year in the event of urgent family matters caused by illness or accident. This leave will be paid at the rate of 50%. holiday pay.

In addition, as Grant Thornton points out, regulations will be introduced to ensure that employees have the right to apply for a more favorable form of employment. They will apply to employees employed for at least 6 months. Such persons will be able to submit an application once a calendar year to change the type of contract for an indefinite period (from a fixed-term contract) or for more predictable and safe working conditions.

Regulations on employee training, which are necessary to perform official tasks at a specific position and carried out on the basis of the superior’s order, will be improved. Experts explain that in this case, there will be a requirement to implement them at the expense of the employer and, if possible, during the working hours of the employee. In the case of trainings carried out outside these hours, their time is to be included in the working time of the person undergoing such training.

“Employees will also gain a second and third 15-minute break from work included in the working time, if their daily working hours will exceed 9 and 16 hours, respectively,” Grant Thornton also said.

Read more: A new type of leave, dismissal from work “due to force majeure”. The minister explains

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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