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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Labor Code – changes. New carer’s leave, dismissal due to force majeure, parental leave – family minister Marlena Maląg about changes

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The Labor Code is to be improved. The draft adopted by the government assumes, among other things, the introduction of a new carer’s leave and the extension of parental leave. – The aim is to provide parents with small children with greater professional stability. The new regulations certainly make it easier to combine work and family life, said Marlena Maląg, Minister of Family and Social Policy.

On Tuesday, the government adopted the draft amendment to the Labor Code, which aims to implement two EU directives. It is about the directive on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union and the so-called parental directive.

The draft law will now be submitted to the Sejm for work. The new solutions are to enter into force 21 days after being published in the Journal of Laws.

Extended parental leave

The project includes, among others: introduction of an additional 9 weeks of non-transferable parental leave for the other parent. – In this way, we want to encourage fathers to actively participate in raising children from the earliest stage of their development. It is important that children feel the support of both parents and build strong relationships with them, stressed the head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Marlena Maląg, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency. In her opinion, this is “another step towards increasing equality between women and men on the labor market”.

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The draft also provides for changes in the amount of the allowance. – The length of parental leave is a key change. Currently, it is entitled to up to 32 weeks in the case of the birth of one child or up to 34 weeks in the case of multiple births. After the already mentioned extension of parental leave by 9 weeks, it will amount to 41 and 43 weeks, respectively, explained Maląg.

The head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy pointed out that the parents of seriously ill children covered by the “For Life” program will also be entitled to a longer total parental leave. – For them, the total length of parental leave will be longer by as much as 24 weeks and will amount to 65 and 67 weeks, respectively – she pointed out.

New maternity allowance

The Minister of Family also spoke about the proposed changes in payment maternity allowance. – 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 throughout the entire period of these leaves and an increase in the aforementioned allowance base to 81.5 percent – explained Marlena Maląg.

In addition, changes will also take place in paternity leave. – Currently, it is two weeks and this will not change, but the time to use this leave will be shortened from 24 to 12 months. Thanks to this, fathers will be present in the child’s life from the first months, which is important for a strong bond between the father and the child – she emphasized.

New carer’s leave

The Minister of Family pointed out that the project aims to make the organization of working time more flexible for parents. – This means, among other things, a greater possibility of remote work, the use of flexible working hours or individual working time schedules. If an employee taking care of a child up to 8 years old applies for one of these solutions, and his application is not accepted, the employer will have to justify the reasons for his refusal – explained the head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

Parents are also to be protected in the event of a sudden illness of their child. 5 days in a calendar year of unpaid care leave have been proposed, which will be granted at the employee’s request. – This solution will also apply to employees who take care of another family member – parent or spouse – requiring care. In the current legal order, such a solution does not exist – noted Maląg.

– What is more, it will be prohibited to carry out any preparations for terminating and terminating the employment relationship during pregnancy, during maternity leave and other leaves related to parenthood. It is a comprehensive protection for parents, especially for women, stressed the minister.

Request to change the type of contract

In addition – in accordance with the draft amendment to the Labor Code – “an employee who has performed work for at least 6 months will be able to apply to the employer once a calendar year, submitted in paper or electronic form, to change the type of employment contract to an employment contract for an indefinite period or for more predictable and safe working conditions, including changing the type of work or full-time employment working time“.

– This will not apply to an employee employed under a contract of employment for a trial period. There will also be additional breaks at work for employees who work more than nine hours a day, Marlena Maląg pointed out.

According to the draft, the employee will have the right to: a second break of at least 15 minutes, included in the working time, if the employee’s daily workload is longer than 9 hours, as well as a third break of at least 15 minutes, included in the working time, if the employee’s daily working time is longer than 16 hours.

“It will also be new”

The proposed solutions also provide for the introduction of the possibility of “dismissal from work due to force majeure”.

– This will also be a novelty, currently such a solution does not apply. The exemption will be granted in the case of urgent family matters caused by a fortuitous event. For the period of dismissal, you will be entitled to half of your salary. Throughout the calendar year, the employee will be able to take advantage of such a facility for 2 days or 16 hours – explained the Minister of Family and Social Policy.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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