State of epidemics recalled in Poland – information for employers and employees
Starting from 16 May 2022, the “state of epidemics” is cancelled in Poland and replaced by the “state of epidemic emergency”. Does the change have any major effects for employers and employees?
What is the state of epidemic emergency?
Restrictions can still be imposed, including: temporary restriction on specific ways of movement, turnover and use of specific items or food, operation of certain institutions or workplaces, prohibition of organizing shows and other public gatherings or the obligation to get vaccinated. Most restrictions of citizens’ rights introduced upon the special COVID act apply to both the state of epidemics and the state of epidemic emergency, and they will cease to apply only upon the end of the state of epidemics, the state of epidemic emergency and 3 or 6 months after their recall.
Remote work (work from home) still possible, but new regulations need to be adopted
Employers may still ask employees to work outside their regular place of work. Importantly, the request to perform work remotely should be of temporary nature and apply to the work specified in the contract of employment. Employers are entitled to make such requests during the state of epidemic emergency and over the period of 3 months after it has been recalled. The remote-work regulations (amending the Labour Code), awaited by both employers and employees, have not been adopted yet.
Preliminary OSH training can still be delivered online, periodic training is suspended
Employers can still deliver the preliminary OSH training online, except for certain positions/jobs specified in the law; the on-the-job training is necessary for blue-collar jobs, hazardous work, apprentices or students doing their vocational placement, as well as persons who are to change their position/job. Periodic OSH training is still suspended; if the date for delivery of the periodic training falls in the period of the state of epidemic emergency or within 30 days after it has been recalled, the deadline is extended until the 60th day following the recall of the epidemic emergency, unless the state of epidemics is announced, or the state of epidemics.
Periodic medical checks
Medical certificates issued as a result of preliminary and periodic medical examinations and checkups, which became invalid after 7 March 2020, remain in force but for no longer than 180 days from the date on which the state of epidemic is recalled.
During the state of epidemic emergency, the employer can still grant a holiday leave to an employee on the dates indicated by the employer, without the employee’s consent and disregarding the holiday plan, which was not used in preceding calendar years, for the period of up to 30 days, and the employee is obliged to use the leave.