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Report

9 Jan 2023

Author:
ILAW

Telework in Poland

This report assesses the legal framework and practical context of telework in Polish law. Telework refers to the organization or performance of work wherein a person performs work, within the framework of an employment contract or relationship, at home or at any other alternative place other than an employer’s premises, through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

In Poland, teleworking is currently regulated in the Labour Code (Act of June 26, 1974), under the term “telework.” Under these provisions, the teleworker is entitled to many legal protections. However, the Polish legislature intends to remove regulations on “telework” in the Polish Labour Code and replace them with new regulations on “remote work.” The understanding of telework has changed dramatically in connection with the pandemic in Poland. The concept of remote work appeared for the first time in Polish labour law in the so-called Covid Act.

The Polish Parliament has been working on the draft act on remote work for over two years. Finally, on June 7, 2022, the draft act on the amendment to the labour code and certain other acts, as adopted by the Council of Ministers on May 24, 2022, was submitted to the Sejm. It is essential to ensure that any reforms are based on the principle of decent work and the protection of workers’ rights, as well as respecting the principles of equality and nondiscrimination. Trade unions have a pivotal role to play, including ensuring a balance in collective labour relations.

The first part of this paper analyses current provisions on telework from the Labour Code. The second part of the paper discusses the draft provisions on remote work, which are to replace the provisions on teleworking. The new provisions on remote work should not undermine current protections, but should be developed in consultation with unions to ensure that all workers have the right to decent work and social protections.