Remote working as a permanent option

On the day of 24.05.2022 a new bill amending Labour Code was introduced. Expected time when changes will fully take effect is the date of expiration of the currently established (as of 02.03.2020) rules introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases which would be 3 months after complete cancellation of the state of epidemic on the Polish territory. Among them of the utmost importance is giving the employees a new permanent option – remote working.

New changes, new responsibilities

With the introduction of this option, more things are expected from the employer, among which is specifying the rules concerning this issue – either through internal regulations or in the employment contract. Among terms that have to be specified are:

  • Groups of employees who are eligible
  • Rules concerning refunding of the costs of performing the job
  • Regulations of receiving a flat rate or money equivalent
  • Terms concerning communication and confirming the presence of employee on the work station
  • Rules concerning work performance
  • OSH (BHP) regulations
  • Terms of security and privacy of information including protection of personal data
  • Maintenance of work tools
  • Installation, cataloguing and updating software

Refunding includes not only the equipment maintenance but also costs of electricity and other costs associated and required to perform the expected duties. It is extremely important to remember that prerequisite of being eligible for receiving refunding from the employer due to use of personal work tools such as computer is ensuring security of work. In case of being unable to guarantee security the employer will be required to provide the employee with necessary tools for work.

Remote work can be proposed by either employer or employee and must be confirmed through paper or electronic form. The employer can revoke it at any time with at least 1-day heads up, after which the employee will return to work upon previously established terms. In case of petition from certain groups, the employer can refuse only if the nature or organization of work makes it impossible and is required to provide a reason for denial in paper or electronic form within 7 days. Such individuals include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Parents of children with disabilities
  • Parents of children below 4 years old
  • Caretakers of disabled family members

It is up to the parties involved to decide whether the work will be performed remotely full-time or partially. Place of work is decided by the employee and confirmed with the employer. Another option is occasional remote work which is provided for individuals requiring only a few such days due to special events or personal needs. It limits the number of remote workdays to 24 per calendar year but does not exclude the possibility of being applied for by the employee who already works remotely on partial basis granting further flexibility to the scheudule.