Please be advised that as of July 1, 2023, the state of epidemic emergency (in effect after the state of epidemic) in Poland has been abolished. This involves the reinstatement or abolition of certain solutions covering employers that were suspended or introduced for the duration of the pandemic. In view of the above, we have prepared for you a summary of the most important changes.
We encourage you to contact us to discuss the detailed impact of these changes on your obligations.
- The return of the fiction of delivery after twice advising
- Return of periodic occupational health examinations
- Occupational health and safety training – return to existing rules
- Employment of foreigners – validity of residence permits
- Working remotely on the employer’s order
- Granting vacation leave without the employee’s consent – changes
1. The return of the fiction of delivery after twice advising
Covid provisions on the fiction of delivery stipulated that an unclaimed letter whose date of receipt specified in the advice letter fell during a state of epidemic emergency or a state of epidemic emergency could not be considered delivered while the state of epidemic emergency or a state of epidemic emergency was in effect and for a period of 14 days after these states were lifted. In practice, this caused difficulties for employers who wanted, for example, to give notice to an employee through the post.
In connection with the end of the state of epidemic emergency, the so-called “fiction of delivery” after twice advising returns and is in force again as of July 15, 2023.
2. Return of periodic occupational health examinations
During the state of epidemic and epidemic emergency, mandatory preliminary and preventive examinations of employees were suspended. As a result of the abolition of the state of epidemic emergency, preliminary examinations became mandatory again. Employers must therefore refer employees whose certificates have expired to the required preventive examinations.
Medical certificates that expired on March 7, 2020, and certificates issued by a doctor other than an occupational physician remain valid until December 28, 2023 (180 days from the date the epidemic emergency was lifted).
3. Occupational health and safety training – return to existing rules
The covid regulations also introduced simplifications in health and safety training, among other things, extending the validity of periodic training previously held. With the lifting of the state of epidemic emergency, obligations in this regard also returned. Employers have 60 days from the day the epidemic emergency is lifted to conduct training.
Thus, health and safety training falling between March 14, 2020, and July 31, 2023, must be conducted no later than August 30, 2023.
4. Employment of foreigners – validity of residence permits
Covid regulations have extended the validity of residence and work permits in Poland for foreigners that expired during the pandemic period – in this case, legal residence and work in Poland continues for these individuals for an additional 30 days after the epidemic emergency is lifted.
This means that the application for the extension of the residence and possibly work permit in Poland must be submitted no later than July 31, 2023.
5. Working remotely on the employer’s order
Once the state of epidemic emergency has been lifted, the employer may instruct employees to perform remote work exclusively during the period in which the employer’s provision of safe and sanitary working conditions at the employee’s existing workplace is temporarily impossible due to force majeure.
6. Granting vacation leave without the employee’s consent – changes
Under covid regulations, an employer could grant up to 30 days of vacation leave unused by an employee in previous calendar years to an employee at a date designated by the employer, without obtaining the employee’s consent and bypassing the leave plan, and the employee was obliged to use such leave.
After the lifting of the epidemic emergency as of July 1 this year, employers can no longer use such an arrangement.