Remote working in Poland - the need for evolution

21 August 2020
The spread of the coronavirus has led many employers in Poland to implement remote working, a practice that was uncommon in the country before the pandemic. The rise of remote work has allowed many Polish companies to maintain their operations and workforces. But employers and employees must now address the emerging challenges and uncertainties of this new way of operating, and with little guidance. Working from home isn’t even accounted for in Poland’s Labour Code.

Agnieszka Polańska-Kanka, Vistra’s Director of Client Services, HR and Payroll in Poland, is well-equipped to address the subject of working remotely. She has over a decade of experience building HR and payroll departments in Poland and is an authority on local Labour Law, social security and personal income tax compliance.

In a recent article for the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland’s magazine, Agnieszka points out the difference between telework — now the only form of work outside the employer’s headquarters regulated in the Polish Labour Code — and remote work. Until recently, working remotely was seen only as an employee benefit, something requested by the employee and requiring approval by the employer.

With the recent, widespread quarantines imposed in Poland, employers and others are taking a fresh look at remote work. Many businesses have been forced to consider new workforce solutions, including flexible home office options.

In light of these new realities, Polish authorities are looking to regulate working remotely. They’ve developed a special Act, commonly known as “the Anti-Crisis Shield,” to counteract the negative effects of the pandemic. The Act provides Polish employers with tools for flexible team management and workplace organisation. However, it will expire in September. 

Agnieszka says of the situation:

“Given that COVID-19 cases continue to appear in Poland, it can be assumed that the provisions of the special Act will be extended. Perhaps this form of work will soon become permanent and will be regulated in more detail in the Polish Labour Code. Employer organisations, including the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland, Business Centre Club and Lewiatan Confederation have recently issued an appeal to clarify legislative solutions related to working remotely, including in relation to occupational health and safety, proposing more realistic solutions.”

To learn more, download the article