On Friday, January 27, President Andrzej Duda signed an act amending the Labor Code in the field of remote work and sobriety control. The Act was published in the Journal of Laws on February 6, and thus the changes regarding sobriety control will come into force on February 21, while the provisions governing remote work will come into force on April 7.
The amended regulations introduce the need to regulate remote work in relevant internal company documents, such as remote work regulations (if there are no trade unions operating at the workplace or no agreement has been concluded with them).In the absence of such regulations, the employer will have to determine the conditions of remote work separately with each new employee, e.g. in the employment contract, and in the case of already employed persons, in the form of an additional annex to the contract.
Having consolidated internal rules brings many benefits for the company, for instance:
- implementation of standardized rules for all employees,
- enabling employees to check what rules apply to them at any time,
- regulating the issue of covering the necessary costs of remote work by the employer,
- indication of tools and equipment provided by the employer as part of remote work,
- in the case of changes in the rules of remote work, there is no need to make changes to employment contracts, it is enough to change the regulations, about which all employees will be informed.
According to the wording of the new regulations, remote work will be performed in whole or in part in the place indicated by the employee and each time agreed with the employer, including at the address of residence, in particular using means of direct remote communication. Remote work may be performed at the employer’s request or as a result of an employee’s request submitted to the employer.
The employer will have to consider the request for remote work submitted by the employee
- a pregnant employee,
- an employee raising a child up to 4 years of age,
- the child’s parent, e.g. holding a certificate of disability or a certificate of moderate or severe disability,
- an employee taking care of another member of the immediate family or another person remaining in the same household, with a certificate of disability or severe disability.
The employer is obliged to inform the employee about the reason for refusing to accept the application in paper or electronic form within 7 working days from the date of submission of the application by the employed person. The refusal to accept the employee’s request may be justified only by the inability to organize work in a way that allows remote work or due to the type of work performed by the employee.
One of the most important changes in the adopted act are changes regarding the costs of remote work:
- providing the employee performing remote work with materials and work tools, including technical devices, necessary to perform remote work,
- providing an employee performing remote work with the installation, service and maintenance of work tools, including technical devices, necessary to perform remote work, or covering the necessary costs related to the installation, service, operation and maintenance of work tools, including technical devices, necessary to perform remote work,
- providing the employee with reimbursement of the costs of work performed remotely, i.e. covering the costs of electricity and telecommunications services necessary to perform remote work. The Act does not specify specific reimbursement rates. Reimbursement can be agreed, for example, in the form of a lump sum. The payment of the lump sum will not constitute income within the meaning of the PIT Act ((Act of 26 July 1991 on personal income tax, Journal of Laws 2022 item 2647 with amendments), and thus will not be the basis for taxation and contributions. However, the exemption will only apply to the amount of the lump sum, which will reflect the actual and real costs incurred by the employee based on, among others, about electricity consumption standards or the cost of communication services. The tax authorities and the Social Insurance Institution announce that these amounts will be subject to control, so it is important that the employer is able to document the method of determining the amount of the refund,
- providing the employee performing remote work with training and technical assistance necessary to perform this work.
OCCASIONAL REMOTE WORK
Remote work, in accordance with the provisions of the act, may be performed occasionally, at the employee’s request submitted in paper or electronic form, for a period not exceeding 24 days in a calendar year. The justification for occasional remote work is to be incidental and special circumstances justified solely by the employee’s interest. In the case of occasional remote work, some of the provisions of the act on remote work, e.g. the provision of appropriate equipment to the employee, do not apply.
The employer will be able to carry out a preventive sobriety test only when it is necessary to protect the life and health of employees, other people or property. If you want to conduct a sobriety test, employers must also specify, as in the case of remote work, the rules for conducting it in internal company documents.
In order to control sobriety and control for the presence of substances acting similar to alcohol, the employer uses methods that do not require laboratory testing, i.e. testing devices with valid certificates confirming their proper calibration or calibration. If an employee is found to be intoxicated, which may result in termination of the employment contract without notice due to the fault of the employee, the employer is obliged to prove the reason for such termination of the employment relationship.
Due to the need to introduce procedures and regulations relating to the new regulations in your companies, we cordially invite you to contact our specialists who will be happy to answer your questions and prepare the necessary documents.
We also invite you to participate in the webinar “Remote work – everything you need to know about the new rules: labor law, ZUS and taxes” organized by Advicero Nexia, during which we will discuss the above changes in more detail and also draw your attention to problematic issues that may arise in connection with the introduction of new regulations.
Date of the event: February 28, 2023, 10:00 am. Participation in the event is free.
If you are interested, please confirm your participation by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the note “First name, Surname, Company name”.