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Revolutionary changes in the Labour Code, part 3 – additional leaves and changes in working time regulations

From April 26, to the Polish legal order will introduce extensive changes to the labor law caused by the implementation of two EU directives into the Polish legal order: the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions and the Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers. In connection with the above, new leaves and changes in working time will also be introduced.

New carer’s leave

According to Art. 1731 of the Labour Code, the employee will be entitled to take advantage of a new carer’s leave of up to 5 days in a calendar year, regardless of the number of employers. Leave will be granted to provide personal care or support to:

  • a person who is a family member or
  • living in the same household who requires significant care or significant support for serious medical reasons.

As indicated in Art. 1731 §2 A son, daughter, mother, father or spouse is considered a family member. However, this does not exclude a situation where an employee applies for a carer’s leave, e.g. due to an accident of a partner, because the act is not limited only to family members but also to persons living in the same household.

The leave is granted for days which are working days for the employee. The employee does not retain the right to remuneration for the period of leave. This is a separate entitlement from the carer’s leave of 2 days or 16 hours per child up to the age of 14.

The application for a new carer’s leave is submitted by the employee at least one day in advance in paper or electronic form. In the application, he indicates the reason for the absence and the name and surname of the person who requires his care and assistance, together with an indication of the degree of kinship. In the case of a person who is not a family member, the employee indicates the address of residence of such a person. The introduced provisions do not explicitly indicate the possibility of refusing to grant such leave by the employer and the obligation to enable the employee to exercise such entitlement.

Information on the use of the new carer’s leave will have to be included in the employment certificate.

Leave due to force majeure

Due to force majeure, in urgent family matters caused by illness or accident, if the employee’s immediate presence is necessary, the employed person will be able to take leave from work for 2 days or 16 hours in a calendar year.

The first application to be submitted by the employee will determine the method of using the leave in a given calendar year. In the case of this entitlement, the employer is obliged to grant the employee such leave from work. The employee, on the other hand, is obliged to submit an application for leave due to force majeure no later than on the day of using this leave.

This leave will be a paid leave for which the employee will receive 50% of the remuneration. Determined in accordance with §5 of the regulation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy on the method of determining remuneration during the period of non-performance of work and remuneration constituting the basis for calculating compensation, severance pay, compensatory allowances to remuneration and other amounts provided for in the Labour Code.

Information about the use of leave from work due to force majeure will also have to be included in the employment certificate.

Extra work breaks

As a result of the amendment to Art. 134 of the Labour Code, employees will have additional breaks during the working day. In addition to the already existing 15-minute break for working more than 6 hours, the employee will have the right to:

  • a second break lasting at least 15 minutes – if the daily working time exceeds 9 hours,
  • a third break lasting at least 15 minutes, when the daily working time exceeds 16 hours.

All breaks are included in the employee’s working time.


On our blog you can read the series of publications on changes in the Labour Code in 2023. The following articles have been published so far: