The task-based system of work primarily concerns individual work, which is generally repetitive and performed outside the workplace. This is because it is necessary to determine the time for their performance. Thus, the task-based working time system will undoubtedly work well for positions such as programmer, designer, graphic designer, sales representative, journalist and others.
Systems of introduction
The task-based working time system is regulated by Article 140 of the Labor Code. According to it, in cases justified by the type of work or its organization or the place of work, a task-based work time system may be used.
The employer, after agreement with the employee, determines the time necessary to perform the assigned tasks, taking into account the size of the employee’s working time, resulting from the standards for the size and distribution of working time contained in Article 129 of the Labor Code. Thus, it may not exceed the standard working time, i.e. 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week in an average five-day work week in an accepted settlement period not exceeding 4 months.
As a rule, task-based working time should not be linked to the achievement of a specific economic result (i.e., it is not possible to pay for the achievement of a given goal or not, because the remuneration is paid for the performance of a given task).
The change of the work system to task-based is established in a collective agreement or in work regulations, or in a notice if the employer is not covered by a collective agreement or is not required to establish work regulations. According to Article 150 of the Labor Code, in workplaces with labor regulations (those employing more than 50 people and where there is no collective bargaining agreement), it is in the regulations that changes to the working time system must be made.
According to the Labor Code, both the rules and regulations and the notice come into force after 2 weeks from the day they are made known to employees, in the manner adopted by the employer. In the case of new employees, the employer is obliged to familiarize the employee with the provisions of the labor regulations/proclamation before allowing him/her to work – so there is no required deadline that must be met here. It is therefore sufficient to present the content of the notice/regulation in question to the employee before signing the contract with the employee in question.
It is also possible to additionally introduce such a provision in the employment contract with a particular employee, but this is not required by the Labor Code. It should be remembered that in order to later abandon such a provision, it will be necessary to sign an agreement with the employee, and in the absence of his consent – to go through the procedure of changing notice. From the employer’s perspective, therefore, it is more advantageous not to make such a provision in the employment contract.
In contrast, the statutorily required agreement with the employee does not mean agreement, but consultation. The absence of such an agreement does not render the establishment of a task-based system of working time ineffective, but in the event of a dispute, it creates an obligation on the part of the employer to prove, that the tasks entrusted to the employee were possible to perform within the limits of working time norms. Thus, the object of such an agreement is to determine the time necessary to perform the tasks assigned – in the case of unrealistic goals assigned to the employee, it may turn out that the employer will be forced to pay wages at a higher amount – due to overtime work.
The legislator does not mandate that the intention to introduce this system of working time be consulted with the company’s trade union organization or reported to the district labor inspector.
With the pandemic due to the increasing number of employees doing their work from home and the upcoming changes to the Labor Code – finally regulating remote work, the task-based system of work may prove extremely attractive to both employer and employee.
The employee should therefore be aware of the number of tasks assigned to him in a given period, for example, performing 100 transfers in 2 months, executing 10 employment contracts, etc.
However, in the case of task-based working time, there is no specific time frame (no time records or no definition of work schedules).
When it is not strictly required
For some employees, the introduction of task-based working time may not be necessary. After all, the provision of Article 151 (4) of the Labor Code stipulates that employees who manage the workplace on behalf of the employer and managers of separate organizational units shall, if necessary, perform work outside normal working hours without the right to remuneration and overtime allowance. On the other hand, at the same time, nothing prevents such employees from also being covered by this working time system.