Poland: Labour law amendment allows delivery of services for foreign clients on Sundays and bank holidays.
Until now the ban on Sunday and bank holiday work has been a big problem for Polish companies providing services for foreign counterparts, because holidays in Poland often do not correspond with holidays abroad.
Since 4 March 2014 this is no longer a problem. Employers may now let employees work on Sundays and bank holidays if involved in providing services via electronic communication (e-mail, phone). But this is only if the service receiver is located outside Poland. The new regulation also includes support staff not directly involved in providing these services (e.g. computer technicians).
The legality of working on Sundays and bank holidays depends on whether the bank holiday is a working day in the counterpart’s country. Some bank holidays in Poland, e.g. Corpus Christi, always fall during the week and often do not correspond with dates of holidays in other countries, even within the European Union. This is important, because if the day is a day off work in both countries then working is not allowed.
Thanks to the new regulation employers will not have to take on replacements for their own staff to work on Sundays and bank holidays or organize special shift-work system only to be able to provide their services on those days. For Sunday and bank holiday work an employee is entitled to an another day off work.
Most to benefit from the new regulation will be call centres and phone or e-mail customer support companies. However the legislator did not state the kind of services the new rules apply to, which is why they include all companies providing services for foreign counterparts.
Source: Act of 26 June 1974 The Labour Code (Journal of Laws, nr 24, pos. 1576)
Author: Maciej Stasiewicz, bnt attorneys-at-law Warsaw