Ministry of Family and Social Policy

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In Poland, the working time must not exceed 8 hours a day and an average of 40 hours in an average five-day working week. The working time is calculated for a reference settlement period of up to 4 months. If justified by objective or technical reasons concerning organisation of work, the settlement period may be extended up to 12 months, but this must comply with general rules regarding protection of employee health and safety. The settlement period may be extended under a collective agreement or in consultation with respective trade unions. If it is impossible to agree the content of such an agreement with all trade union organisations, the employer shall agree it either with representative trade unions, each of which shall include at least 5% of workers employed by that employer, or in an agreement with worker representatives appointed in accordance with the procedure in force at that employer. The weekly working time including overtime must not exceed an average of 48 hours in the assumed settlement period.

It is also possible to use flexible working time which entails different starting hours or time slots during which workers may start work. The daily working time may be extended in certain work time systems.

All workers are entitled to uninterrupted daily rest of at least 11 hours and continuous weekly rest of at least 35 hours, or at least 24 hours in certain cases.

If the daily working time is 6 hours or longer, a worker has the right to take a 15-minute break from work; such a break is included in the worker’s working time. An employer may introduce one break of maximum 60 minutes for meals or personal matters that is not included in the working time.

Work on Sundays and public holidays is allowed in situations listed exhaustively in the Labour Code, e.g. in the case of shift work, in transport and during work which is necessary due to its social utility and daily needs of the population.

Trade and trade-related activities at commercial establishments on Sundays and public holidays are subject to certain restrictions. In 2020 and following years, there will be 7 trading Sundays per year - the last Sunday in January, April, June and August, two successive Sundays before Christmas and the Sunday before Easter. In certain situations provided for by law, trading and conducting trade-related activities is allowed every Sunday. This applies to e.g. petrol stations, pharmacies and florists.

An employer is obliged to give another free day to its workers who work on Sundays and public holidays. Such workers should have a free Sunday at least once every 4 weeks. Night work lasts 8 hours between 9:00 pm and 7:00 am. A worker who performs night work has the right to additional remuneration for each hour of night work.

Overtime work entails performing work beyond the standard working time as well as performing work during an extended daily working time if it is necessary to carry out a rescue operation to protect human life or health, protect property or natural environment, resolve a failure or meet specific needs of the employer. The amount of overtime work performed in relation to specific needs of the employer must not exceed 150 hours during the calendar year. Overtime work is compensated by salary supplements or paid time off work.

The provisions of the Labour Code on working time do not apply to civil-law contracts. Furthermore, since this issue is not regulated by the provisions of the Civil Code either, it must be agreed by the parties to the employment contract. However, it is required to confirm the number of hours spent on performing an order or providing a service under a contract which provides for the minimum hourly rate for such activities.

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