Non-cash form of payment of remuneration, shortening the period of keeping employee files or limiting health and safety obligations – these are just a few of the changes that entered into force on January 1 as part of the amendment to the labor law. What are the duties of employers and employees for the last few days?

Cashless form of payment of remuneration

From January 1, the remuneration is to be paid by the employer by bank transfer to the employee’s payment account, unless the employee submits an application for payment of remuneration in cash. By January 21, employers must inform their employees who are currently receiving wages in hands of the need to provide the bank account number (to which the wages will be paid) or submit an application to continue paying wages in cash.

The employee will have 7 days to comply with this obligation. He must indicate a bank account number or submit an application for further payment of remuneration in hands. If the employee does not provide the bank account number and does not submit the application, the remuneration will still be transferred to his hands – explains Karolina Wojtas, trainee attorney at Duraj Reck i Partnerzy law firm.

Shortened period of keeping personal files

The employer’s obligation to keep personal files of employees has been shortened by this length. From January 1, employers must store such data for 10 years, previously it was as much as 50 years.

The amendment applies to newly hired employees as well as to those first registered for social insurance after December 31, 1998, and before January 1, 2019. The condition will be the submission of an information report up to 10 years back, counting from the end of the calendar year in which the information report was submitted – explains the attorney trainee.

The possibility of keeping employee documentation in electronic form

Paper or electronic – from this year on, employers can decide how they want to keep personal files of employees. Until now, employers had to collect documents related to the employment relationship only in paper form. Interestingly, digitization will apply not only to newly hired employees, but also to current and former employees. The employer who decides to digitize the employee files will be obliged to inform the employees about it.

Collection of personal files by an employee and issuing copies of files

After the 10-year period of storing employee files by the employer, as well as in the case of their digitization, the employee may collect his personal files from the employer.

For this purpose, the employer sets the employee a 30-day period during which he can collect the documents, but only 12 months after this deadline is exceeded, the employer will be able to destroy the files – informs Karolina Wojtas. In addition, the employee, former employee, as well as selected family members, in the event of the death of a current or former employee, may require the employer to provide copies of all or part of the employee documentation.

Limitation of health and safety obligations

The changes also affected health and safety. The amendment assumes that periodic training will not be compulsory for administrative and office employees employed by an employer qualified for the professional group for which a risk category not higher than the third has been defined. In addition, an employer who has completed the training necessary to perform the tasks of the OHS service, may perform the tasks of this service himself, if he employs up to 50 employees (and not as before – up to 10) and is classified to the group of activities for which a risk category not higher than the third has been established the meaning of the provisions on social insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases.

Strengthen trade unions

In connection with the amendment to the act on trade unions, the scope of people who can establish such unions and join them has been expanded. The right to create and join are all persons who perform paid work, as well as volunteers, interns and other persons who work personally without remuneration. Retirement or a pension does not deprive you of the right to join a trade union.

In addition, starting this year, trade unions may request information from employers not only on working conditions and remuneration rules, but also on:

  • the activity and economic situation of the employer related to employment and the changes envisaged in this respect,
  • the state of the structure and expected changes in employment, as well as measures aimed at maintaining the level of employment,
  • activities that may bring about a significant change in the organization of work or the employment framework.

As a result of the amendment, the employer has 30 days to provide this type of information.


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