The Act of 4 July 2019 – which amended the Code of Civil Procedure and other acts, including Poland's labour and social security law – has received significant attention. Among other things, these amendments have introduced pre-trial proceedings and permit the courts to order employers to continue to employ a worker until proceedings are concluded, not only if termination of employment is considered ineffective, but also when the worker has been reinstated in their job.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer can demand that an employee inform it of any additional activities that he or she undertakes during the employment period. If the employee fails to do so, this can justify his or her employment contract being terminated upon notice. The judgment confirms the court's existing position in this regard. However, the court's second conclusion concerning data protection is new and may raise doubts regarding its compliance with the Labour Code.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that an employee's breach of the obligation to obey an employer's instructions constitutes a violation of the employer's intangible interests. The court explained that irrespective of the working time system in which an employee is employed, he or she is bound by an employer's instructions concerning work, unless they are against the law.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that an employee was entitled to damages for unlawful termination of employment with notice not exceeding the salary of his statutory notice period, even though it had been contractually extended by the parties. This provision does not apply if the parties to the contract have agreed that an extended notice period be included when calculating damages for unlawful termination.
The Constitutional Tribunal recently ruled that Article 2(1) of the Trade Unions Act – which grants the right to establish and join a trade union to employees only and not to other persons performing paid work – was unconstitutional. The judgment does not mean that this section of the act has lost its binding force, but it should result in its immediate modification.
In a recent judgment the Supreme Court ruled that in order to assess whether a subsidiary had breached the principle of equal treatment in employment, the circumstances of its employees could be compared to those of employees of its parent company. The judgment also confirmed the court's position on the difference between unequal treatment and discrimination in employment.
The Supreme Court recently confirmed that it is possible to terminate a post-employment non-compete agreement with notice on condition that the agreement includes prerequisites for such termination. The rules under which a post-employment non-compete agreement can be concluded are set out in the Labour Code.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that notice periods may be shortened, but only when the notice is served by the employee and the shorter notice period is more favourable to that employee than the statutory one. The judgment outlines the court's position on the autonomy of will of parties to employment contracts in respect of the length of notice periods. However, it is still not possible to shorten the notice period in case of termination by an employer.
The European Court of Justice recently ruled that the Polish Labour Code provision regarding notice periods applicable to fixed-term employment contracts infringes the prohibition against treating fixed-term employees less favourably than permanent employees if the situations of those employees are comparable. It remains to be seen how the judgment will affect Polish court practice in similar matters.
The Supreme Court recently issued an important ruling concerning the secondment of an employee to another EU member state, in view of the legal characteristics of a business trip. The ruling materially affects social security obligations with respect to the remuneration of employees posted abroad, and confirms and strengthens the court's general position concerning the narrow understanding of the term 'business trip'.