Work - remote and hybrid, permanent and occasional
The amendment provides for several modes of remote work. The first is total remote work – fully performed in a place other than the employee’s workplace, including his place of residence. In the case of partial remote work, on the other hand, it is permanently performed alternately – both on-site and off-site. Both of these modes require an agreement between the employee and the employer during the conclusion of the employment contract or during the course of employment.
The employer will be able to instruct the employee to perform work remotely in the event of a state of emergency, epidemic or epidemiological threat (the latter of which currently exists in Poland), as well as when work at the workplace is impossible due to force majeure. However, it is necessary for the employee to declare in advance (in writing or electronically) that he or she has suitable conditions for remote work.
The third mode is occasional remote work carried out at the request of the employee, up to 24 days per year. It does not require an agreement on the matter, and unlike the previous modes, the employer is also not obliged to provide the employee with the tools of the job (e.g., computer or telephone) to cover its costs (e.g., electricity, internet) or provide training. As a general rule, the employer will not be able to refuse remote work to a group of employees subject to special protection, such as parents of children under 4, caregivers of disabled persons or pregnant women. Exceptions to this rule are situations in which remote work is not possible due to the nature or organization of the work performed by the employee.
The new regulations on remote work and sobriety testing can greatly improve the situations of both employees and employers. However, in order not to expose either party to the employment relationship to unwanted negative consequences of their misapplication, it is necessary to properly implement them in internal workplace regulations. Although the amendment will not come into force until February 2023, it would be advisable to prepare for it now.