The end of trust-based working hours in Poland?

In Poland, there is an obligation to record working hours for each employee. Records of working hours affect the payment of remuneration and the determination of rest periods.

The most important element to include in each time recording is the number of hours worked by an employee. However, this means that all work hours performed by the employee must be recorded, including work on Sundays and public holidays, night work, overtime and days off resulting from a five-day week. In addition, the employer is obliged to keep records of on-call duty, holiday, leave of absence and other excused and unexcused absences. For young employees, these records must also include the time of their work in work that is prohibited to young people and whose exercise is permitted for the purpose of their vocational training. Exemptions from the complete recording of working hours are provided for employees who, for example, work hours dictated by their function, or for mobile workers (who travel a lot). In Poland, the practice shows that the biggest problem is recording overtime for employees. The recording of working hours must be made available to the employee on request. The original document is the property of the employer.

If the violations are only technical defects in the management of the recording of working hours, for example, the absence of a record of the use of annual leave by an employee, the labour inspector may only request the proper management of the complete records.

Under Art. 281 of the Polish Labour Code, violating working time regulations or failing to record working hours constitutes a violation of the rights of the employee. The labour inspector who identifies such a violation may also impose a fine of up to PLN 2,000 in the context of the so-called fine proceedings or, like a public prosecutor, may assert a fine of up to PLN 30,000 in the city court. If the supervisory activity of the labour inspector reveals that the records have been falsified, the labour inspector may, in such a situation, involve the public prosecutor for suspicion of a criminal offence.

Autor: Katarzyna Gospodarowicz