First paper, then work
Labour Code First working day syndrome will be legally suppressed. Still, if it is detected, an employer may face a fine.
“The information on working conditions will generally cover the same elements as would be provided for in the employment agreement, i.e. type and place of work, commencement date, remuneration and other terms agreed by the parties. This requirement has been formulated in a similar way in the applicable legal regulations. The difference is that currently such a confirmation needs to be provided to an employee no later than on the day when he commences work,” states Jolanta Zarzecka-Sawicka, attorney-at-law at FKA Furtek Komosa Aleksandrowicz law firm.
As she explains, at present, theoretically, an employee may receive the confirmation by the end of the first day of his work. According to the justification of the draft amendment, the projected modification of Article 29 par. 2 of the Labour Code is to eliminate illegal employment of workers, which in fact involves exploiting this possibility and assigning work without confirming it in writing, as well as failing to register these persons with the social insurance system.
In such cases the confirmations are frequently not prepared until, for example, the day of the inspection carried out by the labour inspectorate, while simultaneously the explanation is given that it is the first day employees have been admitted to work. In his opinion on the draft, Roman Giedrojć, chief labour inspector, stresses that in reality persons employed this way have been working without any agreements for some time, often without pre-employment medical examination and health and safety trainings.
“In accordance with the opinion of the Supreme Court the expression ‘before admission to work’ is equivalent to ‘before the commencement of work’. Moreover, no rule exists regulating and defining the deadline for providing the confirmation. Thus, in my opinion it does not matter whether it takes place a quarter of an hour before the work is commenced or a day or two days in advance. The point is that before the first working activity is started, the first job-related duty is performed the employee should have, if the employment agreement has not been concluded in writing, at least a written confirmation of the terms on which he is to perform his duties. The admission to work will therefore be the employer’s consent, even implied, for the employee to start performing the first job-related duty it has been assigned,” explains Jolanta Zarzycka-Sawicka.
She reckons that mere reporting to work does not mean admission to work yet. For example, beforehand one also needs to complete the health and safety training, which means that any new employee will be able to appear at the company to take part in such a training but his presence is not equivalent to his being admitted to work.
“New solutions will allow a better control of the employment relations in a given workplace. Each employee working for an employer on a particular day will be able to show at least the confirmation of the terms of employment,” points out Jolanta Zarzecka-Sawicka.