All employees are entitled to an annual paid vacation. The vacation length is determined by the years the employee has worked. Employees working for fewer than ten years are entitled to 20 days of paid leave a year, and employees working for more than ten years are entitled to 26 days of paid vacation a year. Employees may also use their time spent in education as working years for vacation entitlements. For example, an employee who has a higher education degree receives the equivalent of eight working years.
Newly hired employees are entitled to paid time off depending on the months they’ve worked. For every month of work, employees are entitled to 1/12th of their annual vacation. Part-time employees are also entitled to vacation days, which are calculated according to the hours they’ve worked. Hours fewer than a full day are always rounded up to a full day.
The general assumption is that employees will take the paid vacation all at once. Still, employees can request that the paid days be split as long as at least one period is 14 consecutive days. Employers must enforce that at least 14 days of paid vacation are taken.
Employees can roll over unused vacation days to the following year. Employees must use up the rollover vacation days by September 30 of the next year, or else they're lost. Employers may not pay employees for not using their vacation leave unless the employment is coming to an end.
Bank holidays in Poland
All employees are entitled to 13 paid public holidays a year. There is no extra pay for holidays that fall on a Sunday. An employee who ends up being scheduled to work on a holiday that falls on Sunday will receive an additional paid day off for a future date. Holidays that fall on a weekend are not moved over to the next business day.
Suppose a holiday happens to fall on an employee’s scheduled day off. In that case, the employee may take an additional day in the future. If the holiday falls on Sunday, the employee is not entitled to an additional day off or extra work.
Employees have the right to take a day off in place of working on a public holiday. If the employee is unable to take the day off, the employer must pay them the full wage for each hour they work.
2023 Calendar of public holidays in Poland
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Types of leave in Poland
Sick leave in Poland
Employees are entitled to 182 days of paid sick leave a year. For the first 33 days in the calendar year, employers must pay the sick employee 80% of their salary. Employees receive 100% of their salary if they become ill during pregnancy or were involved in an accident going to or returning from work. The Social Security Institute covers the difference in payment.
After the first 33 days of sick leave, The Social Security Institute generally covers the rest of the paid sick leave at 80% of the employee’s base salary. For employees aged 50 or older, employers only pay for the first 14 days of sick leave. The Social Security Institute covers the rest of the payment.
Employers are responsible for paying employees 100% of their salary for the first 33 days if the employee gets injured going to or returning from work. After 33 days, the Social Security Institute pays for sick leave up to 182 days in a calendar year.
Maternity leave in Poland
Female employees are entitled to paid maternity leave of varying lengths that depend on the number of children born or adopted. In the case of adoption, the child must be seven years old or younger. The maternity leave periods are as follows:
- 20 weeks for one child
- 31 weeks for two children
- 33 weeks for three children
- 35 weeks for four children
- 37 weeks for five or more children
The Social Security Institute pays employees 100% of their salary on maternity leave. Employees may take paid maternity leave before the expected childbirth up to six weeks before the expected due date. It is mandatory for employees to take at least 14 weeks of maternity leave immediately after childbirth. Mothers can transfer any untaken maternity leave after the mandated 14 weeks to the child’s father.
Mothers are entitled to breastfeeding breaks in Poland after childbirth. Employees who work more than six hours a day can take two 30-minute breaks. If the employee works fewer than six hours, she is entitled to one daily 30-minute break.
Paternity leave in Poland
Employees can take up to two weeks of paid paternity leave in the first 24 months after the child is born. In the case of adoption, the 24-month period starts from the date of adoption before the child turns seven years old. Employees may choose to break the paid paternity leave into two periods, where each cannot be shorter than one week. The Social Security Institute pays employees 100% of their salary during paternity leave.
Parental leave in Poland
Employees are entitled to 32 weeks of paid parental leave once they’ve fully exhausted their maternity leave. For multiple births, employees are entitled to 34 weeks. Employees may decide if one parent will take the full leave or if both parents will share the time off simultaneously or alternately. The amount of time off combined for both parents may be, at most, 32 weeks for one child or 34 weeks for multiple children.
Adoptive parents may also take parental leave as follows:
- 32 weeks for the adoption of one child
- 34 weeks for the adoption of multiple children
- 29 weeks for the adoption of a child between six and seven years old
Social Security covers the leave. For the first six weeks, employees receive 100% of their salary. The time is extended to eight weeks for multiple children and shortened to three weeks for adopting a child older than seven years old. Employees receive 60% of their salary for the remaining period on leave. Employees can decide to receive 80% of their salary for the whole period instead by submitting a written request to their employer within 21 days after the childbirth or adoption date.
Employees can take parental leave all at once or break it up into a maximum of four different periods. Each period must be at least eight weeks long. Employees can also return to work part-time during parental leave if they give notice at least 21 days in advance. Employers have the right to reject this part-time request.
Adoption leave in Poland
Both parents are entitled to paid time off for adopting one or more children as outlined in the Maternity leave and Paternity leave sections. However, only one parent can take adoption leave under the benefits outlined in Maternity leave at one time.
Carer’s leave in Poland
Employees are entitled to two days of paid leave a year to care for a child 14 years old or younger. The employer is responsible for paying the employee their full wage. Parents of disabled children are entitled to 30 days of leave for childcare.
Employees may take an additional three years of unpaid leave if the following conditions are met:
- The employee has worked for at least six months.
- The child is younger than five years old, or younger than 18 years old if the child is disabled.
During childcare leave, employees may request fewer work hours, which must be at least half of their regular full-time hours. Employees can work for another employer and receive professional training during the leave period. Employees who return from childcare leave are entitled to their former or equivalent position before the leave.
Study leave in Poland
Employees can take paid study leave if they’re in an education program initiated by their employer or with permission from their employer. The leave varies in length depending on the education type:
- Six days for extramural exams
- Six days for professional qualification confirmation
- 21 days for diploma dissertation and examination
Unpaid leave in Poland
Employees can take unpaid leave for any purpose. They must make a request for the unpaid leave, and employers have the right to not allow it. If the unpaid leave becomes longer than three months, the employer may ask the employee to return to work for important reasons.
Special events leave in Poland
Employees are entitled to two days of paid time off for their family member’s life events. These events may include weddings, childbirth, or funerals. Additionally, employees are entitled to one day of paid time off to attend their child’s wedding or for the death of an in-law family member.
There are cases with special regulations when employers must give their employees leave. Some of these cases include making court appearances, attending mandatory medical examinations, or donating blood.
Hire employees in Poland
When developing a leave policy in Poland, it is important to understand and meet all of the statutory leave entitlements granted to Polish employees. Poland has strict requirements governing parental leave for the birth and adoption of a child, and your company must meet these regulations. Companies looking to hire top talent worldwide should not only meet the minimum requirements but also go above and beyond to attract the best talent.
Working with an employer of record like Skuad can help ensure that your company meets all the mandatory leave benefits given to employees. Skuad makes it easy for you to expand your global teams through seamless recruiting and hiring in 160 countries across the globe.
With Skuad, rest assured that your global expansion always complies with local labor laws. Additionally, Skuad’s platform lets you easily take care of HR tasks and manage payroll with just one click. From onboarding new hires to providing additional benefits to your full-time employees, Skuad is your partner. Contact us for a demo today.