October 19, 2021

Biology Reporter

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Stanisław Szwed: The employee must have a say in the matter of remote work

Stanisław Szwed: The employee must have a say in the matter of remote work

We are glad to have the work department back. Today, there is no definitive division of competencies yet. The labor divisions are managed by Secretary Marlena Mallig, and due to the fact that I have been dealing with the Ministry of Labour, if there is a need, I am involved in matters relating to labor law or the labor market. It will depend on Minister Maląg’s decision whether to stay as is, that is, whether she will directly manage labor departments – says Interia Stanisław Szwed, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, when asked if there is really a targeted division of powers within the ministry.

She also adds, the Department of Social Dialogue has also returned to the Ministry and Minister Malej has become the Chair of the Council for Social Dialogue.

Let us remind you that in August, as a result of changes in the government, the Department of Labor returned from the Department of Development to the Ministry of Family and Social Policy after less than a year. According to trade unions, as well as representatives of some employers’ organizations, the transfer of this department between ministries is a waste of time, because there are still no basic regulations, including the detailed regulation of remote work.

– In fact, the period when Prime Minister Gwen led the RDS was not very good. There was an announcement of a social contract, but nothing came of it. In turn, the topic of organizing remote work was started by me, while I am still in the Ministry of Family and Social Policy. Today we are at the stage that this project is before the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers and I hope it will be approved by the end of the year because it is necessary. Currently, we do not have a final regulation for remote work in the Labor Code, because we have temporary regulations in the work of Covid only for the period of the epidemic, and this must be systematically resolved, that is, teleworking, hybrid work – confirms Deputy Minister Szud.

– We want to achieve a greater balance in the end, so that it is a little different from what it is now, when the employer only decides to send him to work remotely. The employee will also have a say in this matter, but it will be regulated by agreements with trade unions or employee representatives, in labor regulations – the Deputy Minister answers when asked about detailed solutions.

– We also offer the possibility that, for example, if a mother raises a child up to the age of four, the employer will not be able to refuse to work remotely in the event of such a request – declares Stanisław Szwed. Health and safety matters and who is responsible for what will also be regulated.

As the deputy minister adds, the main contentious issues have already been resolved, although, of course, there are differences of opinion on certain details. – In some cases, it is difficult to accept remote work, so we introduce such regulations that the employee will have the right to refuse, although he will have to justify why he does not agree and what is the reason for not wanting to work remotely – explains the Interia interlocutor. The employee submits an acknowledgment that the conditions allow the work to be performed in accordance with health and safety conditions, and the employer is obligated to provide the equipment.

When asked about other expected regulations, such as monitoring sobriety at work, he made it clear that they are being worked on.

– We are working on regulations regarding temperance control at work, which employers are interested in, but here there are some GDPR intricacies and we have to solve them somehow – explains Stanislaw Zuid.

– As for the Aliens Act, we will now introduce a slight change to the so-called advertisements, that is, the possibility of assigning work to advertisements. We want to extend this period to 24 months, and we are introducing it as part of the amendment to the Aliens Act coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and Administration. On the other hand, the big change that has been prepared in the Ministry of Development is currently in the stage of reviewing the proposed changes that have been sent to our Ministry – he adds.

Deputy Minister Zuweid reported that there will be no reform of labor offices in the Ministry of Development version.

– As for the labor office reform that has been prepared in the Ministry of Development, I think that we will not return directly to this proposal, but we want to amend the law on promoting employment and labor market institutions. In general, to facilitate the possibility of using funds not only for those who have lost their jobs, because there are not so many such people in Poland, but even a greater supply of employment offices – he adds.

He also maintains that taking into account the calendar of the House of Representatives, it is known that these changes should not be expected this year.

When asked how the government wants to reduce the phenomenon of paying employees to self-employment and low-fat contracts (while lowering the basis for social contributions, which in turn means lower pensions in the future), Deputy Minister Zuid announced that one of these measures should be “ozusowanie” of all delegation contracts.

– Among the proposals is the so-called convergent law, that is “ozusowanie” for all power of attorney contracts. Today they are “used” up to the minimum wage, and we want to provide such a solution that “all delegation contracts are used”. These proposals have not yet entered the government work programming team, but since they are included in the Polish order, we hope that this solution will be implemented – says the Deputy Minister.

He adds that such regulations are necessary because they affect the amount of future pensions.

Monica Krzyniak Sajevic

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