2021 in HR departments - news and key changes

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  • Publicación 20 enero 2021
  • Modificado 2021-01-20 10:19:18

The beginning of the year means new challenges for HR departments, as well as the constant, yearly recurring responsibilities. We point out a few selected issues to which employers should pay special attention in January.


Minimum remuneration and deductions for the Company Social Benefits Fund (ZFŚS)

In 2021, the minimum remuneration will increase by 200 PLN in relation to the amount mandatory in 2020. Consequently, as of 1 January 2021, the special protection will concern the remuneration in the amount of  2,800 PLN gross . The hourly rate will also increase - from PLN 17 to PLN 18.30.


The increase of the minimum salary affects, among others, the amount of the allowance for night work. For example, in January this allowance will amount 3.68 PLN (2800 PLN/152h x 20%).


IIn 2021, however, there will be no change in the amount of the basic allowance for the Social Security Fund.. The basic contribution per employee in normal working conditions is still 1550.26 PLN. Of course, for employers who do not operate the Social Benefits Fund, January is the moment to verify whether in 2021 the obligation to establish the Social Benefit Fund will not be updated (as of 01.01.2021 there are 50 or more full-time employees).


Please note that pursuant to specific provisions of the so-called "Anti-crisis shield", upon fulfilment of certain conditions (e.g. an appropriate decrease in the company's turnover), there is a possibility to suspend the functioning of the Social Benefits Fund or making deductions for the Fund.


Holidays and days off

In 2021, employers should plan two "additional" days off. Two public holidays fall on a Saturday – 1st of May and 25th of December.


The beginning of the year is also a good time to verify employees' holiday balances for 2021 and check whether employees still have a pool of holidays from 2017 that will be time-barred in the current year. In this context, employers should be mindful of the right under the "Anti-Crisis Shield" to unilaterally grant outstanding leave to an employee. They should also plan to collect statements on the use of leave for childcare (Article 188 of the Labour Code).


Trade unions

As every year - 10 January is the statutory deadline for trade unions to provide employers with information on their numbers, as on 31 December 2020. As this year the day fell on a Sunday, the deadline passed on Monday 11 January. The sanction for failing to comply with this obligation is that the rights of the company trade union organisation will not be exercised until the information is completed. Obviously, the use of this sanction by the employer should be verified each time in terms of its impact on relations with trade unions, especially since the beginning of the year is often the time of salary increase negotiations or introduction of changes to internal regulations.


Informing ZUS about contracts for specific work

From 1 January 2021, contribution payers have a new obligation to inform ZUS (The Social Insurance Institution) about the conclusion of a contract for specific work (umowa o dzieło). The obligation applies to every payer, but does not cover every contract for a specific work that is signed. In practice, this means the need for special attention when concluding civil law contracts (putting the documentation in order, preparing for possible ZUS inspections etc.).


Finally, we indicate what changes can be expected in 2021:

- Remote working - as announced by the Ministry, by the first quarter of 2021 the draft law is to be  negotiated with organizations representing employers’ and employees’ interests.


- Employee sobriety tests - as announced, the changes will include, among others, the right to random sobriety tests. It is possible that the new regulation will solve the existing practical problems, including those related to personal data protection.


- Changes related to COVID-19 - at the moment, the Parliament is proceeding with an act introducing an additional day off for employees after donating blood or its other components. Obviously, the situation related to COVID-19 is very dynamic, so further changes and new solutions in this respect may be expected.


- Labour law offences - a bill amending proceedings in cases of offences has been submitted to the Parliament - primarily in the area of the right not to accept a fine. If the provisions come into force, it may also concern employers e.g. in the scope of PIP (National Labour Inspectorate) control.


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Should you need more detailed information or support regarding the above issues, experts from Olesiński i Wspólnicy are at your disposal.


Katarzyna Jarczyk


Maksymilian Chlebosz