Changes to the Labour Code include leave, e.g. to care for a dependent parent or sick partner, and additional breaks from work during a long day. Caregivers of young children will have more extended parental leave and higher maternity benefits. Fixed-term employees have more effective protection against termination. Companies must comply with several new obligations to employees.
Changes regarding leave
- 5 days of care leave
Employees can take care leave to support a family member (parents, children or spouse) or a person who lives with the employee – the employee is entitled to 5 days of care leave. It is unpaid. To use it, you must apply for it (at the latest on the day before you take the time off).
- 2 days of leave due to force majeure
An additional two days of leave can be taken due to force majeure for urgent family matters caused by illness or accident, i.e. in the event of floods or other natural disasters, a child’s accident, sudden illness of a family member, etc. This is a paid leave but at half the salary accrued. You can take such leave in days (two days per year) or in hours (16 hours).
Breaks from work
Until now, employed persons were entitled to one 15-minute break if they worked at least six hours on a given day. With the changes to the Labour Code, they can take an additional 15 minutes if they have more than nine hours to work in a given day. If their workday exceeds 16 hours, they will be entitled to three 15-minute breaks.
Parental leave (2 months longer than before)
Parental leave is being extended from 32 weeks to 41 weeks. Notably, nine weeks of this amount will be granted to each parent. Thus, if the child’s father, for example, does not use his nine weeks, they will be lost (they will transfer to the mother).
Changes to maternity benefits
For the entire period of parental leave, there is a benefit of 70% of the assessment base (salary). Previously, the benefit was 100% of the base for the first six weeks of such leave and 60% for the subsequent 26 weeks. Different rules apply if the mother decides in advance to take the full maternity leave (20 weeks) and the parental leave to which she is entitled (32 weeks). For the entire period – i.e. one year after childbirth – she receives monthly benefits of 81.5 per cent of the base.