The regulations in the labour code, which are planned and recently introduced, are concerned with such issues as, among others, the minimum wage, holidays, flexible worktime, reform of job agencies, as well as work on Sundays and public holidays. Regulation of the so called cross-border services is particularly crucial for the business services industry (with more than 120 000 specialists employed in Poland).
The companies which provide international services, mainly in IT, finance or accounting, will be able to continue to work on Sundays and public holidays which are work days in the country of the entrepreneur they work for, explains Katarzyna Dulewicz, solicitor and partner in the CMS Cameron McKenna legal office.
According to the lawyer, the new legal regulation will have positive influence on the labour market. The shared services industry will be able to provide its services also on Sundays and public holidays, which was previously not possible. Employers will be able to opt out of shift work, which will bring a lot of savings. In Poland, there are about 400 outsourcing centres, which have to work in the shift system or the so called weekend work. This solution required maintaining a large number of employees. The new regulations are flexible. Thanks to them, Poland will be more competitive in comparison to neighbouring countries, and have a chance to attract new business service centres, says Katarzyna Dulewicz. She also emphasises that the changes should be well received by the employees themselves. It will be the end of shift work, and the employees will have the right to day off in exchange for working on Sundays and public holidays. Employees are properly secured and protected, and the number of jobs will increase, she comments.
The new legal regulations are not free from gaps and loopholes. In the legal justification to the project, it was stated that the amendments will be introduced in order to increase the investments in new business service centres. I think that for example consulting or legal companies, which almost always provide services for foreign clients, and do so via e-mail and telephone, could also make use of these regulations. This is a grey area of the regulation - it is not certain, what way the interpretation will take, states Katarzyna Dulewicz.
There is also the problem of who can work on Sundays and public holidays. The legal regulations state that one can employ people who work using e-mail or telephone or persons who provide these services. There is the question, who is included in this category? Certainly IT specialists, but probably not the cleaners. Can it be a catering company? There remains the problem, whether one can bring the entire staff to work on Sunday, or only the number of people who are necessary to provide the minimum service, says the lawyer.
Also, it has not been specified, whether the work shall be done exclusively via e-mail or telephone, or is it necessary for the employees to come to their workplace as well. With the regulation worded in such an imprecise way, without reading the legal justification, there may be abuses, sums up Katarzyna Dulewicz.