Remote and hybrid work
Remote and hybrid work is now used in many industries. New regulations have been in force since April 2023, which comprehensively regulate the issue of remote work for people working under an employment contract. As a result, the new regulations completely replaced all previous forms of remote work, e.g. based on the provisions on telework or internal regulations of the so-called home office.
According to the regulations, employers must specify detailed rules for remote work in internal regulations, which should be consulted in advance with trade unions operating in the company. If no unions exist, the regulations should be consulted with employee representatives. As an exception, instead of issuing regulations, the rules for remote work can be specified in individual annexes to employment contracts. Still, this solution seems inflexible and impractical, especially for larger employers.
Remote and hybrid workers must be provided with the tools necessary to work remotely. You must also cover the costs associated with installing and using these tools, as well as the costs of electricity and telecommunications services. Reimbursement of costs is usually made through the payment of a monthly lump sum, the amount of which must correspond to market prices and appropriate consumption standards. It is also possible to reimburse specific expenses incurred by employees instead of paying a lump sum, but this is usually a more complicated and time-consuming solution.
In standard cases, the consent of both the employer and the employee is required to perform remote work. However, the employer has less freedom in the case of remote work applications submitted by employees who are pregnant, raising a child under 4 years of age or caring for a disabled family member. In such a situation, the employee may refuse only if remote work is impossible due to the organization of work or the type of work of the employee. In turn, the employer may order remote work only in exceptional situations specified in the regulations, e.g. in the event of an epidemic threat and only if the employee has appropriate accommodation conditions.
To sum up, Polish regulations enable various forms of remote and hybrid work. At the same time, they require the fulfilment of several formal obligations and the reimbursement of appropriate costs to employees.
Partner, Baker McKenzie