Over the last couple of years, we have become accustomed to the solutions introduced by special COVID-19-related regulations, which have covered a wide range of issues and industries. As of July 1, 2023, the so-called “state of epidemic emergency” is lifted, which in many cases will result in a transition to a “regular” set of laws. Whilst we won’t be covering all of the changes in the below piece, we would like to highlight some we believe to be the most relevant.
One of the more significant impacts of cancelling the “epidemic emergency” concerns employers. The so-called “fiction of delivery” of letters sent to employees by traditional mail is now back in force. Therefore, if an employee intentionally fails to accept a letter from the employer, it will be deemed delivered at the latest on the seventh day after the second advice note has been given out. The change in question is particularly relevant in the situation of serving a notice of termination.
What is even more relevant is that, starting July 1st, employers will no longer have the possibility to unilaterally send an employee to take annual leave from previous years (up to 30 days) at a date imposed on them, without obtaining the employee’s consent and bypassing the leave plan. Additionally, employers will have 60 days to carry out periodic health and safety trainings, and the obligation to organise all initial health and safety trainings in a stationary format will also be reinstated.
In addition, employers will not be able to reduce the amount of severance pay in the event of a decline in the employer’s economic turnover or a significant increase in the burden on the wage fund.
The changes may also be relevant for those of us who frequently participate in court hearings. Initially, the option to hold hearings remotely will not be gone until after one year following the revocation of the state of emergency, i.e. until July 1, 2024. However, we really hope that they stay with us indefinitely – an amendment to the Polish Civil Procedure Code is currently being processed.
For those of you who did not disclose tax schemes (MDR) because the deadlines had not started or had been suspended, please note that the deadlines will now resume. On the bright side, if waiting up to 6 months for a tax interpretation was frustrating, it has now been reduced to the standard waiting period of 3 months again.
It’s worth mentioning that the requirement to wear face masks, even in buildings where medical activities are carried out, will no longer be mandatory.
Several of the above mentioned regulations introduce transitional periods, for example, of three or six months, with the intention to provide ample time to adapt. However, this is not always the case – feel free to reach out to us to verify the individual impact in your case and see if there’s enough time for you to adjust!