35 days of vacation. You can achieve this today, you have to meet the conditions

35 days of vacation. You can achieve this today, you have to meet the conditions

Thanks to regulations that have been in force for over a year, the number of vacation days can be extended to up to 35. Although these extra days are linked to the need to meet additional conditions, so they cannot be used every year, it is worth being aware that the regulations provide such an opportunity.

We recently reported on a petition addressed to the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, whose author postulated extending vacation leave for employees 55+. She argued that the closer to retirement age, the more time people spend at doctors’ or rehabilitation centers. Such visits cannot always be made after working hours, so they do it during vacation – and it has little to do with rest.

The Ministry has already commented on the idea. We are writing about it here.

In fact, many employees can already extend their vacation leave. These are generally applicable regulations, but some of them have appeared recently and not everyone knows about them. What a pity!

Who is entitled to extra vacation days?

The amendment to the Labour Code of 26 April 2023 implemented two EU directives on transparent working conditions and work-life balance into Polish law.

The length of leave depends on the total length of service – i.e. all periods of employment. It is:

  • 20 days for employment period less than 10 years,

  • 26 days for a period of employment of at least 10 years.

The amendment added to this:

  • 50 days of carer’s leave

  • two days off due to force majeure

  • child care for 2 days or 16 hours.

All of them are independent of length of service.

Carer’s leave

Caregiver leave can be used by people employed under an employment contract who are forced to take care of a close family member. An application can be submitted if the person lives in the same household with us. The new regulations also allow for taking care of a person who does not live in our household, e.g. grandmother, grandfather or parents-in-law. In such a situation, information on the degree of relationship and the address of residence must be included in the application.

Carer’s leave is 5 days per year. Unused days do not carry over to the following year, which means that if someone does not take carer’s leave in 2024, they will still have 5 days off to use in 2025. During carer’s leave, the employee is protected from dismissal.

Care leave is unpaid. This is different from childcare, which is fully paid and available to any parent. Childcare is 2 days of leave per year for each child up to the age of 14.

We wrote more about carer’s leave here.

Leave in the event of force majeure

Force majeure leave is granted in the event of an unforeseeable event. An unforeseeable event is not only an accident involving an employee or members of their family. It is also an illness (e.g. of a child or a call to school), a breakdown at home or another unforeseeable situation that occurred suddenly and could not be foreseen.

Force majeure leave is an additional 2 days or 16 hours. This number applies to people who are employed full-time under an employment contract. These days off are paid, but only half of the amount, not 100 percent, as in the case of annual leave.

Childcare leave

Childcare for two days or 16 hours is available to one of the parents. They must therefore agree between themselves who will use the care or divide the days off so that each parent can use one day off. The right to care is available to all parents, regardless of whether they are married or in a civil partnership. The condition is the age of the child, which should not be older than 14 years.

Important! Two days of care per child are available to parents regardless of how many children they have. Parents of an only, two or three children can take advantage of two days of care per year.

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