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A revolution in the labor code. Free all Fridays and every weekend starting on Thursday? The new law is already in the Sejm [21.12.2022]

A revolution in the labor code.  Free all Fridays and every weekend starting on Thursday?  The new law is already in the Sejm [21.12.2022]

A revolution in the labor code. Free all Fridays and every weekend starting on Thursday? The new law is already in the Sejm [21.12.2022]

A bill to shorten the weekly working time from 40 to 35 hours has already been submitted to the Sejm. The shortening of working time standards does not result in changes in the amount of remuneration, which means that it will not be lower than the one received so far. The project also does not provide for restrictions on the ways of organizing working time in the settlement period and enables the work system to be run in three eight-hour shifts.

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The fact that we will work shorter – and soon, is actually a foregone conclusion. Discussions will probably revolve around whether the working week should be four days long, with all Fridays free as Saturdays, or whether the guarantee will apply to the total working time per week: instead of the current 40, setting the standard of 35 hours per week.

A bill to shorten the weekly working time from 40 to 35 hours has already been submitted to the Sejm. The shortening of working time standards does not result in changes in the amount of remuneration, which means that it will not be lower than the one received so far. The project also does not provide for restrictions on the ways of organizing working time in the settlement period and enables the work system to be run in three eight-hour shifts.

And what is the purpose and need for the act to be passed, and what are the consequences of changing the regulations?

The justification for the project is to improve the health of Poles and prevent professional burnout. According to a survey conducted in 2021 by Smartscope on behalf of Nationale-Nederlanden, as many as ⅔ of Polish employees notice symptoms of professional burnout. Employees are to have more time to rest, spend it with family and friends, contact with nature and be physically active. The expected effects of shortening the working time are also an increase in its efficiency, according to the draft act.

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According to OECD data for 2021, Polish employees work an average of 1,830 hours a year, which is the sixth highest result among all OECD countries and the second highest among European countries.

– In turn, referring to the available data, e.g. ZUS, WHO, NFZ, GUS and reports, e.g. Mindy – currently, an average of 5 hours and 43 minutes of work is lost per week due to the employee’s poor mood. Within a year, this gives 36 days of “pretending to work” – so we can say that we are dealing with the phenomenon of stress at work called presentism. At the same time, it confirms that the very purpose of the bill is right – says Marek Błędek, Trainer Wellbeing W&W Consulting .

At the same time, shortening the working time of employees may be a significant obstacle for the employer, for example due to the same remuneration costs incurred with shorter availability of the employee, the possibility of reducing the profitability of the business, increased risk in terms of working conditions and difficulties with controlling the speed of tasks performed, which could contribute to to higher accident rates.

– Imagine an employee working on scaffolding who would have to complete the same tasks faster in order to complete them in the allotted time, with the same care and compliance with all safety rules. The data of the Central Statistical Office on the causes of accidents at work in 2020 showed that the employee’s improper behavior accounts for 60.8% of all causes, including insufficient concentration of attention on the activity performed – 26.1%, e.g. due to haste – points out Magdalena Włastowska , Work safety expert at W&W Consulting.

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– Another example could be the movement of a forklift operator around the warehouse, which transports goods from one part of the hall to another. Reducing his working time will be associated with the need to increase the pace and intensity of work. Therefore, it is easy to predict that this will result in breaking the company’s internal regulations regarding the speed limit and the risk of an accident. It should also be noted here that an employee, by neglecting health and safety and fire protection issues, puts not only himself, but also his co-workers and all other people in the vicinity at risk – adds Magdalena Włastowska,

As experts emphasize, when we talk about shortening working time in the context of the obligation to ensure safe working conditions, a thorough analysis should be carried out to answer the question – how to properly manage processes so that they bring the expected efficiency while shortening working time without exposing employees to the risk of accidents and increased stress in an emergency situation. increase the pace of work?

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