Poland: Government aims to eliminate the 'first day wage syndrome'

Employers will be obliged to sign an employment contract prior to an employee commencing work.

In early March, the government put forward another initiative to amend the Labour Code whereby employers will be obliged to sign an employment contract prior to the employee commencing work. The intention behind the proposal is to prevent the so-called 'first day wage' syndrome. This happens when a labour inspectorate arrives at a company and some employers (or their onsite representatives) claim that persons working on the premises without a valid employment contract in writing have just started working on that day. Such an excuse (if the persons without contracts have been working longer, de facto performing unregistered work) has thus far been efficient, as the Labour Code requires that a contract is signed only by the end of the first day of work. It is estimated that the problem may affect some 380,000 workers. The initiative has been generally well received by both trade unions and employer organisations.

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