- Response to COVID-19
Program zwolnień monitorowanych oraz dodatek solidarnościowy
Monitored dismissals and solidarity allowance (training and retraining for workers threatened by redundancies programmes)
Monitoring dismissals: the programme applies to redundant workers in firms where the employer aims to dismiss at least 50 workers within a three month period.
Solidarity allowance: all redundant workers who were employed on the basis of contract of employment for at least 90 days in 2020.
The main objective of this instrument is to provide job placement and improve the employability of the redundant employee through training and other services. Employers who aim to dismiss at least 50 workers in a three-months period are obliged to agree with the Poviat Labour Office (Powiatowy Urząd Pracy) on the range and forms of support to be made available for redundant workers. This support means offering job outplacement service, vocational counselling, training and assistance in active job search. The programme can be financed by the employer, or co-financed by employer and public authorities, or other organisations, based on an agreement with the employer. The programme may be carried out by the Poviat Labour Office or a training institute.
In the framework of the programme, the employer can finance training that lasts up to 6 months after the dismissal date and the costs of which should be equivalent to the employee's monthly remuneration when on holiday leave, but should not exceed 200% of the national monthly minimum wage (2000 PLN/approximately €460 in 2018). During the training, the employee is entitled to advice from the relevant District Labour Office. The employee can also take part in a once off training organised by the Poviat Labour Office. Monitoring dismissal is based on the article 70 of Act on of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions.
In connection with COVID-19 and the downturn caused by it on the labour market, on 19 June 2020, the temporary solution namely Act on solidarity allowance granted to counteract the negative effects of COVID-19 was adopted. Workers who lost their jobs due to the (post) pandemic recession were be entitled to benefit from such allowance for 3 months instead of unemploment benefit. The relevant application had to be submitted by 31 August 2020. The amount of the allowance is PLN 1,400 (€318) and is standard for anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. After the expiry of the 3 months receiving the solidarity allowance, the employee is entitled to regular unemployment benefit (provided that he/she meets the criteria). As of 13 August 2020, 185 000 such benefits were paid in the total amount of almost PLN 246, 000 000 (€55, 909 000).
The assumption behind this allowance is, among others, the fact that this period will be spent by those employees on self-improvement of existing skills or acquiring new ones, useful on the labour market, without the need to adapt to the rigid constraints applied to the unemployed registered at labour offices.
- National funds
- European funds
- European Funds (ESF)
The legal act (solidarity allowance)
Agreement between the Poviat Labour Office and the employer (monitored dismissals).
Public employment services
Implementation of programme; agreement with the employer. Services for the outplaced employees (advice, training and help in job search) - provided by the Poviat Labour Offices (monitored dismissals).
Employer or employee organisations
Collective agreement with the employer. The employer is funding or co-funding the scheme.
Implementation of trainings (training providers); funding by the employer and the European Social Fund (ESF).
Monitored dismissals: This regulation is operational. However, it should be noted that training is only one of the elements that may (but does not have to) be proposed by the employer as part of an agreement with the Poviat Labour Office. In practice, employers rarely see motivation in investing in improving the qualifications of employees who are to leave the company.
Solidarity allowance: The measure is too new to even forecast its effectiveness.
Monitored dismissals: Strengths include the fact that it reinforces public/private partnership. In particular, it fosters cooperation between the Poviat Labour Office and companies.
Solidarity allowance: Strength results from the fact that this supplement can stimulate people losing their jobs due to force majeure (pandemic) to look for ways to improve their qualifications for 3 months without the social stigma of unemployment.
Monitored dismissals: There are no reports or studies available regarding the effectiveness of this instrument. It seems that some form of obligatory outplacement supported by the Public Employment Services may contribute to mitigating the effects of collective dismissals, especially with regard to older workers who, in many cases, need career counselling and retraining. However, the final result of such programmes depends on the current situation of the local/regional labour market and such features of the local/regional economy as its sectoral structure. Hardly any initiatives take place at regional/local level. In addition, there are no sanctions for the employer, who, despite earlier settlements, does not ensure that the expected result of the programme are achieved for a given person who received training.
Solidarity allowance: There is no formal obligation that the workers receiving this benefit actively act to improve their qualifications.