Praca i Zabezpieczenie Społeczne (Work and Social Security) 2020/05

  • Work-life balance and coronary crisis. Some Notes on Processes and Their Consequences (3-8)
    The article deals with issues that manifested themselves with the COVID-19 pandemic. The issues of taking care by persons performing work have revealed their centrality for the functioning of the market, although they remain invisible and largely underestimated as important for the functioning of the market and, above all, society. The author does not answer the question what to do next after the pandemic, but points to the sphere of care as the approach to which requires a fundamental revision. Anyway, as well as to other issues that seemed to be the most important so far.
  • Specific solutions in labor and social security law introduced in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. General issues (9-17)
    The outbreak of COVID-19 disease in an unprecedented manner in recent times has forced the adoption of many legal solutions to prevent further spread of the disease agent, i.e. the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Such solutions did not bypass Polish labor and social security law. Some of them are designed to provide financial assistance and relief in the field of contributory obligations to employers and other contribution payers who, in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, have significantly deteriorated their operating conditions. Others are aimed at reducing the scope of employee protection, which is particularly visible in the case of employees of offices serving central government administration bodies. The author discusses these solutions, indicating the basic problems associated with their use.
  • Suspension agreements in the anti-crisis act (18-27)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has a number of social and economic effects that require responses in labor and social security law. The so-called anti-crisis act of March 2 this year. introduces solutions that allow limiting employee rights, as well as state support for maintaining employment. This objective is pursued by the suspension arrangements provided for therein. The authors, analyzing the subjective and objective side of these agreements, indicate similarities and differences between them. At the same time, they draw attention to their different designs and show legislative shortcomings in this respect, trying to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of suspensive arrangements in practice.
  • Legal grounds for controlling employees working remotely (28-35)
    In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, pursuant to the Act of March 2, 2020, the possibility of sending an employee to work remotely was introduced by employer's official order. However, the concept of remote work has not been specified by the legislator. There is also no definition of it in the applicable provisions of labor law, which causes difficulties in distinguishing between remote work and telework referred to in art. 675 of the Labor Code. The issue of the scope and form of admissible employee control also remains disputed. Remote work within the meaning of the COVID-19 Act means work rendered outside the place of permanent performance. This includes the opportunity to provide work from the employee's home, i.e. home office. According to the author, it seems particularly problematic at that time to define the limits of the employer's permitted control, while taking into account the employee's right to respect for his privacy and the privacy of his household, as well as the need for the employer to apply the rules on the protection of personal data referred to in the GDPR. In addition, the need to distinguish the concept of remote work from telework causes that doubts are raised by the issue of the obligation for the parties to regulate the employment relationship in the form of telework in the employer's order or agreement with the employee, and the possibility of applying specific warranty provisions regarding the specifics of providing work using electronic means of communication contained in chapter II b of the second labor code section.
  • Prerequisites for refusal of work by the person referred to combat COVID-19 (36-44)
    The state safeguards the freedom and human rights, which also ensures the safety of citizens in every sphere of their lives and in all conditions. The actions of the state always refer to man as an individual and as a member of society and should be oriented towards ensuring and protecting both individual and collective interests. As part of actions taken for the common good, indicate those that are related to the protection of human life and health. It is the public authority that has a legal obligation to take measures to eliminate or at least minimize any threat to human life and health, including the fight against epidemic diseases. In this aspect, there is the possibility of forcibly referring a specific person to work to combat an epidemic. However, the legislator creates a circle of people excluded from this possibility due to specific reasons. The purpose of the article is to discuss these circumstances.
  • Coherence of provisions on working time in the Anti-Crisis Act and the Labor Code (45-50)
    The Polish legislator has introduced a number of provisions in the field of labor law, which are to be a remedy for numerous problems of employers related to pandemics and the economic crisis. Some of these provisions relate to working time. The author attempts to assess the coherence of new provisions with existing labor law standards.
  • Occupational health and safety during a pandemic (51-55)
    The outbreak of the coronavirus caused the necessity to introduce new obligations in the field of occupational health and safety. The article presents temporary changes in the system of preventive examinations, new obligations imposed on employers, and discusses the recently popular practice of employers to use the achievements of "science and technology" within the meaning of Art. 207 § 2 of the Labor Code, consisting of measuring body temperature before entering the workplace.
  • Social benefits financed from public funds in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic (56-63)
    The author discusses specific normative solutions regarding issues involving the exercise of entitlements to some social benefits financed from public funds that have recently been introduced into legal circulation in connection with the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, it draws attention to the need for the legislator to clarify the wording of the new provisions due to interpretation doubts arising in this respect.

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