Types of establishment and termination of the employment relationship

An employment contract is a way of establishing an employment relationship, consisting of consensual declarations of intent by the employee and the employer by virtue of which the employees undertake to perform work of a specific kind for the employer and under the employer’s direction and at a place and time designated by the employer, and the employer undertakes to employ the employee for remuneration.

Types of employment contracts.

The legislator has provided three types of employment contracts, consisting of a probationary, fixed-term or indefinite-term contract. Of these, a probationary contract may be concluded for a maximum period of three months. However, the length of the probationary period is directly dependent on the period for which the employer intends to employ the employee after the probationary period, i.e. a contract of employment for a probationary period is concluded for a period not exceeding:

  • 1 month – when intending to conclude a fixed-term employment contract of less than 6 months;
  • 2 months – when the intention is to conclude a fixed-term employment contract of at least 6 months and less than 12 months;
  • 3 months – when the intention is to conclude a fixed-term employment contract of at least 12 months or for an indefinite period.

In the case of probationary contracts concluded for 1 or 2 months, the parties may extend the contract once, but for no more than 1 month. The extension of such a contract must be further justified by the nature of the work.

Subsequently, in the case of a fixed-term contract, the total period of employment under fixed-term employment contracts concluded between the same parties to the employment relationship may not exceed 33 months, and the total number of such contracts may not exceed three. Exceptions to this rule are situations where the conclusion of a contract in a particular case serves to meet an actual periodic need and is necessary in this respect in the light of all the circumstances of the contract in question, in the case of:

  • substitution of an employee during his/her justified absence from work,
  • work of an occasional or seasonal nature,
  • to perform work during a term of mandate,
  • when the employer indicates objective reasons on his/her part.

Termination of employment contracts.

The employment contract is terminated in the following forms:

  • by agreement of the parties,
  • termination by notice,
  • termination without notice,
  • at the end of the period for which it was concluded.

A contract of employment for a probationary period is customarily terminated at the end of the period for which it was concluded, and before the end of that period, it may be terminated by notice.

As a special requirement for a statement terminating an employment contract for a fixed-term and an indefinite-term, with or without notice, the employer must, in accordance with the applicable regulations, indicate the reason justifying the termination of the contract by the aforementioned methods.

Notice periods are different depending on the type of contract to which they relate. The notice period for a probationary employment contract is:

  • 3 working days if the probationary period is less than 2 weeks,
  • 1 week if the probationary period is longer than 2 weeks,
  • 2 weeks if the probationary period is 3 months.

The notice period for both fixed-term and indefinite-term employment contracts depends on the length of employment with the employer and is as follows:

  • 2 weeks if the employee has been employed for less than 6 months,
  • 1 month if the employee has been employed for at least 6 months,
  • 3 months if the employee has been employed for at least 3 years.

The 3-month notice period may be reduced to a maximum of 1 month, but only in the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer. Additionally, the employer may reduce the notice period from 3 months to 1 month for reasons not related to the employee, but then the employee is entitled to compensation in the amount of the remaining part of the notice period.

The Labour Code also provides the possibility for the employer to release the employee from the obligation to provide work until the expiry of the notice period. However, it should be remembered that the employee then retains the right to remuneration.

Marcin Jóźwiak   |   06.14.2024

Autor :

Marcin Jóźwiak

Marcin Jóźwiak

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