Does spending more time on work result in better work and improved company outcomes? Not necessarily!This realization prompted the EU legislator to pass two directives in June 2019, addressing work-life balance and parental responsibilities to help employees achieve a healthier equilibrium between work and personal life

In Poland, these directives were incorporated into the amended Polish Labour Code, effective on April 26, 2023.

Key Provisions of the Work-Life Balance Directive (Directive 2019/1158) Regarding Working Time

  1. Parental Leave:

    • Extended parental leave, up to 41 weeks after the birth of a single child (previously 32 weeks) and 43 weeks for multiple pregnancies (previously 34 weeks).
    • Introduction of a 9-week leave for each parent – adding 2 weeks of paternity leave allows for up to 11 consecutive weeks of leave.
  2. New Additional Care Leave – Applicable to Everyone:

    • Allows you to care for a family member (child, parent, spouse) or another daily cohabitant requiring care or support for serious medical reasons.
    • 5 days of leave per calendar year, which can be taken in parts or consecutively.
    • Unpaid leave; application must state the reason and the person you are caring for.
    • Request can be submitted no later than 1 day before the leave, in paper or electronic form.
  3. Leave of Absence for Urgent Family Matters (Force Majeure) – Applicable to Everyone:

    • Allows absence when immediate presence outside of work is necessary due to illness, accident, or force majeure situations.
    • 2 days or 16 hours per calendar year, with flexibility in usage (days or hours).
    • Declaration of circumstances is required in the application.
    • Entitled to 50% of remuneration during the leave period.
    • Application can be submitted on the day of leave, and the employer cannot refuse it.

Key Provisions of the Parental Directive (Directive 2019/1152) Regarding Working Time

  • Flexible Working Time Organization – Only for Parents with a Child Under 8 Years of Age:
  • Aims to assist parents in caring for a child until they reach 8 years of age.
  •  Expands options for flexible work organization, including reduced working time, flexible working hours, individual working time, intermittent working time system, remote work, and shortened working week system.
  •  Application (paper or electronic) must be submitted at least 21 days before the desired change, including child’s data, reasons for flexibility, start and end dates, and preferred flexible arrangement.
  •  The employer can consider or reject the application, proposing alternative solutions requiring the employee’s consent.
  • The employee can revert to the previous working time arrangement at any time.
  • The employer cannot dismiss or use the application as a future dismissal basis. Dismissal must be justified independently.

Stay informed and make the most of these opportunities!



1.Directive (EU) 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union (Office of the European Union L. of 2019, No. 186, p. 105)

2. Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU (OJ EU L. of 2019 . No. 188, p. 79)

3. Act amending the Act – Labor Code and certain other acts of March 9, 2023 (Journal of Laws of 2023, item 641)

 4.  Act of June 26, 1974, the Labor Code (consolidated text, Journal of Laws of 2023, item 1465, as amended)


Article was written by: Izabela Wilczkowska



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