Sołtysiński Kawecki & Szlęzak continues our examination of the issues that employers should consider before introducing a 'bring your own device' (BYOD) policy. In Poland, these include the need to protect confidential company information and to strike the right balance between the rights and freedoms of employers and employees. Employers should further ensure that the BYOD programme is truly voluntary.
It is common practice in Poland for companies to hire individuals based on civil law contracts (ie, those for self-employed contractors), as opposed to employment agreements. In this regard, the Supreme Court recently issued a ruling concerning the issue of compensation for a self-employed individual in return for a post-termination non-compete obligation.
A material amendment to the Labour Code recently entered into force. The changes concern working time and are generally to employers' advantage – their aim is to increase flexibility and limit personnel costs. Among other things, the changes allow for the extension of working time settlement periods and introduce flexible working hours and procedures for making up for employee absence.
A contractual penalty is widely accepted as a convenient instrument for ensuring that the damage suffered by an employer connected with the violation of a non-compete agreement is compensated. However, it is important to balance the amount of the penalty against the amount of compensation paid to the employee for compliance with the non-compete obligation. The Supreme Court recently ruled on this matter.
Following an employer's instructions is one of the basic obligations of an employee. The Labour Code does not explicitly state the consequences of an employee following unlawful instructions or adhering to unlawful practices applied at the workplace. Such actions could clearly expose the employee to potential liability under criminal or administrative law, but the consequences under employment law are less obvious.
The Supreme Court recently ruled on the role of company trade union organisations in termination decisions. The court ruled that under certain circumstances, the failure on the part of the company trade union organisation to provide information requested by the employer did not release the employer from the obligation to notify the organisation of its intention to terminate an employee's contract.