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Poland Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation Days (Annual Leave), Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Special Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave Voting Leave, and Marriage Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 24, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Poland

Vacation Leave Quota (Annual Leave)

At least 20 days

Regular employees in Poland are granted at least 20 days of paid vacation (annual leave). However, those with longer seniority are entitled to 26 days, and the entitlement is as follows:

  • 20 days: employees with less than 10 years of service,
  • 26 days: employees with less than 10 years of service.

These seniority rules apply regardless of whether this service is with only one or multiple companies.

Privileged Employees

Along with the number of years, there are some other factors that may extend vacation entitlement:

  • Having a university degree adds 8 years of work experience in terms of counting vacation entitlement. Therefore, employees with a university diploma and 2 or more years of work experience are eligible to receive 26 vacation days each year.
  • Certain types of workers’ professions provide more vacation days, for example, working in education or academia. Their annual leave may be up to 36 days per year.
  • Employees who have children younger than 14 years old are eligible for two extra days of annual leave, compensated at 80% of their income. Only one of the parents may use additional days in a given year. If these extra days are not used, they can’t be transferred to the following year.
Accrual Rate for Full-Time and Part-Time Employees

Employees qualify for partial vacation entitlement after completing 1 full month of employment. During the first year of employment, they accrue days of annual leave at a rate of 1/12 of their total vacation entitlement per month.

Part-time workers are also entitled to vacation, as are full-time employees, but it is adjusted proportionally to their working hours.

Requesting a Vacation

Depending on a company policy, employers use different ways to notify employees about their leave schedules.

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Taking a Vacation

The employer arranges the schedule and final dates of vacation while taking into account the preferences of their employees. Employees can request to split their annual leave into parts, with each part being at least 14 consecutive days.

Employees may use 4 days of their vacation entitlement without the requirement of giving advance notice. They may also take 1 or 2 days for family events like births, weddings, or funerals. Additionally, employees have the option to take unpaid leave, which necessitates a written request and requires the employer’s approval.

Carry Over

Vacation days that are not taken in the given year may be carried over to the next year, although they must be used earlier than September 30th of that subsequent year.

Payment of Unused Vacation Upon Termination

An employee is entitled to a payout of all untaken vacation days at the end of employment, whether due to termination or expiration of the employment contract.

Sick Leave in Poland

Up to 33 days.

An employee in Poland is generally entitled to 33 days of partially paid sick leave by their employer. After that, an employee is entitled to up to 180 days paid by Social Security Insurance (Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych, or ZUS).

Workers who are 50 years of age or older receive sick pay from their employer for the first 14 days of illness. After this period, they are entitled to receive benefits from ZUS. In most cases, the social security benefit is equal to the sum that the employer had previously paid for sick leave.

According to their employment contract, an employee’s age and number of years of employment determine the length and payment of their sick leave.

To be eligible for absences because of illness, a worker must provide a medical certificate.

Payout

The employer reimburses you for the first 33 days of sick leave at the following rate:

  • Regular illnesses or injuries not related to work: 80.00% of income,

or

  • Illnesses during pregnancy and occupational injuries or illnesses (work-related): 100% of income.

After this time, the government’s social security program (Zaklad Ubezpieczen Spolecznych; ZUS) pays for sick leave.

Sick Pay

Sick pay is compensated 80%–100% of the time, depending on the type of illness or injury.

Compensation is set at 80% of the sick pay basis:

  • For an injury, accident, or illness (not work-related).

Full compensation at a rate of 100%:

  • For an accident or injury that is work-related
  • For an accident happening during the commute to or from work
  • For a disease resulting from the workplace or its conditions
  • For an illness or accident occurring during pregnancy
  • For conditions related to an organ donation.

Disability Leave

Additional 10 working days of annual leave per year.

A worker who is categorized as having a moderate or severe degree of disability is permitted an extra 10 working days of annual leave per year. This entitlement becomes available to the worker after completing one full year of work and upon being officially categorized under one of the specified disabilities.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave in Poland

20 weeks

A pregnant female employee in Poland receives 20 weeks of fully paid maternity leave. Maternity leave is 31 weeks long for twins, 33 weeks for triplets, etc.

Maternity leave can’t begin before 6 weeks before the due date. A mother must take at least 14 weeks of maternity leave after the birth. However, a mother doesn’t have to use all 20 weeks of maternity leave; after 14 weeks, she can transfer up to 6 weeks to the father of the newborn child.

A mother must show a medical certificate documenting her pregnancy to be eligible for the leave.

Payout

During her maternity leave, an employee is eligible for compensation at the rate of 100% of the sickness benefit, paid by the government’s social security (ZUS). This can be paid through the employer or directly to the employee.

Paternity Leave in Poland

2 weeks

An employee who becomes a father receives 2 weeks of fully paid paternity leave. This leave can be used at any time within the first 2 years following childbirth.

Paternity leave must be formally requested in written form. A father may take this leave either in one continuous period or split into two separate parts, each lasting a week.

Payout

During paternity leave, an employee is compensated with 100% of the regular salary, which is provided by the government (ZUS).

Parental Leave in Poland

32 weeks

Parents in Poland are, after the mother ends her maternity leave, entitled to a maximum of 32 weeks of partially paid parental leave (34 weeks in the case of twins or triplets).

Employees have the option to take parental leave either all at once or for a few separate periods of time. They can divide it up to a maximum of 4 parts, and every part must be at least 8 weeks in duration.

Parents are also allowed to choose whether it’s taken by one parent of both of them.

Therefore, they may take parental leave in three ways:

  • Only by one parent (32 weeks);
  • Taken at the same time by both parents (for example, a mother takes 16 months and a father simultaneously takes 16 months);
  • Taken by both parents one after the other (for example, a mother takes 20 months, and after that, a father takes 12 months).

This leave is to be taken until the child is 6 years old.

Payout

Parental leave is paid by the government of Poland (the social insurance) at a rate of 100% of the regular income for the first 6 weeks of leave and then 60% for the rest of the leave.

Childcare Leave

Up to 36 months

Childcare leave represents an additional option for employees who are parents. The maximum duration of this leave to take care of a child is 36 months, and it can be divided into up to 5 segments. To qualify, an employee must have completed at least 6 months of employment (previous work experience is also considered included).

Special Leave in Poland

Special leave is a mandatory type of paid time off regulated by law. This leave is required for all workers employed under an employment contract, regardless of their daily working hours.

It is provided for ceratin life circumstances, with the duration defined as follows:

  • 2 days for an employee’s:
  1. wedding
  2. birth of a child,
  3. the death of a close family member: a child, a spouse, a mother, a father, stepfather, or stepmother.
  • 1 day for an employee’s:
  1. wedding of the child
  2. death of: a grandfather, a grandmother, a sister, a brother, a mother-in-law, a father-in-law, or any other person who is under the employee’s immediate care.

It should be noted that 1 day of special leave is mandated for the death of a mother-in-law or a father-in-law, even for a divorced employee.

Bereavement Leave in Poland

Bereavement and funeral leave are specified by law as special leave, as explained in the section above.

Jury Duty Leave in Poland

Employers are required to grant leave when employees need to make court appearances. These occasions are governed by special regulations.

Military Leave in Poland

An employer is required to offer unpaid leave for employees who need to perform their activities and duties related to the military.

Voting Leave in Poland

There is no law defining voting leave.

Marriage Leave in Poland

Marriage leave is defined by law as a type of special leave, as explained in the section above.

Public Holidays in Poland for 2024

13 legal public holidays

There are 13 paid national holidays in Poland. Legal public holidays that fall on a weekend are not moved to the next working day, as is the case in most countries. These holidays are celebrated on the specific calendar dates they fall on, regardless of whether they occur on a weekend.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Poland:
Date Holiday
January 1 New Year
January 6 Epiphany
March 31 Easter Sunday
April 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Worker’s Day
May 3 Constitution Day
May 19 Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
30 May Corpus Christi
August 15 Assumption Day
November 1 All Saints’ Day
November 11 Independence Day
December 25 & 26 Christmas

Sources

  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/poland

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Poland, https://www.deel.com/employees/Poland

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Poland, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/poland/

  4. Parenthood-related rights: An official website of the governement of Poland, https://www.gov.pl/web/your-europe/parenthood-related-rights

  5. Poland - Parenthood: An official website of the European Union, https://commission.europa.eu/index_en

  6. Special leave – when and who is entitled to it?, https://ca-staff.eu/en/publications/special-leave-when-and-who-is-entitled-to-it/

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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