From 1 June this year, there will be changes in the employment of persons for temporary work. These will mainly concern the employment agency. What will change and how will the new situation be felt by employees and employers?

Temporary work is an ideal solution for all companies which experience seasonality, such as: production, logistics, catering, services or which need support due to the absence or insufficient number of permanent employees. On the other hand, employees who are looking for a job that they can reconcile with other responsibilities, such as school, home care or permanent work, in temporary employment will find an ideal opportunity to replenish their portfolio or gain professional experience, which is often a prelude to permanent employment.

In the case of a temporary employment contract, the employer is the temporary employment agency - it is the agency that signs the contract with the candidate, reports him to the social security and pays the salary, even though the work is physically performed at the user's employer, i.e. the company that needs hands to work. The rules of performing such work are regulated in the Act of 9 July 2003 on the employment of temporary employees (Journal of Laws 2003 No. 166 item 1608 as amended). However, from 1 June this year its provisions will change significantly.

Period of employment

The most important changes concern the period of employment - the period of 18 months within 36 months will apply regardless of the number of agencies that direct the employee to work. Employers will not be able to exceed the 18-month limit regardless of the type of contract signed - both civil law contracts and temporary employment contracts will count.

- Until now, it has happened that employers, wishing to extend the statutory 18 months, employed a person through another agency or employed persons under civil-law contracts rather than employment contracts. From the first of June this will no longer be possible. In order to prevent such abuses, employment agencies will have to issue every temporary employee, even those employed under a civil-law contract, i.e. a contract for work or commission, with a certificate on the length of work for a given client,' explains Natalia Bogdan, owner of the Jobhouse agency.

Employment of the employee

The new rules clearly specify that not every job can be entrusted to temporary employees. From now on, it will not be possible to hire people for work that has been performed by permanent employees for the last three months, who have been dismissed by their employer through no fault of their own. Agencies will also be obliged to inform the person to whom temporary work is to be assigned in writing of the content of the agreement between the agency and the employer before concluding an employment contract with the agency. In addition, they will be obliged to provide temporary agency workers with information enabling them to make direct contact with agency representatives.

Remuneration and leave

The amendment of the act will certainly satisfy the employees. Starting in June, the rules for calculating the remuneration for the holiday leave of a temporary employee and the cash equivalent for unused leave will be made more detailed. The remuneration for the holiday leave will be determined by dividing the remuneration paid to the temporary employee within 3 months of performing work. In addition, the contract of the temporary agency worker who is pregnant after her third month will be obligatorily extended by the agency to childbirth, i.e. to the day on which the woman becomes entitled to maternity benefits.

- The new legislation will provide a solution that enables the private employment agency to determine the correct and non-discriminatory wage for the temporary agency worker. The employer, the user, will have to present to the agency for review the content of internal regulations concerning remuneration of employees and provide it with information on changes in the rules of their remuneration - says Natalia Bogdan.

From June onwards, the employer to whom the temporary employee will be referred will have to keep a record of those who perform temporary work for him on the basis of employment contracts and civil contracts.

Certainly, the amendment of the act on temporary employment will make the personnel life in employment agencies more difficult, as it will significantly increase the number of documents generated by them, and the spectrum of penalties even up to PLN 30,000 will spend the sleep of many of them. The only question is whether the changes seemingly beneficial for temporary employees will not lead to abuse on their part and whether people who could work for more than 18 months so far will not join the grey market or the group of the unemployed.