When to prepare an annex to the employment contract?

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The conclusion of an employment contract with an employee does not mean that its terms and conditions remain unchanged. The employer has the right to modify the provisions of such a document, both for the benefit and disadvantage of the employed person. On the other hand, the employee has the right to disagree with the introduced changes - then the existing elements of the agreement between the parties remain in force. When and why is an annex to the employment contract signed?

What is an annex to an employment contract?

Changing the terms of an employment contract by agreement of the parties, commonly referred to as an annex to the contract, is the most common form of contract amendment. This is because it enables the modification of virtually all contractual provisions. The second option is the so-called changing notice, but the possibilities of its application are very limited (e.g. it cannot be used to change the type of employment contract - from one concluded for an indefinite period to a fixed-term contract).

The annex is an additional document that changes the terms of the employment contract by the mutual will of the parties. The provisions are changed when the employer's proposal is accepted by the employee, on a date agreed by the parties. Importantly, the amending agreement (annex) may be concluded by the parties even when the employee is subject to special protection under the provisions of law, e.g. a pregnant employee, an employee in pre-retirement age, an employee on sick leave, etc.

It is enough to sign the annex

The annex is treated as a consistent declaration of will, therefore the entire procedure for introducing changes to the provisions of the employment contract consists in signing the document by both parties. It should contain at least:

  • the date and place of the contract,
  • designation of the document,
  • indication of the parties to the contract,
  • indication of the contract to which the annex applies and when it is in force,
  • description of the changed elements and put in their place,
  • the reservation that the remaining conditions of the contract will not be changed,
  • signatures and stamps of the parties.

Due to the fact that the employment contract must always be made in writing, the annex should also be drawn up in this form, in two copies - one for each party. At the moment of accepting the annex by the employee (i.e. signing it), it becomes an integral part of the employment contract.

When to prepare an annex to the employment contract?

The terms of employment may be changed by agreement of the parties at any time. The only condition in this case is the consent of the employee. Importantly, both the employer and the hiring person can propose changes. The former has the right to propose a change at any time - even when the employee is covered by special protection, i.e. is on sick leave, on vacation, or is pregnant.

From when and until when do the changes introduced by the annex to the employment contract apply?

In the case of an annex, the parties determine the date of entry into force of the introduced changes - they do not have to wait for the expiry of the notice periods. Importantly, the parties to the contract can thus introduce indefinite and binding modifications for a strictly defined period of time (the start and end dates of the changes to the contract must be indicated). Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

What provisions can an annex to an employment contract change?

As already mentioned, practically all conditions of the concluded employment contract can be changed with the annex. Modifications in this case may concern:

  • remuneration (at this point it is worth recalling that it cannot be lower than the minimum wage specified in separate regulations),
  • working time,
  • Workplace.

In the case of employment contracts providing for the minimum wage, is it necessary to prepare annexes that take into account the change in the minimum wage in a given year? In this case, the procedure depends on the provisions contained in the contract. If the remuneration is specified in amount, then in the event of a change in the minimum wage, the employer should prepare an annex to the employment contract changing the value of the remuneration. On the other hand, if the contract states "the employee will be entitled to remuneration in the amount of the minimum remuneration for work specified in separate regulations", then the employer should only inform the employee about the change in the amount of remuneration, without the need to prepare an annex.

Right to Refuse

The employee has the right to object to the changes made to the provisions of the employment contract, even if they are favorable to him. An example of a situation may be a refusal to sign an annex that increases the salary, which will result in the employee being obliged to pay higher income tax. In this case, the change is not introduced and the existing provisions of the employment contract apply.