Is it possible to change the working time schedule?


In the company, employees work in an equivalent system. Due to the large number of employees in the plant, there are often cases of unplanned absences, e.g. due to illness, leave on request. In such situations, there are changes in the working time schedule, even overnight. Is a sudden change in the working time schedule acceptable?


Karina, Ełk


Art. 129 of the Labor Code contains the rules for creating working time schedules. On its basis, the employer is obliged to create working time schedules in written or electronic form. The planned period of work in the schedule should be at least 1 month. Pursuant to the regulations, the employer should inform the employees of working time schedules at least one week before the beginning of the period for which they were agreed. Due to the occurrence of various unplanned absences, the fulfillment of this obligation is often difficult, and a change in the work schedule is necessary.

Change in the working time schedule required by the provisions of the labor law

Changes in the schedule may be necessary due to legal provisions. According to the Labor Code, the employer is obliged to designate a day off for work on a Sunday, public holiday or a day off due to an average five-day working week. The situation is similar when the employer grants the employee time off for overtime work. Changing the work schedule in such cases is legally justified and possible.

Situations independent of the employer and changing the work schedule

In addition to the situations listed in the code, there are many other events in which the employer must change the work schedule, such as sickness, leave on demand, etc. In such cases, it is considered that the change of the work schedule is acceptable when it is justified by circumstances beyond the employer's control, and should be specified in internal regulations (work regulations, collective labor agreement).

Workplace regulations should regulate in which situations a change in the working time schedule is allowed.

According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the weekly time limit referred to in Art. 129 § 3 of the Labor Code. It is also worth noting that the provisions of the Labor Code do not contain regulations on the mode and deadline for modifying timetables. Therefore, it is up to the employer to define them in company regulations. As a rule, it is assumed that the information about the change in the schedule should be provided by the employer at the latest by the end of the last working day, after which the change is to take place.