A juvenile pregnant worker and employment protection

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The provisions on the protection of pregnant women apply to all women, and therefore also to young workers. The Labor Code regulates the employment of women, in particular in section VIII - Employee rights related to parenthood. What are the rights of a young pregnant worker?

It is worth recalling that pursuant to Art. 177 of the Labor Code "The employer may not terminate or terminate the employment contract during pregnancy, as well as during the period of maternity leave, unless there are reasons justifying termination of the contract without notice due to her fault and the trade union organization representing the employee has agreed to terminate the contract. The above provision does not apply to an employee in a trial period not exceeding one month. An employment contract concluded for a definite period or for a trial period exceeding one month, which would be terminated after the third month of pregnancy, shall be extended until the day of childbirth. The provision does not apply to a fixed-term employment contract concluded to replace an employee during his justified absence from work ".

Thus, the Labor Code protects women who become pregnant and are employed under a fixed-term employment contract or for a trial period exceeding one month. Then the contract does not end after the third month of pregnancy, and the employee is employed at least until the day of giving birth. It is worth adding that the woman will not be entitled to maternity leave in this case. However, she will be entitled to maternity allowance.

Employment protection for a pregnant woman applies to all employment relationships in which the employee performs work, on the basis of different contracts with different employers, depending on the type of contract with a given employer.

It should be remembered that an adolescent worker acquires the right to maternity leave to the same extent as an adult woman. May take advantage of maternity leave and maternity allowance.

Contract concluded with a young employee

In order to prepare for a job, the employer may conclude an employment contract with a young employee for a fixed and indefinite period. In the event that a young worker apprentices an apprenticeship, the contract will normally be for a fixed period. Therefore, in the above situation, the provisions of the Labor Code on fixed-term contracts should be applied.

It is worth pointing out that the provisions of the Labor Code should be applied to an adolescent employee who becomes pregnant. Therefore, in accordance with the above-mentioned Art. 177 § 3 of the Labor Code, the contract concluded with an adolescent employee for the purpose of apprenticeship is extended until the day of childbirth if the term of its termination would fall after the third month of pregnancy. Thus, a young pregnant worker is protected against termination of an employment contract until the day of giving birth. It is worth recalling that after this period, she will not be able to take maternity leave. On the other hand, an employed young person will be able to use the right to maternity benefit from ZUS in accordance with Art. 30 sec. 4 of the Act on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity.

Example 1.

A young worker employed as an assistant in the store had a fixed-term contract until December 31, 2017. At the beginning of November 2017, it turned out that she was pregnant, and the delivery was scheduled for July 18, 2018. Therefore, her contract will be extended until the date of delivery, but it will not turn into a contract for an indefinite period. 

In the event of concluding a contract with an adolescent employee for an indefinite period, she will be protected, and termination of the contract will be allowed only in exceptional cases specified in the Labor Code. Therefore, according to Art. 177 § 4 of the Labor Code "The employer may terminate the employment contract with notice during pregnancy or maternity leave only in the event of the declaration of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer. The employer is obliged to agree with the employee trade union organization representing the date of termination of the employment contract. In the event of inability to provide other employment during this period, employees are entitled to benefits specified in separate provisions. The period of receiving these benefits is included in the period of employment on which the employee's rights depend ”.

Pregnant juvenile worker - employment protection

It is worth quoting the resolution of the Supreme Court of May 30, 1979, file number I PZP 11/79: "The protection provided for in Art. 177 § 1 of the Labor Code applies to every employment relationship entered into by a pregnant woman ”.

Thus, a young pregnant worker is covered by the same protection as an adult woman. In particular, the employer cannot terminate or terminate the contract. However, if the salary is reduced due to a reduction in the full-time job or transfer to another position, the employer should pay the adolescent employee a compensatory allowance.

Example 2.

A young worker employed as a hairdresser had a contract for an indefinite period. During her employment, she provided the employer with a pregnancy certificate. The employer decided to change her working and pay conditions in such a way that she reduced her full-time job to 1/8, but with the same salary. The above decision of the employer is admissible if the employee receives a compensatory allowance.

It is permissible to terminate an employment contract with an adolescent pregnant employee only in the event of the declaration of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer or in the event of gross breach of employee obligations, which constitute the reason for termination of her contract under disciplinary procedure (Article 52 of the Labor Code).

Example 3.

A young worker employed in the company as an administrative and office support worker worked on the basis of a contract for an indefinite period. During her employment, she informed the employer that she was pregnant. The employer changed her working conditions, reducing the working time while maintaining the current salary. After this event, it turned out that the young worker committed numerous thefts of her employer's property, which was carefully documented. In this case, the employer may terminate the contract with the employee under disciplinary procedure pursuant to Art. 52 of the Labor Code together with the precise reasons for the termination.

Therefore, the prohibition of terminating a contract of employment for young pregnant women also applies to the prohibition of terminating the terms of work and pay. It is worth mentioning that a young pregnant worker is also covered by protection during the maternity leave. It should be added that an exception to the above is the situation in which an employer employing at least 20 people reorganizes, changes the structure and liquidates the job. Then, if possible, the employer should offer her a different position. It is worth mentioning, however, that in the event of a reduction in the salary of an adolescent employee, as a result of the termination of her working conditions and remuneration, she should receive a compensatory allowance calculated in accordance with the Labor Code and the Act of March 13, 2003 by the end of the period in which she is covered by special protection. on the specific rules for terminating employment relationships with employees for reasons not related to employees.

In the case of employing a young employee in conditions that are particularly arduous or harmful to health, the employer should change their working conditions in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Code and propose a different position or a reduced working time. If it is not possible to eliminate harmful working conditions, the employer should offer the employees a different job, with remuneration at the current level. Pursuant to Art. 179 § 2 of the Labor Code "If adjusting the working conditions in the current position or shortening the working time is impossible or pointless, the employer is obliged to transfer the employee to another job, and if there is no such possibility, to release the employee from the obligation to perform work for the time necessary. The above provision shall apply accordingly to the employer in the event that health contraindications for a pregnant or breastfeeding employee to perform the hitherto work result from a medical certificate ”. It should be added that the employer should not employ a young pregnant employee for work that requires carrying loads, work performed at night or overtime.

In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the same regulations of the Labor Code and other regulations apply to a young pregnant woman as to adult employees. Protection of pregnant women also applies to young female workers. Apart from the exceptions specified in the Labor Code, it is forbidden to terminate the employment contract, it is forbidden to terminate the terms of work and pay, and it is forbidden to work at night and overtime. A fixed-term employment contract, the term of which would expire after the third month of pregnancy, is extended until the day of childbirth. A juvenile pregnant employee, in the event of a reduction in the working time, is entitled to a compensatory supplement to the remuneration.