Work at night, which should be remembered before we plan it

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Night work according to the Labor Code is 8 working hours between 21:00 and 7:00. These hours should be precisely described in the Work Regulations written in the workplace. Each employee is entitled to additional remuneration for night work. However, can every employee do this work? What health and safety regulations should you pay special attention to when planning night shifts?

Night work definition

Night work is regulated by the provisions of the Labor Code, in particular by Art. 151⁷ and art. 151⁸ of the Labor Code. They define the exact time frame when we can talk about night work, i.e. the interval between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. They also explain the concept of an employee working at night, i.e. one whose working time each day includes at least 3 hours of the night.

If an employee performs an occupation that is particularly dangerous or involves great physical or mental effort, his working time may not be longer than 8 hours at night. However, this does not apply to employees managing the plant on behalf of the employer and the need to conduct a rescue operation to protect human life or health, protect property or the environment, or remove a failure.

Night work and medical contraindications and other restrictions

The employer, when referring an employee who will work at night to occupational medicine examinations, should inform the certifying doctor about this fact by means of an appropriate note on the referral for occupational medicine examinations. If there are health contraindications for night work, the employer cannot entrust the employee with such work.

Night work cannot be planned for pregnant women and young workers, while women raising a child up to 4 years of age must agree to such work in writing, without such a declaration, work for mothers of young children cannot be planned.

Risk assessment at the position where night work will be performed

Night work is often done alone, for example, when it comes to supervision or on-call duty. If, in a room where night work is performed by one employee, there is a threat to the life or health of employees, including, inter alia, the risk of fire, electric shock, explosion, gas or vapors of substances classified as hazardous, a risk should be introduced. an obligation to check in in a specific manner and at certain times. In the case of night work of a group of employees, the obligation to establish supervision takes place on the same principles as during day work. In the case of particularly dangerous work performed by the brigade, this must be direct supervision, while one-man work may be supervised by the person receiving the reports. In the absence of a report at the appointed time, the person receiving reports should check the reason for its absence.

Night work should also be included in the risk assessment at the workplace, the primary purpose of which is to provide employees with effective protection against hazards in the work environment.

Remuneration for night work

Remuneration for night work is expressed as an allowance, the amount of which is a percentage depending on the minimum wage specified for a given year. This percentage is 20% of the hourly wage resulting from dividing the amount of the minimum wage for work by the number of hours to be worked in the month in which the night work took place.

Table with the amount of the night work allowance in 2021.

Month

The amount of the allowance for 1 hour of work

January

PLN 3.68

February

PLN 3.50

March

PLN 3.04

April

PLN 3.33

May

PLN 3.68

June

PLN 3.33

July

PLN 3.18

August

PLN 3.18

September

PLN 3.18

October

PLN 3.33

November

PLN 3.50

December

PLN 3.18

When planning night work, employers should remember that the employee is entitled to an additional remuneration for performing night work. The amount of the allowance depends on the minimum wage applicable in a given year and is variable for each month, as it depends on the working days falling in a given period. Ultimately, the employee receives a bonus for each hour worked at night.