Annual billing period - how to enter it?

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The employee's work is planned in the accounting period. The length of this period may vary, from 4 weeks to 12 months. The annual reference period can be used in any working time system. What are the formal requirements for the introduction of the annual settlement period and what is associated with it?

Billing period

The settlement period is the time in which the employee's work should be planned so that the provisions of the Labor Code regarding working time are complied with. The length of the billing period depends on the company's working time system and may range from 4 weeks to 12 months.

The billing period is:

  • in the basic working time system - not exceeding 4 months (Article 129 § 1 of the Labor Code);

  • in an equivalent working time system:

    • 1 month (Article 135 § 1 of the Labor Code),

    • a maximum of 3 months, if it is justified by the special needs of the employer (Article 135 § 2 of the Labor Code),

    • maximum 4 months for works that depend on the season or weather conditions (Article 135 § 3 of the Labor Code);

  • for employees working on a continuous basis - 4 weeks (Article 138 § 1 of the Labor Code);

  • for employees who have a shortened working week or who work in the weekend system - 1 month;

  • maximum 1 month:

    • for workers employed in work involving the supervision of equipment or related to being partially ready for work,

    • for employees working to guard property or protect people,

    • for employees of company fire brigades and company emergency services.

What is important, "In each working time system, if it is justified by objective or technical reasons, or for reasons related to the organization of working time, the reference period may be extended, but not more than 12 months, subject to the general principles relating to the protection of workers' safety and health" (Article 129 § 2 of the Labor Code). The annual accounting period may coincide with the calendar year.

The billing period may be extended to a maximum of 12 months.

Determining the billing period

The extension of the settlement period to 12 months is agreed:

  • in a collective labor agreement or in agreement with trade unions, and if it is not possible to agree the content with all trade unions, the content of the agreement is agreed with representative trade unions or

  • if the employer's trade unions do not operate - in consultation with the employees' representatives (Article 150 § 3 of the Labor Code).

A copy of the agreement on the extension of the settlement period should be submitted to the competent district labor inspector within 5 working days from the date of concluding the agreement (Article 150 § 4 of the Labor Code).

If the workplace has a collective labor agreement, the annual settlement period is introduced with an additional protocol, to which the provisions of Art. 2419 § 1 of the Labor Code. Such an additional protocol is subject to registration with the competent district labor inspectorate.

Working time schedules

Working time schedules are related to the settlement period. The working time distribution is the planning of:

  • work days,

  • days off from work,

  • hours of start and end of work.

The issues of drawing up a working time schedule are regulated by Art. 129 § 3-5 of the Labor Code. Pursuant to the provisions of the Labor Code, the working time schedule may be prepared in written or electronic form and may refer to a period shorter than the accounting period, but it may not be shorter than 1 month.

The working time schedule should be provided to the employee at least 1 week before the commencement of work in the period for which it was established.

The employer is not always obliged to create a working time schedule.

The employer is not obliged to draw up a working time schedule if:

  • the working time schedule results from the labor law, announcement or employment contract;

  • the employer, in consultation with the employee, will determine the time necessary to perform the entrusted tasks, taking into account the employee's working time (in such a situation the employee himself determines the working time schedule);

  • at the employee's request, he is bound by a working time schedule, in which he sets the hour or period of work commencement himself;

  • at the request of an employee, individual working time is applied to him (Article 129 § 4 of the Labor Code).

Annual settlement period - how to plan your work?

To create a working time schedule for employees, reference should be made to the current working time in the accounting period. In the case of an annual settlement period, work should be planned for the entire year, while employees can be provided with a working time schedule for the entire year or for a shorter period, but not shorter than 1 month.

Using the annual settlement period, the number of working hours in individual months may differ from the nominal working time.

Example 1.

At company X, work is performed from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Employees are employed in the basic working time system and their annual settlement period applies. Due to the fact that the company buys herbs, the most work is from June to August. Therefore, in this period, employees work from Monday to Saturday, and in the remaining months for a shorter period of time.

The use of the annual settlement period gives the employer more flexibility in planning the work and rest of employees. Thanks to this, among others does not have to rush to grant the employee time off for overtime work. In order for the introduced annual settlement period to be compliant with the provisions of the labor law:

  • may not violate the rules on working time standards as well as daily and weekly rests,

  • must include a Sunday off at least once every 4 weeks and must provide a sufficient number of days off for an average five-day working week.