A holiday leave is a good investment in human capital


Vacation is a period during which employees use their vacation leave in bulk. On the other hand, employers, fearing that they may run out of people at that time, deny them this privilege, often without realizing the consequences of such a decision. Well, an employee bound by an employment relationship obtains an unquestionable right to leave. It has the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and labor law on its side.

An employer who refuses a vacation leave to an employee is threatened not only with the imposition of an appropriate legal sanction in the form of a mandate, but also a decrease in the overall mobilization and involvement of the employee in the work. Therefore, assigning such leave to an employee is not only the employer's responsibility, but also a good investment in human capital, as well-rested employees are more motivated to work.

A few introductory words about vacation leave

Civic leave entitlement is guaranteed by Art. 66 of the Polish Constitution. The purpose of the vacation leave is primarily to provide the employee with the opportunity to regenerate his strength so that he returns after the leave refreshed and fully motivated to work. As the holiday entitlement is a personal entitlement, the employee cannot waive it.

Therefore, pursuant to Art. 152 of the Labor Code, the leave to which employees is entitled is three-conditional:

  • firstly, annual,
  • secondly, uninterrupted - the employee may use the entire leave immediately or, at his express request, divide it, but then one of its parts must have at least 14 calendar days (which also includes Sundays, public holidays and days off), moreover, on special occasions , unforeseen circumstances that require the presence of the employee in the workplace, the employer may recall the employee from the leave, but at the same time must cover the costs of the appeal or, in agreement with the employee, agree on a different vacation date,
  • and thirdly, paid.

The employer is obliged, within 7 days from the conclusion of the employment contract, to inform the employee in writing about the duration of the vacation leave he / she is entitled to (even if the contract is concluded for a trial period), taking into account the provisions of labor law which provide for the employee's privilege to vacation leave. In addition, the employee should be informed of any change in the holiday rate.

Annual leave - who is this privilege for?

People employed on the basis of:

  • job contract,
  • a cooperative employment contract,
  • choice - art. 152 § 1 of the Labor Code,
  • appointment
  • and vocation.

Who is not ...?

Annual leave is a privilege that does not apply to people working on the basis of civil law contracts - commission or specific task. However, these contracts may stipulate the right to days off.

If vacation then when?

Annual leave is granted by the employer on days when the employee works, taking into account the working time schedule applicable to him (also Saturdays and Sundays, if the schedule includes these days). One working day corresponds to a specific daily standard - most often it is 8 hours, so one day of leave is analogically 8 hours (also in the case of people working in an equivalent working time system, even if their daily standard is longer, i.e. 24 hours of work is analogously three days) leave). That is, 20 vacation days is 160 hours (for people whose work experience is shorter than 10 years) and 26 vacation days are 208 hours (for people whose work experience is longer than 10 years).

However, the conversion of leave into hours when granting it is important only when the daily norm resulting from the employee's work schedule is different (e.g. in the case of part-time jobs or when the working time system allows for more than 8 hours of work). Conversion, on the other hand, is always relevant when calculating the salary or holiday allowance.

Vacation plan

The holiday leave is used according to the holiday plan established by the employer (it does not include leave on demand), compiled taking into account the employees' requests, while ensuring the normal course of work. However, it should be remembered that despite the agreed plan, the employee should obtain the consent of the employer to start the leave on the indicated date. This treatment facilitates the control of used leaves. Vacation plans are not established if the company trade union has given its consent or if this organization does not exist. Then, the leave dates are agreed with the employees.

The date already set in the vacation plan may be postponed only in special cases:

  • on the employer's request, when for reasons impossible to predict in the plan, the presence of the employee is necessary in the workplace (because his absence will cause serious disruptions in the workflow, i.e. when a substitute employee becomes ill, there is a serious failure of the device or an external inspection, etc.) , the employee must obey the employer's instructions (otherwise the employer may even dismiss such a disobedient employee);
  • at the request of the employee, when the employee justifies him for important and reasonable reasons (family, personal), however, it is the employer who decides whether the request is justified;
  • the period of the vacation leave must be absolutely postponed when the employee is incapable of work due to illness (especially when it is a contagious disease), is called up for military service or training for up to three months, goes on maternity leave, must take care of the sick member family or when he has been temporarily arrested or is serving a sentence of imprisonment. In a situation where the above-mentioned cases occur at the time of the leave, it is possible to interrupt it and postpone the unused days to another date agreed by the parties.

Unused vacation leave

The employment contract guarantees the employee a vacation leave so that he can regenerate and return full of energy. Theoretically, the matter is trivial - the employer sets a vacation plan, and employees follow it. However, neither party is able to predict unexpected twists of fate that prevent the employee from taking the vacation on the set date.

Then the overdue leaves are created, the problem is that employees either use them or not, which destroys the plan so carefully prepared by the employer. Therefore, in such situations, the employer, in order to know what to do, should read the Labor Code, but also consider the employee's possible application, because its satisfaction affects the quality of work.

In turn, the facts are as follows: an employee who has unused vacation leave may take it no later than the end of the first quarter of the next calendar year (the start of vacation use is 30 September at the latest). In a situation where this period ends and the employee has still not used the outstanding leave, the employer may send the employee on compulsory leave (even without the consent of the employee), because the employee's right to leave is a subjective right of a personal nature and the employee cannot waive it. (leave must be taken in kind) or transferred to a third party.

On the other hand, the limitation of the right to leave occurs after three years, counting from the end of the calendar year for which the leave is due or, at the latest, from the end of the first quarter of the following year, if the leave was postponed to that calendar year for reasons beyond the control of the parties. The example above shows that the employer's orientation in terms of vacation leaves not only results in the absence of difficult situations, but also becomes a good investment in human resources, because a satisfied employee is a good employee.