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POLAND: Heatwave Implications for Labour

Elżbieta Rafalska, the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy appealed to employers to cut hours or reorganize work during the ongoing heatwave in Poland. The Chief Inspector of Labour signalled that the number of complaints made by employees has risen significantly as a result of poor management during the warmest days of the year. The Polish Labour Code does not determine the maximum temperature in a workplace, however, there are certain obligations an employer has to fulfil, such as providing employees performing certain jobs with free drinks when the exterior temperature exceeds 25C. Additional requirements have to be met when employing adolescent workers – the workplace temperature cannot exceed 30C. 
The growing issue of high temperatures in summer months has only become apparent in recent years. In future, labour regulations are likely to be amended to provide for provisions such as determining maximum temperatures within workplaces, similar to those on minimum temperatures, which are currently in force. Many Polish employers have already taken steps to improve working conditions for employees during hottest months, however the growing number of complaints shows that this issue remains.