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    Annual leave when changing a job

    Length of annual leave when changing place of employment

    Annual leave when changing a job – this is quite complicated. However, we will try to explain it as clearly as possible. To begin, we remind that standard length of annual leave is:

    • 20 days – for employees with less than 10 years of work experience
    • 26 days – for employees with 10 or more years of work experience.

    It is important to note what counts towards work experience and what does not. Job training and so called ‘periods includable in length of service’ count towards work experience. When an employee receives training during their term of employment, either period of employment or period of training is counted towards length of service. It depends on which is more beneficial to the employee. It is important to not, that the following DO NOT count towards length of service:

    • Periods of self-employment/conducting business activities
    • Unpaid leaves
    • Periods of employment on service contracts

    What differentiates the first leave and the following leaves?

    Annual leave for an employee, who receives the right to a leave for the first time, is calculated monthly. It is not rounded up to a full today. By each following leave, the leave allowance is given in advance per annum.

    How to correctly calculate leave allowance when changing place of employment?

    There are a couple of rules to be remembered when calculating the leave allowance per annum if place of employment is being change during the year:

    • One calendar month equates 1/12th of an annual leave allowance
    • A month, which has not been worked through in full is rounded up
    • In cases where change of place of employment is carried out over the same calendar month, the cost of rounding up that month is take on by the previous employer.

    To illustrate, here are some examples.

    Example 1

    Change of employment within one calendar month

    Jan Nowak, with 11 years of employment history, was employed at his previous workplace until April 13th 2020. In this time he used 9 days out of his leave allowance for that year (4/12×26 days = 8.66 ~~ 9 days = 72 hours). He started work for a new employer on April 21st 2020 on a permanent employment contract. In this way he gaining 17 days’ worth of leave allowance. As the previous employee was required to settle the leave allowance for 4 months (due to the rule about rounding up to a full month by the previous employer), the current employer calculates leave allowance only for 8 months.

    Example 2

    Transition of workplace over the span of few months

    Aleksandra Kowalska terminated her contract effective March 12th 2020. New employment relationship was established May 19th 2020. Then she earned the right to leave for the period of 8 months from May till December 2020. This is due to the fact that the employee did not work earlier in the month of May. The round-off rule was applied here to the full month. It means that the employee has acquired the right to leave for the entire month of May in advance. Not just a part of it. Therefore, the obligation to round to a full month in May rests with the current employer.

    In cases when an employee starts and finished employment within a single month, we use a ‘double round-up’ rule. Thus needing to round up both the month of commencement and the month of termination of employment relationship.

    Example 3

    Using excess leave allowance with a previous employer

    Anna Maj was hired under a full-time permanent employment contract on July 30th 2020. Previous employment ended on April 15th 2020 and went on for 16 years. When working for the previous employer, she used up 17 days out of her leave allowance. 3 of the days were allowance carried over from the previous year. Current employer will grant then 12 days of leave allowance, despite the proportional allowance for the period between July and December equals 13 days. It is due to the fact that the previous employee has granted 14 days. It happeneds towards the leave allowance for the current year (17 days – 3 days carried over from the previous year = 14 days). Thus, in order to not exceed the yearly allowance of 26 days, the current employer needs only to grant the remaining 12 days (26-14=12 days).

    Annual leave when changing a job – summary

    Based on these examples we can see that in order to correctly calculate the annual leave allowance, it is crucial to check:

    1. Check when the most recent employment relationship was concluded

    2. How long is the employment history of a given employee

    3. How much of the leave allowance for the current year has already been claimed.

    Autor: Katarzyna Petryczko

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