Overtime vs. surplus working time
April 14, 2021
What is the working time standard in Poland?
The Labor Code in Poland imposes certain standards of working time on the employer and employee. Pursuant to Art. 129 § 1, an employee should not perform his work for more than 8 hours a day and an average of 40 hours a week in an average 5-day working week in the adopted settlement period. Of course, the Labor Code provides for certain exceptions to these rules in subsequent articles of the Act.
Overtime – when it occurs?
Therefore, if in the basic working time, as defined above, an employee works for more than 8 hours, then he works overtime. For the overtime he is entitled to additional remuneration with an additional 50% or 100% (unless this time is collected by him in the reference period).
Surplus working time – what is it?
On the other hand, we deal with surplus working time in the case of employees, who do i.e. 5/8 time job. Let us assume that an employee works 5 days a week, 5 hours a day. If on a given day he works e.g. 7 hours, then he will come up with his standard of 5 hours and 2 hours that make up the surplus working time . For these 2 hours, he is only entitled to normal salary, i.e. no overtime allowance. Only if he had worked 9 hours on that day, he would have received a remuneration, for the 9 hour worked, increased by a allowance (50% or 100%).
Hence, the surplus working time is the time worked above the contractual working time standard and below the standard specified in art. 129 § 1 of the Labor Code.
Working time limit in a work contract
The parties should include in the work contract a clause in which they will set a working time limit. After exceeding it, the employee will be entitled to receive, in addition to the normal remuneration, also an allowance for overtime work. It may then happen that if the employee from our example above – starts the 6th hour of work – will result in the payment of this allowance. If such a provision is not found in the contract, the allowance will always be paid only after exceeding the basic standard of working time, i.e. 8 hours.
* The answers relate to the amount of remuneration paid for overtime / surplus working time – not strictly the hours!
Author: Róża Śleszyńska