HR and payroll legislative updates: Q2/2022

Legislative updates in the area of HR & Payroll

Please find below the most important, in our opinion, legislative changes in the area of HR and payroll.

Digitalization of the application for the issue of A1 certificate and the issued certificate

As of 1 April 2022, Article 83e of the Act on the Social Security System came into force (added by the Act of 24 June 2021 on Amending the Act on the Social Security System and Certain Other Acts, Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1621), according to which the application for the issue of A1 document is filed with the Social Security Institution (pl. ZUS) in the form of an electronic document signed with a qualified electronic signature, trusted signature, personal signature or with the use of a method of confirming the origin and integrity of data made available free of charge by ZUS in the ICT system. In particularly justified cases, the application can be filed in hard copy.

Increase of the value of the domestic business travel allowance

Work is under way to amend the Regulation of the Minister of Family and Social Policy on entitlements to be paid to an employee working in a state or local government budgetary unit for a business travel. The new regulation provides for the increase of the domestic travel allowance per day to PLN 38 (currently PLN 30). This amendment shall apply since the first day of the month following the month of publication of this regulation in the Journal of Laws.

Expanding the list of individuals protected against termination of employment contract

The Homeland Defence Act of 11 March 2022 (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 655) expanded the catalogue of employees protected against the termination of employment and/or pay. The protection was expanded to include the wives of soldiers performing compulsory military service. According to the amended regulations, termination of the employment relationship by the employer with the spouse of a soldier who is performing compulsory military service may occur only through the fault of the employee, in the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer.

Mandatory health insurance also for the proxy

In an individual interpretation dated 15 February 2022, reference number: BP.5132.7.2022 2022.54552.AM (decision no. 13/2022/BP), the President of the National Health Fund (pl. NFZ) explained that a person appointed to act as a proxy who is receiving remuneration for this is subject to mandatory health insurance.

The above position is to be confirmed by the Act on Health Care Services of 27 August 2004 and the amended wording of Article 66, section 1, item 35a. The amendment to the aforementioned Act is expected to take effect on 1 July 2022.

Agreement between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus on social security

The Agreement between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus on social security (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 575) entered into force on 1 April 2022.

This Agreement applies to employees and self-employed individuals who fall under the legislation of this party to the Agreement on the territory of which the work is performed as well as to their family members and other persons entitled after the breadwinner passes away.

The Agreement regulates, among other things, the following:

  • rule of the payment of contributions in one state only, i.e. the country where work is performed,
  • inclusion of insurance periods covered in Belarus to establish the entitlement to and amount of the Polish retirement and pension allowances,
  • transfer of allowances to the place where the entitled reside, in Poland or Belarus,
  • protection against losing the entitlements from the social security gained on the territory of the other party.

Lifting the state of epidemics

On 16 May 2022, the state of epidemics was replaced by the state of epidemic threat. Following this change, taking advantage of the increased PIT exemption limits will only be possible until the end of 2022.

The exemptions with the increased limit cover the following:

  • benefits received in case of individual random events, natural disasters, long-term illness, or death financed from current sources - up to PLN 10,000 (the limit of PLN 6,000 returns),
  • benefits other than those mentioned above paid from the funds of a company or inter-company trade union organisation to employees belonging to the organisation - up to PLN 3,000 (the limit of PLN 1,000 returns),
  • the value of material benefits received by the employee in relation to the financing of social activities referred to in the Employee Benefit Fund regulations and cash benefits received by the employee in this regard, financed in full from the Employee Benefit Fund or trade union fund resources - up to PLN 2,000 (the limit of PLN 1,000 returns),
  • additional payments to holidays organised by entities conducting activities in this scope, in the form of holidays, summer camps and winter camps, including those combined with education, stays at sanatorium treatment in therapeutic and sanatorium facilities, rehabilitation and training facilities and therapeutic and care facilities, as well as to travel associated with these holidays and stays at treatment – for children and youth under 18 years of age, financed from sources other than the Employee Benefit Fund - up to PLN 3,000 (the limit of PLN 2,000 returns),
  • idle-time pay paid in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is tax-free.

Amendments to the Act on Employee Capital Plans (pl. PPK)

The Act on the Principles of Implementation of Tasks Financed from European Funds in the Financial Perspective 2021-2027 was published in the Journal of Laws of 20 May 2022 (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 1079). It contains regulations amending, among others, the Act on Employee Capital Plans. The entry into force of the changes was determined in two stages. The first stage became effective after 14 days of the publication of the Act, i.e. from 4 June 2022. The following changes will enter into force after 6 months of the day of publication, with effect from 1 July 2019.

The key changes in the Employee Capital Plans include:

  • allowing to conclude an agreement on PPK already after 14 days from the date of employment, but no later than on the 10th day of the month following the month in which the term of 3 months of employment expired. This change enables employing entities to conclude an agreement to operate a PPK for an employed person earlier, while not shortening the deadline for entering into an agreement;
  • changing the definition of an employing entity by extending it to entities that do not have a NIP/REGON number, but are payers of social security contributions;
  • regulating the issue of adjustments to improperly made payments to PPK. According to the new regulations, it is possible to withdraw undue payments to PPK, the welcome payment and additional payments from the State in a situation when it is found that they were made unjustifiably;
  • granting the State Labour Inspectorate the power to prosecute offences which consist in persuading employed persons to resign from saving in PPK;
  • clarification of the rules for concluding an agreement on PPK for employed persons between 55 and 70 years of age, i.e. only at the request of this person;
  • allowing a newly hired employee to transfer funds from existing PPK accounts through the employer. A new employee can provide his/her new employer with the statement on the existing PPK accounts within 7 days of the date of entering into a PPK agreement on his or her behalf. The employer will inform the PPK participant about the obligation to submit an application on his/her behalf for a transfer payment of funds accumulated in his/her existing PPK accounts to a new PPK account established in connection with employment with that employer. The employee will have the right to object to the transfer of his/her funds.