HR and payroll legislative updates: Q3/2021

1. Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) started to pay out allowances from the “Good Start” programme

Parents and guardians of school youth until 20 years of age or - in case of disabled children - until 24 years of age, independently of the family’s income, may receive a benefit for education-related expenses amounting to PLN 300 yearly, which is called the “Good Start”.

This benefit is exempted from tax and is not subject to enforcement proceedings. A relevant application needs to be filed in order to be granted the benefit. Starting from 1 July 2021, such applications shall be submitted solely electronically, by ZUS Electronic Services Platform (PUE ZUS), the Emp@tia portal and e-banking systems.

2. Changes in the scope of determining the entitlement to financial benefits under social insurance in case of disease and maternity

The amendment - regarding sick pay - shall enter into force on 1 January 2022, whereas some provisions shall be effective as of 18 September 2021.

This amendment shall introduce changes to: the reception period of sickness allowance for the time of a disease post sickness insurance, the determination of the payment period of sick pay, the amount of sick pay, rehabilitation benefit allocation, establishment of a new assessment basis of a sickness benefit, and dates of allowance payment.

Regulations extending the list of persons subjected to a voluntary sickness insurance are binding from 18 September 2021.

3. Changes in administrative proceedings

An amendment to the Code of Administrative Procedure (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1491) enters into force on 16 September 2021. It shall introduce serious limitations in the procedure of annulling an administrative decision. The amendment rules out the possibility of annulling a decision, regardless of its cause provided for in the Code (e.g. gross violations of the law), if ten years have passed from its delivery or announcement, and also when such a decision resulted in irreversible legal consequences. Moreover, it introduces a rule, according to which, if thirty years passed from the delivery or announcement of a decision, the annulment proceedings shall not even be commenced.

4. Charge of interest on arrears in ZUS

An amendment of 18 September 2021 introduces a modification to the Article 23 item 1a of the Act on the Social Insurance System according to which interest on arrears shall not be charged if its amount is lower than 1% of the statutory minimum wage (in 2021 it is PLN 2,800 x 1% = PLN 28). In the past, the interest was not charged if lower than PLN 6.60.

5. Statutory minimum wage and hourly rate in 2022

On 14 September 2021, the Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on the amount of the minimum wage for work and the amount of the minimum hourly rate in 2022. Accordingly, in 2022 the minimum wage shall amount to PLN 3,010 and the minimum hourly rate shall amount to PLN 19.70.