Labour Research July 2018

European news

Rights for self-employed boosted
 in Poland

Polish self-employed workers are finally set to win union rights. 

Almost exactly three years after a decision of Poland’s constitutional court on 2 June 2015 that denying the self-employed union rights was illegal, the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, last month adopted legislation giving self-employed workers the right to “form and join” trade unions. 

After discussion in the upper house, the president is expected to sign the legislation into law later this month.

The new legislation does not just allow the self-employed to join unions, it also allows them to be union representatives with specific protections against dismissal. And it makes a number of other changes to Poland’s 1991 trade union law which unions have largely welcomed. But they have attacked the introduction of a new form of contract for workers employed on a temporary basis to help with the harvest. 

These workers will not be guaranteed the minimum wage and will have no health and safety protection. 

Union confederation NSZZ Solidarnosc is considering taking the government to court.