With little notice, the Polish parliament passed a law declaring 12 November 2018, a nonworking holiday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Polish independence. The exceptional holiday will only apply in 2018 and will not be commemorated with a nonworking holiday in future years. The law requires that employers grant employees paid time off on 12 November 2018. If any employees are required to work for business essential reasons or under an exemption provided in the law, they must be compensated at the rate of pay that applies to working on Sunday or a public holiday.
Employers will need to quickly address any related staffing issues. Exempted businesses, which include pharmacies, some medical providers, retail sales outlets and activities related to selling, must pay employees the Sunday or holiday rate of pay. The legislation was signed by the president on 7 November, leaving little time for employers to prepare. There was some initial uncertainty that the law would be enacted because the parliament did not give the president 21 days’ notice as required by the Polish constitution. The Polish press has, however, been widely reporting the holiday as if it were a certainty since it was proposed by the lower house on 23 October.