We provide regular daily support to companies on labor and employment law, which frequently entails employee layoffs, including the preparation of the relevant strategy and documentation. We remain in telephone and e-mail contact with the HR department and whenever possible we give “on the spot” legal advice. In cases that require legal analysis we strive to deliver answers by the end of the very same day or on the following day. We provide practical advice on what should be done in a given case and we prepare more extensive legal opinions at a client’s explicit request.
At the age of intense competition, ensuring that the staff abide by the confidentiality obligation and have restricted possibility to work for competitors is an important part of competitive advantage on the market. We support our Clients in this respect by adequately defining the notion of business secret, implementing the policies for protection of confidential information or compiling anti-competition agreements. We also provide advice if current or former employees are suspected of having committed acts of unfair competition.
Amendments to the Polish and EU laws as well as the evolving case law may form barriers or constitute a stimulus to search for beneficial solutions in the employment law. In view of the foregoing, we offer due diligence of employment documentation and practices used by businesses in the area of employment law. The investigation is intended to assess compliance of the company’s documentation and practices with the labour law and the case law, to indicate the areas of risk related to employer-employee relations, to identify the best solutions and improve the company’s security, while reducing financial or organisational burdens.
Employees frequently perceive their relations with supervisors and employers as those of mobbing or discrimination. In a number of situations, this is so because they do not understand the terms in question and assume that each instance of criticism received from their supervisor meets the definition of mobbing or discrimination. We support our Clients if such accusations are ever raised. We also prepare anti-discrimination and anti-mobbing policies and we train staff in this respect. Additionally, we conduct the explanatory procedure. Due to potential high damage resulting from such accusations, we place special emphasis on prevention and proper understanding of such notions, both on the part of the organisation and its staff.
Redundancies and dismissals form part of every entrepreneur’s activity. Organisational changes, voluntary leave schemes, poor performance, breach of employment duties or an employee’s initiative – all these situations involve termination of the employment contract. We provide comprehensive advice on all situations where termination of employment contracts occurs. We assess the reasons for termination, draw up the required documents, conduct negotiations and participate in meetings with staff. We make every effort to ensure that the process of dismissal is free of any undue turbulence and that the risk related to contract termination remains minimum.
The social aspect is essential in the lives of many entrepreneurs. Trade unions, work councils and other employee representatives are eligible to a number of rights affecting the operations of employers. For this reason we support our Clients in all aspects related to the activities of social parties. We engage in negotiations and provide consultations, we prepare the strategies of actions and we develop the required documents. We also provide assistance in the course of collective disputes, strikes and other forms of protest. We help shape relations with trade unions and works councils in such a way that they comply with the law while allowing the company to exercise its rights with respect to such organizations and their officers to the fullest extent allowed by the law. We advise during conflicts with unions both as far as daily relations and collective disputes are concerned.
In the world of advanced technology, it is the human resources that constitute the greatest “assets” for our Clients. We support our Clients in all aspects of their activities at the level of company which apply to their staff, whether upon changes of the organisational chart or ownership, or at the time of restructuring within capital groups. In this respect, we also provide advice on assessment of employment structures, evaluation of liability for commitments taken versus employees, as well as for making the terms and conditions of employment different or uniform. We advise on transfers of undertakings (TUPE), including employment aspects of mergers, collective dismissals, pay restructuring, negotiations with trade unions and consultations with works councils. In case of negotiations, we either negotiate with the unions ourselves, or we provide advice to the company’s negotiators, depending on the Client’s preference.
Employment law is barely the easiest of legal disciplines. Judgments and decisions passed by common courts, the Supreme Court or the European Court of Justice are all of material significance. Differences in interpretation are conducive to disputes between employees and employers. We provide extensive advice on how to conduct any such dispute, from assessing the very risk of a dispute, through preparation of the pre-trial and trial strategy to representation of Clients before employment tribunals. An employment law audit and implementation of the findings thereof is a tool that helps limit the occurrence of disputes. We represent Clients in all types of disputes with employees. Most of such disputes concern mobbing or discrimination, but also dismissals, overtime and remuneration. We were involved in some of the biggest cases of litigation involving top-level employees. We always make a recommendation if in the case in question it is better to engage in litigation or to settle. We also provide legal advice before the case gets to court, recommending the strategy, which might involve settlement or acceptance of the risk of court proceedings, depending on the merits of our Client’s position. We prepare and run internal investigations into complaints of mobbing or harassment.
Managers play a special role in every organisation. One that requires proper definition of the relationship between the manager and the employer. A ban on competition, confidentiality of information, the form of “employment,” the scope of responsibilities, working time, subordination – this is but a selection of the items that require special attention. We prepare comprehensive solutions for the employment of managers, including all the necessary documents. We also participate in negotiations with managers or their representatives in this respect.
Poland is a country which posts the largest numbers of workers to other countries, in particular to EU Members States. Cooperating with the law firms associated within Ius Laboris (a global alliance of employment and labour law firms considered leaders in their respective jurisdictions), we offer advice on all aspects of posting, both in Poland and abroad, such as minimum pay. We provide advice on how to efficiently arrange for posting and we draw up the relevant documentation.
Increasing numbers of foreigners come to Poland to work and we often represent Clients in proceedings to obtain relevant work permits. We advise on how to obtain visas and residence permits as well as on other formalities relating to foreigners’ stays in Poland.
We provide advice on matters concerning the acquisition of employee data, processing them, inclusive of group level processing. We handle data storage issues, the possibilities for storing data electronically, etc.
We advise on how to ensure that the employer acquires to the fullest extent possible the rights to intellectual property created in conjunction with hiring employees in relation to copyrights, inventions, patents, etc.
In view of the ever-growing number of criminal issues in employment cases and a need to implement procedures preventing entrepreneurs and employers from criminal liability, Raczkowski Paruch office has set up a complementary to employment and labor law team, specializing in business crime, compliance and internal investigations.
Adwokat and partner Dominika Stępińska-Duch, who heads the practice, has extensive experience and up-to-date knowledge on functioning of business entities, in its various aspects, which combined with her many years of experience allows to analyze comprehensively Client’s predicament and to undertake the most efficient actions.
Within Business crime, compliance and internal investigations practice we distinguish below-mentioned areas of activity:
- Prevention: analysis, implementation and monitoring of the compliance procedures;
- Reaction: support at the stage of control proceedings in the Companies, support during preparatory proceedings and criminal court proceedings;
- internal investigations.
We also conduct trainings on compliance and criminal liability, dedicated to chosen groups of employees as well as to the management. Each training, retaining all its substantive value, can also be led in English and French languages and be tailored to the specific needs and character of the Client’s activity.
EU and national regulations impose a number of new obligations on banks and insurance institutions regarding how management board members and key personnel should be compensated. We advise our Clients on how to implement these regulations safely and effectively. We prepare draft bylaws and resolutions, and evaluate and customise existing solutions. We also advise clients on how to devise bonus regulations for other employee groups, taking into consideration the unique nature of the financial and insurance industry.