New entitlements for employees - parents

2018.08.30

On 6 June 2018, an amendment to the labor code came into force, aimed at supporting employees who are parents of disabled children. The amendment introduces new solutions that make the working time of the parents and the manner of working more flexible, which imposes new obligations on the employers.
The new solutions foreseen in the labor code are addressed to:

  • The parents of a child in the prenatal stage if the pregnancy is at risk;
  • Parents who have certification of severe and irreversible impairment or life-threatening illness of their child, which developed during pregnancy or birth;
  • Parents of a child for whom a decision has been issued finding 
  • a severe or moderate degree of disability;
  • Parents of a child who requires special support in education, i.e. developmental support, specialized education, remedial classes.

An employee who belongs to this group can demand that the employer modify the organization of the working time, in particular by requesting an individualized or flexible work schedule, and, in the case of the parents of a disabled child or one who requires special support in education, also by requesting the option to work remotely. Each parent can separately request that one of these solutions be implemented by their respective employers. It is only in the case of a pregnancy at risk that just one of the parents can take advantage of these entitlements. 

These solutions are not conditional on the child’s age, so they also apply to the parents of children who have turned 18. This wording of these provisions is already raising multiple doubts 
as to, e.g., categories of entitled employees, the way in which the entitlement should be proved and the necessary documents. 

The request by an employee-parent can be refused only in exceptional circumstances, e.g. in the situation where the type of work performed by the employee does not allow for flexible working time (in the case of employees who supervise machinery), discontinuous working hours (an employee 
of a stand at a shopping mall) or telework.  The employer should explain the reason for the refusal in writing or electronically.