Every employee working under an employment contract is entitled to receive paid holiday leave. What do you need to know about it and how should you plan it in 2021? We have some tips for you!
“Many people don’t know whether they can use their holiday leave days during the pandemic. No surprise there. This is a new situation for most of us. Luckily, you can use your holiday leave days regardless of whether you’re working remotely or at the office. You may also travel, just remember to check the current international trips restrictions on gov.pl” says Marta Kamińska, Solutions.Rent.
Holiday leaves in 2021: legal grounds
Are you employed under an employment contract? You have a non-negotiable right to take a holiday leave (guaranteed by Article 152 of the Labor Code). The good news is that you’ll be paid 100% of your salary. The number of days of your holiday leave is determined by the law.
- 20 days for employees who have worked less than 10 years.
- 26 days for employees who have worked for 10 years or longer.
No worries. You don’t have to work for 10 years to enjoy longer holidays. The duration of your employment also includes education:
- vocational school – 3 years,
- secondary school – 4 years,
- university – 8 years.
Education periods are not cumulative! If you went to a secondary school and then to the university, the period taken into account for your holiday leave calculation is the longer one – in this case your university education.
Number of holiday leave days
The Labor Code grants employees 1/12th of their leave per one calendar month (1.6 day if they are entitled to 20 days of holiday leave, 2.2 days if 26 days). Partial days are always rounded up, to your benefit.
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The matter that is most difficult to determine is the number of leave days for a new employee. Just follow a couple of straightforward rules
- Leave is proportional only in the first year of your professional activity. Each subsequent year (even when starting a job with a employer) you get your leave privileges at the beginning of that year. You can use the leave right away – but are you sure your employer is going to be fine with that?
- Changing jobs during the year means dividing your leave days between the two employers. Your former employer is to give you a number of leave days proportional to the number of months you worked for them. Your new employer will grant you the total number of your leave days minus the number of days from your previous job contract.
- If you’re working part-time, the number of holiday leave days is proportional to the full-time employment fraction (e.g. a person working ¾ full time, with 10 years of employment, will have exactly 19.5 leave days, which rounds up to 20 days off).
Can the employer cancel your holidays?
Holiday planning is based on your holiday leave arrangements and (typically) takes place in consultation with you boss and your team. You may change the dates previously agreed for your leave. All you need to do is file a request.
If your absence may result in losses for the company, your employer can change the dates for your leave of even cancel it. But relax, this happens only in emergency situations. Even if this happens, the manager must cover the costs of your canceled leave (e.g. cover the costs of plane tickets, hotel bookings).
“On demand” leave in 2021
You have 4 “on demand” leave days per year when working under an employment contract. You can use them at any time by notifying the employer before work starts on that day. These leave days are treated as part of your general holiday leave. Unused “on demand” leave transfers to the next year as holiday leave.
Information about “on demand” leave will be included in your certificate of employment. But relax, no-one will judge you for taking them. This information lets your future employer know how many “on demand” leave days the employee still has for that year.
Unpaid leave in 2021
Besides holiday leave you also have the right to take unpaid leave. You can use it any way you want – even to work somewhere else. This leave must not exceed 3 months.
You apply for unpaid leave by filing a request with your employer. Your boss may reject the leave request if your presence is needed.
Special leave in 2021
Are you getting married or have just become a parent? The Labor Code grants you a special leave for such occasions. This is what you’re entitled to:
- two days off when you get married, have a child or your spouse, child or parent dies.
- one day off when your child gets married or your sister, brother, parent-in-law or grandparent dies.
To use the special leave, file a request and afterwards present confirmation of the event to your employer, e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate or death certificate.
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Unused 2021 leave
Haven’t used all your leave days during the calendar year? Don’t worry! You can use them until 30 September next year. Just remember to specify in your leave request which leave days you’d like to use for this particular holiday.
If you haven’t used your days off due to termination of your employment contract by the employer, you have the right to receive a cash equivalent. Its amount is established based on the vacation ratio, which changes each year (in 2021 it was 21).
How to plan your 2021 holiday?
Do you want to plan your holidays well? Check the list of public holidays for 2021. This public holiday calendar will show you when is the best time to take your days off and benefit from a longer weekend.
1 January – New Year (Friday)
We’re in for an extended weekend already in the first week of 2021. New Year’s Day is on Friday – which means you can enjoy a holiday for 3 days without feeling guilty.
6 January – Epiphany (Wednesday)
Take just two days off and your leave will extend to full 6 days (from 1 January until 6 January or from 6 January to 10 January). Not enough? If may enjoy a 10-day leave by taking just 4 days off.
4 April – Easter (Sunday)
5 April – Easter Monday
Easter in 2021 is celebrated in the first week of April. You can have 5 days off by taking just one or two days of vacation at the beginning of the month.
1 May – Labor Day (Saturday)
3 May – Constitution Day (Monday)
Unfortunately, the May holidays in 2021 are not in the middle of the week, but the good news is that if the holiday is on Saturday you can take another day off to compensate for it. It must, however, be in the same month.
3 June – Corpus Christi (Thursday)
Corpus Christi each year falls on Thursday, which means that one day of your leave may extend the weekend to 4 days.
15 August – Assumption of Mary (Sunday)
In 2021 the Assumption falls on Sunday. Unfortunately, there’s no extra day off to compensate for this. You can forget about a long weekend in August.
1 November – All Saints’ Day (Monday)
In 2021 the All Saints’ falls on Monday. Which makes the last October weekend longer by one day.
11 November – Independence Day (Thursday)
The Independence Day falling on Thursday will allow you to enjoy a really long weekend by taking just one day off. This gives you as much as 4 days off in total.
25 December – Christmas (Saturday)
26 December – 2nd Christmas Day (Boxing Day) (Sunday)
The two Christmas days in 2021 fall on a weekend. Your long winter holidays will happen some other year. The good thing is that you are entitled to an extra day off to compensate for the holiday on Saturday. If your employer does not determine the date, you may choose any day during that month.
You don’t need to know the Labor Code from cover to cover. Human Resources should notify you of the leave that you are entitled to use. Employees with a contract for the performance of specific tasks/work or freelancers negotiate the leave provisions directly with their manager.
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