Some Aspects of Labour Law’s Protective Function at the Time of COVID-19

Mariusz Wieczorek

Abstract


The COVID-19 epidemic has had a substantial impact on Polish legislation since the beginning of 2020. The economic slowdown and the consequent fall in the state budget revenue are among the anticipated effects of the epidemic. As a result, provisions introducing lex specialis to the Labour Code and certain employment regulations specifying dissolution of employment relationships in some public administration organisations became part of the COVID-19 Act. The new legal construct comes down to extensive facilitation in the process of redundancies for employers dismissing their employees. The protective function of labour law provisions insofar as it upholds duration of the employment relationship is consequently restricted. Provisions of the COVID-19 Act in this respect are unacceptable. Each regulation should arise from objectively identified needs to legally govern social relationships and should not inflate laws or undermine citizens’ trust in legislation. The postulate of this legal direction of determining social relationships is particularly important with regard to relationships of employment, in particular, those founded on appointment in public administration. The possibility of identical treatment of employees hired on various legal grounds merely appears to conform with the constitutional protection of equality in law. Without detriment to employers’ right to determine employment levels, the new regulations in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic seem unnecessary, since their objectives can be attained by application of normal remedies provided for by labour law.


Keywords


COVID-19; protective function of labour law; dissolution of employment relationships; appointment; public administration

References


LITERATURE

Dral A., Powszechna ochrona trwałości stosunku pracy. Tendencje zmian, Warszawa 2009.

Dral A., Szczególna ochrona umownego stosunku pracy, [in:] System Prawa Pracy, vol. 2: Indywidualne prawo pracy. Część ogólna, ed. K.W. Baran, Warszawa 2017.

Florek L., Interes pracodawcy w prawie pracy, „Państwo i Prawo” 2012, no. 5.

Florek L., Pisarczyk Ł., Prawo pracy, Warszawa 2019.

Latos-Miłkowska M., Ochrona interesu pracodawcy, Warszawa 2013.

Liszcz T., Prawo pracy, Warszawa 2019.

Liszcz T., Umowa o pracę, [in:] System Prawa Pracy, vol. 2: Indywidualne prawo pracy. Część ogólna, ed. K.W. Baran, Warszawa 2017.

Oniszczuk J., Źródła prawa pracy, [in:] Zarys systemu prawa pracy, vol. 1: Część ogólna prawa pracy, Warszawa 2010.

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Sanetra W., Ustrojowe uwarunkowania ochrony trwałości stosunku pracy, [in:] Ochrona trwałości stosunku pracy w społecznej gospodarce rynkowej, ed. G. Goździewicz, Warszawa 2010.

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NETOGRAPHY

Trybunał Konstytucyjny orzekł przed podpisaniem ustawy przez Prezydenta jej niezgodność z Konstytucją, http://orka.sejm.gov.pl/proc6.nsf/ustawy/3579_u.htm [access: 10.11.2020].

Ustawa o dopłatach do oprocentowania kredytów bankowych udzielanych na zapewnienie płynności finansowej przedsiębiorcom dotkniętym skutkami COVID-19, www.senat.gov.pl/prace/senat/proces-legislacyjny-w-senacie/ustawy-uchwalone-przez-sejm/ustawy-uchwalone-przez-sejm/ustawa,990.html [access: 10.01.2021].

LEGAL ACTS

Act of 26 June 1976 – Labour Code (consolidated text Journal of Laws 2019, item 1040 as amended).

Act of 13 March 2003 on the special principles of terminating relationships of employment for reasons unrelated to employees (consolidated text Journal of Laws 2018, item 1969 as amended).

Act of 21 November 2008 on the Civil Service (consolidated text Journal of Laws 2017, item 1889 as amended).

Act of 2 March 2020 on the special solutions in connection with prevention, counteracting, and fighting COVID-19, other infectious diseases, and the resultant crisis situations (Journal of Laws 2020, item 374).

Act of 16 April 2020 on the special support instruments in connection with spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus (Journal of Laws 2020, item 695).

Act of 14 May 2020 on amending certain acts concerning protective actions in connection with spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus (Journal of Laws 2020, item 875).

Act of 19 June 2020 on the subsidies to interest on bank credits to entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 and the simplified procedures of agreement approval in connection with COVID-19 (Journal of Laws 2020, item 1086).

Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 (Journal of Laws 1997, no. 78, item 483 as amended).

Regulation of the Health Minister’s of 13 March 2020 on announcement of the epidemic risk in the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws 2020, item 4233).

Regulation of the Prime Minister of 20 June 2002 on “Principles of Legislative Technique” (consolidated text Journal of Laws 2016, item 283 as amended).

CASE LAW

Judgement of the Administrative Court in Gdańsk of 21 December 2016, III Au/12/9316, LEX 2191588.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 13 March 2000, K 1/99, OTK 2000, no. 2, item 59.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 26 November 2001, K 2/00, OTK ZU 2001, no. 8, item 254.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 4 May 2004, K 40/02, OTK-A 2004, no. 5, item 38.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 18 October 2005, SK 48/03, OTK ZU 2005, no. 9A, item 101.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 24 October 2006, SK 41/05.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 12 July 2010, P 4/10.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 14 June 2011, Kp 1/11, OTK-A 2011, no. 5, item 41.

Judgement of the Constitutional Tribunal of 22 May 2013, P 46/11, OTK-A 2013, no. 4, item 42.

Judgement of the Supreme Court of 19 April 2019, II PK 310/09, LEX no. 602698.

Judgement of the Supreme Court of 10 October 2019, I PK 196/18, LEX no. 2773243.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2021.30.1.339-355
Data publikacji: 2021-03-31 14:40:42
Data złożenia artykułu: 2020-07-31 13:59:56


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