A networking meeting – is it worth attending?

Meeting with direct clients at an HR conference

Couple day ago, I had a chance to participate in a networking meeting for HR specialists. It focused on changes in Polish HR-related regulations introduced in January 2019. The changes resulted in some doubts and inconsistencies among HR personnel.

It was a first-time experience for me. As I translate many HR-related texts, I wanted to learn first-hand about the challenges and duties of my direct clients. I learned a lot! In addition, it was a great opportunity to speak face to face with specialists. We shared many insights on the work of HR staff in general.

Agenda of the networking meeting

GDPR absurdities in employment relationship

(legal counsel Magdalena Rycak)

HR departments often face doubts about interpreting GDPR in the context of recruitment, processing of standard and sensitive data, or providing references. It often results in over-interpretation and wrong Application of the Regulation. It is often helpful to rely on the case law of the Polish Supreme Court or “state of need” (as in the case of preventive check of employees’ sobriety).

Personnel files and work records

(sen. associate Justyna Tyc-Brzosko)

On 1 January 2019, new regulations are in force concerning the maintenance and storage of employees’ work records. These changes apply, among others, to the form and time of records storage, as well as new obligations of employers. In result, employers, raised many questions and concerns. They mainly related to documentation in the transition period or the different forms of employment. We also discussed the issue of new duties concerning the storage conditions and destruction of documents.

Recordkeeping of hours worked in 2019

(Monika Smulewicz)

Before changes introduced on 1 January 2019, recordkeeping was in the form of timesheet. The changes introduced the scope of recordkeeping and do not specify the form. The employer must also ensure that documents are safe against their destruction or access of unauthorized persons. Another obligation is to ensure appropriate storage conditions.

Employee Capital Plans

(legal counsel Marcin Wojewódka)

Employee Capital Plan is a long-term savings system introduced mid-2019. We discussed the main assumptions of the program, the registration process, and resignation, safety of funds, their investment and payment. The program is relatively new, but the success surveys conducted show that only ca. 40% of employees decided to remain in the system. 

Hiring foreign employees in Poland

(advocate Karolina Schiffter)

More and more foreigners work in Poland. Most of them must document the legality of the work and their stay. It sometimes takes as much as 3-6 months to obtain work permit. It is also necessary to conduct market test and translate any qualification documents. For persons with higher professional qualifications, the so called blue card was introduced. It provides extra benefits to the holder and his/her family members.

Mobbing and discrimination in employment

(advocate Artur Rycak)

The Poles are becoming increasingly aware about any instances of mobbing and discrimination at the work place. The legal definition of mobbing does not correlate with the social understanding of the phenomenon. This results in some difficulties in proving the legal presumptions of mobbing, especially that the statutory requirements must be met in aggregate. The employer is required to prevent mobbing by, for example, developing anti-mobbing policy or specific provisions in the code of ethics. They also have act immediately upon becoming aware of mobbing in their company.

Terminating employment contracts in disciplinary grounds

(legal counsel Anna Telec)

Terminating employment contract based on disciplinary grounds is one of four ways to end an employment relationship. The disciplinary grounds requires the employer to provide the reasons for termination. One of the most popular is gross breach of basic employee duties. They employer must remember that one act of gross breach is enough. Termination on disciplinary grounds should not be affected by the progress of career at the workplace. The employer has 30 days from becoming aware of the breach to terminate the agreement on disciplinary grounds.

The networking meeting summary

The networking meeting was an interesting experience. At first, I felt a bit shy and insecure. I was the only translator among HR specialists and practitioners. All of us, however, wanted to expand our knowledge. The discussions were mostly practical and down to earth. The topics were relevant for everybody. I’m very glad I had a chance to talk with HR people directly and ask them questions about their problems and concerns. It was also very pleasant to talk about HR issues from the perspective of a translator.