Labor law is understood to encompass the provisions of the Labor Code and provisions of other acts of law, which speak about rights and obligations in employer-employee relations. Ignorance of the rights may be harmfull to both parties, which is why it is so important to know the rules that determine the obligations of both paries to the employment relationship.
Every employee is aware that they are entitled to holiday leave. It should be taken annually and continuously, i.e. at one time. Based on an appropriately written request submitted by an employee, it is possible to split the leave, however one of its parts should be no shorter than fourteen days. There is one exception to the rule, namely art. 167 of the Polish Labor Code, according to which an employer may recall an employee from holiday leave. This means that the employer requires a given employee to imediately return to work.
However, no employer can do this without giving a valid reason. Article 167 states that the cancellation of an employee's leave may only take place when the presence of the employee is required as a result of circumstances which could not have been foreseen when the leave began. Thus, firstly, if no substitution can be made for a given employee because of his/her unique skills or qualifications required to carry out a given task. Secondly, the circumstances that caused the need for the given employee's presence must be unknown at the moment when the employee began his/her leave. Therefore, if the boss even suspected that such circumstances could arise and nevertheless gave permission for the holiday leave, then he/she can not recall the employee from leave. Such unforeseen circumstances may include, for example, an external audit or the need to revise accounting records.
In addition, art. 167 also states that the employer is required to cover the costs incurred by the employee in direct relation to the cancellation of his/her leave. In the case of being on vacation away from home, the employee may apply for a refund for the costs incurred - for example, for the cost of return travel or the cost of accommodation and trips already purchased. If the employer does not cover these costs, the employee has the right to file a case with the labor court. Sometimes employees can also apply for reimbursement of expenses incurred by their whole family traveling with them.
However, the regulations do not specify in what form the cancellation of an employee's holiday leave should be made. It is important, however, that the communication is effective and the employee has read the contents of the cancellation note. The employer should also take into account the time required for the employee to return and notify the employee early enough so that he/she will be able to appear at work on time. However, if the employer can not contact the employee, then it will not be possible to cancel his/her holiday leave.
When the employer provides the employee with the note cancelling his/her vacation leave, it should be ensured that the reason for the cancellation is the lack of the possibility to substitute the employee or the occurrence of circumstances about which the employer did not know of when the employee started the leave. The employee should appear at work immediately, because otherwise he/she may be threatened with termination of employment. Even in the case of unlawful cancellation (incompatible with Article 167 of the Labor Code), it is safer to assert your rights after returning to work. If it turns out that the interruption of the leave was unjustified and unlawful, the employee may demand full compensation related to the loss of their holiday time.
Unjustified and frequent cancellations of holiday leave can also be the basis for the termination of an employment contract by an employee through the fault of the employer. When the employer deliberately and maliciously recalls an employee from leave several times, it can be assumed that the employer is in violation of the rules on safe and hygienic working conditions, which say that every employee should be provided with adequate rest to regenerate their mental and physical strength. If, however, the employer complies with all obligations and the employee refuses to return to work, the employer may impose a procedural penalty or terminate the employment contract without notice (on disciplinary grounds).return