In many countries it is a national holiday and it is celebrated on this day as it commemorates riots in Chicago in 1886. Riots took place on first days of May and were aimed against 12 hour work day and inhuman working conditions. The idea was quickly absorbed abroad and since around 1890 we celebrate Labor Day. In Poland in times of PRL – when Poland was occupied by USRR after the World War II – on this day propaganda marches were organized. Some countries celebrate Labor Day on different dates. For example in North America it is on 1st Monday of September and in Australia it depends on the state.
In Poland there is also second national holiday celebrated on 3rd May to commemorate the enactment of the First Polish Constitution, which was also the second constitution in the world. It was enacted on 3rd May 1791. This is a truly Polish national holiday and it is officially free from work.
As there are two national holidays one after another many people take 2nd May free and make themselves holidays. However this year 1st May falls on Friday and 3rd May is Sunday. According to the newest Polish law the entitlements of the employee and employer are the following.
The employer can make employees work during national holidays or Sundays – days officially free – in case the company provides services to foreign markets where the named days are normally working days. In such case the employee should have the possibility to have a free day 6 days before or after the working day (in case it falls on the day like Sunday, or general holiday) or an additional free day added to the sum of available vacation (in case of exclusively Polish national holidays). In case it is impossible, the employee should receive additional payment for having to work during holidays.
This regulation aims to make Polish market more attractive for international enterprises operating business all over the world. It might turn out less convenient for employees who might not be able to make themselves long weekend any more. Furthermore this year it is even more inconvenient as workers have one officially free from work day less – 3rd May is simultaneously Sunday and national holiday.