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published: 28 Jun 2021 in Labour law

Keep your cool! Employee rights during hot weather

Joanna Czarnecka
Joanna Czarnecka

Editor

What are your rights as an employee in Poland when it comes to working on hot summer days? See what the Polish National Labour Inspectorate has to say on the matter.

The National Labour Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy) is an authority responsible for the enforcement of Polish labour law and occupational health and safety regulations. Below you will find its guidance for Polish employers on how to protect their workers from the effects of hot weather.

Hydration

Employers should provide their workers with a constant and adequate supply of free, cool drinks if the temperature rises above 28 degrees Celsius in an indoor environment and 25 degrees in an outdoor environment. Workers whose jobs involve exposure to dirt, hot temperatures or require maintaining cleanliness and hygiene standards should be provided with at least 90 litres of water per person per day for hygienic purposes.

Sun protection

Those who work in the open air should be able to rest in a shaded, covered area during break times. It is recommended that outdoor workers wear hats and breathable, sun protective clothing, and - if possible - that they work during cooler times of the day.

Ventilation

It is necessary to ensure proper maintenance and cleanliness of ventilators and air conditioning systems in the workplace, and to use window blinds or shades to block out excessive sunlight. AC and ventilation systems, if used, should not overcool office spaces, create draughts, or blow air directly towards workstations.

Working time

The National Labour Inspectorate has called on employers to reduce working hours during heatwaves, especially if the total work time exceeds eight hours a day. It is also advisable to give workers additional rest or cooling breaks throughout the day and to adopt rotating schedules where possible. However, none of the above changes should come with pay cuts, the Inspectorate has stressed.

Source: Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy

Would you like to find out more about employee rights in Poland? Visit our Labour law tab.

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