RSM Poland


Can a Polish employer call an employee back from vacation leave?

Reading time: 2 minutes.


In the article you will learn:

  • When a Polish employer can call an employee back from vacation leave?
  • How an entrepreneur can oblige a person employed in Poland to stop the holiday?
  • What are the consequences of untimely leave termination?


HR and Payroll Team Leader at RSM Poland

The holiday season has started, which means that the upcoming holidays regularly occupy our minds. The rules for using them seem simple, but – as it turns out – they are not.

Pursuant to Art. 167 § 1 of the Labour Code, the employer has the right to call the employee back from the leave. However, it can only be done so if there are circumstances that could not have been foreseen at the time of the commencement of the holiday – and as a result of which the employee’s presence at work is necessary.

The employer does not have to inform the employee of the reason for his decision. The employer’s declaration of will in this respect binds the employee in the same way as any other official order.

The employee is obliged to appear at work – if possible, at the time requested by the employer. In order for the hired person to be able to do this, the supervisor should, however, notify them in advance of the need to return.

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How can a Polish company call an employee back from vacation leave?

The employer must find such a form of communication that his notice is effectively delivered. An employee on vacation leave is not obliged to check his private or business e-mail.

The supervisor may use the form of communication for which the employee has agreed. However, he cannot expect the employed person to answer phone calls or read e-mail correspondence during his vacation leave.

In addition, the dismissal of an employee from vacation also has certain consequences – an employer who wants to exercise this right should therefore consider them.

Pursuant to Art. 167 § 2 of the Labour Code, the employer reimburses the costs incurred by the employee in connection with the cancellation of his leave. The costs are reimbursed in proportion to the unused leave, and if the employee returns from leave with the whole family as a result of the dismissal, the employer also bears the resulting additional costs.

Finally, one more, extremely important fact that not everyone knows – if an employer calls an employee back from leave in a manner that violates the provisions of the Labour Code, such a person has the right to demand compensation from his supervisor.

Unjustified calling back from vacation leave are therefore unfavourable not only from the perspective of the employee, but also the employer – so remember this when organising our holiday schedule.

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