Polish companies have recently experienced numerous changes to employment regulations (regular and migrant). This results from both the geopolitical situation and the need to adapt national regulations to the European Union law, like work-life balance or transparent and predictable working conditions Directives. Implementation of the latter is now subject to very intensive efforts in the Polish Parliament. These regulations are being implemented late, which unfortunately does not have a positive impact on the quality of respective legislation.
Partially, the newest changes to Polish labor law reflect needs of the market. This refers to a complex regulation on the remote work as well as sobriety checks, which have been enabled to Polish employers as of February 21, 2023.
The sobriety checks regulations cover the possibility of verifying if an employee is under influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is a much expected and needed regulation, in particular as regards to drugs. Those have been defined as substances having similar effects to alcohol and are listed in the respective regulation of the Health Ministry. Until now employers were deprived of any legal way of carrying out a drug test, which was a problem in particular in many production companies operating at night.
The new law allows the carrying out of sobriety checks on employees not only if there is a reasonable suspicion that the employee is not sobber but also if it is necessary to ensure protection of life or health or property (so called preventive sobriety checks). There is no obligation to specify in advance when exactly a sobriety test will be carried out. Still, it must be clear to personnel when they may expect a preventive check, e.g., each week.