2 août 2019

Duty to disclose salaries in job advertisements in Poland

Opposition politicians in Poland recently proposed an amendment to the Polish Labour Code to force employers to include information on the amount of proposed remuneration in job advertisements.

Currently, there is no legal requirement to disclosure remuneration in Poland, and only a small proportion of advertisements include such information.

Moreover, provisions contained in employment contracts or work regulations which oblige employees to keep their remuneration confidential are common, and can be used to hide practices of unequal treatment of employees. This can also allow employers to attract employees at the lowest possible cost.

As a result, the recent proposals include financial penalties for companies failing to provide such information, as well as for concluding a contract with lower remuneration than advertised.

A fine of PLN 1,000 to PLN 30,000 has been proposed for concluding an agreement on remuneration lower than specified in the advertisement and failure to provide such information in any form.

Furthermore, the amendments are expected to contain methods which avoid situations where an employer provides a salary band from the minimum wage (PLN 2,250) to tens of thousands of zlotys, enabling them to circumvent the requirement to advertise a salary.

These amendments should therefore drastically improve the standard of job advertisements in Poland, greatly benefitting job seekers. What's more, as advertisements should only be answered by candidates whose financial expectations align with those of the company, they are likely to save time for both employers and prospective employees alike.

It's also worth noting that, to date, earnings are only disclosed by court order the Polish legal system, either in the course of an audit or when employees themselves consent to the disclosure of information on the amount of remuneration. As such, if the new law on the disclosure of salaries in job advertisements comes into force it will constitute a revolutionary change.

This extends to claims of unequal treatment, as the proposed alteration to the legislation would allow employees to easily establish what an employer offers to newly recruited employees in similar job positions.

Given that the amendments were drafted by members of the opposition, it is somewhat surprising that the draft has been passed by the ruling party. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Policy spoke positively about the direction of the proposed changes, which are now being evaluated by experts.

With momentum around the proposals only continuing to grow, employers are encouraged to keep abreast of all developments, and to be prepared to change their job advertisements and recruitment practices once the finalised legislation comes into effect.

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