THE ROLE OF THE EMPLOYER IN REALIZING THE RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES RELATED TO PARENTHOOD
Over the last ten years, the Labor Code has signifi cantly expanded employees’ rights related to parenthood, and thus the role of the employer in the fi eld of their implementation has changed fundamentally.
The employer remains obliged to fulfi ll the employee’s basic rights enumerated in the Labour Code as a parent. However, the Polish legislator excessively burdens the employer with the role of the sole contractor of these general social principles related to the protection of motherhood and family, which causes a clear upset in the implementation of the constitutional obligations of the state towards its citizens.
Looking at individual stages of employment from the period of pregnancy, in which protection is particularly strong, through the obligation to exercise parental leave and obligations imposed on the employer to employ an employee after taking leave, on protection during the period of custody, these are clearly noticeable limitations and burdens for the employer. The burden imposed on a particular employer often remains completely disproportionate to its capabilities. The employer bears the costs of social policy, which should be implemented by the state, thus it is fulfi lling the role of the guarantor in securing social interests. The solutions adopted by the Polish legislator stand in clear opposition to the regulation of international law.
The burdens currently imposed on the employer resulting from the provisions of the Labor Code could be implemented to a large extent by relevant public insurance systems. De lege ferenda, the obligation to protect motherhood and the family as a constitutional social obligation should be carried out jointly by the state and the employer. De lege lata, the lack of proportionality is clearly visible in the regulations in force and it signifi cantly limits the principle of economic freedom and employer’s property, in particular in relation to small entrepreneurs.