Rules and deadlines for issuing certificates of employment
Issue of a certificate of employment:
The issue of a certificate of employment concerns any type of employment contract, i.e. a contract for an indefinite, fixed and probationary period. The employer does not have the right to make the issue of a work certificate dependent on the employee’s performance of his duties, e.g. providing a service or returning a work laptop.
The employer is obliged to issue a work certificate both when the contract is terminated and when it expires. In the latter case, however, the employer will not be obliged to prepare a certificate of employment if a total of three conditions are met:
- cooperation with the employee will continue,
- another employment contract will be signed within 7 days,
- the employee did not apply for a work certificate.
The employee has the right to apply for a certificate in both paper and electronic form. It can be submitted at any time of further cooperation and concerns the issue of a work certificate for previous periods or all periods of employment for which the previous employer has not issued a work certificate.
The work certificate may be:
- personally delivered to the employee,
- sent to his address of residence,
- delivered by other means (e.g. to an authorized person or courier).
Since September 2019, the employer is obliged to issue and hand out a work certificate to the employee on the date of termination of the employment relationship, that is, on the last day on which the employee retains the status of an employee.
This means that in the case of:
- termination of the employment contract by notice – this will be the last day of notice,
- termination of the agreement without notice – this will be the date of submission to the other party a statement of termination, in the event of termination of the employment contract with the expiration of the period for which it was concluded – this will be the last day of its validity specified in the contract,
- expiry of the employment contract – this will be the date on which the event causing the termination of the contract occurred,
- termination of the employment contract by a mutual agreement of the parties – this will be the date indicated in the agreement as the last day of cooperation between the parties (date of termination of the contract).
Important! If the employee submits a statement of termination of the employment contract without notice, which is associated with the immediate termination of cooperation, the employer is obliged to issue a work certificate on the same day.
There is an exception to the principle of issuing a certificate of employment on the day of termination of the employment relationship in the event that the employer is unable to prepare the certificate on the same day. Such a cause may be:
- absence from work of the employer or the person authorized to issue and sign the work certificate,
- using the services of an external accounting firm that did not prepare the certificate on the same day.
If the work certificate contains errors, the employee has the right to request that it be corrected. The employer must prepare the corrected document within 14 days from the moment when the employee received the certificate of work.
Within 7 days of receiving the employee’s request:
- prepare and issue a new certificate of employment or
- inform about the negative consideration of his application (in paper or electronic form).
In the event that the work certificate does not comply with the applicable regulations, the employee has the right to demand compensation from the employer in connection with its incorrect preparation.
If the work certificate is not issued to the employee, he will have the right to file a lawsuit with the labor court for obliging the employer to do so.
Applying to the court is also possible when the employer:
- does not issue a certificate to the employee in a timely manner because the company no longer exists or it is not possible to bring an action against the company for the obligation to issue a certificate of employment, due to:
- lack of firm representation,
- putting the employer into liquidation or when it is already liquidated,
- termination of the company’s activities,
- a situation where the enforcement of the decision to issue a certificate of employment proves to be ineffective,
The employee has the right to bring a claim against the employer for compensation if he has not been issued a work certificate or it contains errors. He can do this together with a lawsuit regarding the obligation to issue a certificate.
It is the duty of the employee during the proceedings to indicate the damage suffered and its amount. It can do this, for example, by proving that:
- has not been employed by another employer due to lack of a certificate or its errors,
- did not receive benefits from the employment office for the unemployed person.
– articles 97-99 of the law of 26 June 1974 Labor Code,
– Regulation of the Minister of family, labor and social policy of 30 December 2016 on the certificate of employment
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