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New Definition of Mobbing

In the Polish Parliameny, the first reading of the draft amendment to the Labour Code, providing for a change in the definiton of mobbing (form 463), has taken place.

The aim of the draft is to amend Art. 943 § 2 of the Labour Code, consisting in the extension of the statutory definition of mobbing by the premise of “differentiating the amount of the remuneration according to the employee’s sex”. Such a need results among others from the data of the Central Statistical Office of Poland from 2018, showing the average remuneration of men to be by 19.9% ​​higher than the average remuneration of women, especially in the private sector. In addition, the CBOS research confirms Poles are aware of the problem of lower remuneration earned by of women copmared to men (more on that in the justification to the draft amendment).

Proposed wording of art. 943 § 2 of the Labour Code:

Mobbing means any action or behawior concerning an employee or directed against an employee, consisting in persistent and long-lasting harassment or intimidation or differentiation of the amount of remuneration due to the employee’s sex, resulting in his or her decreased evaluation of his or her professional suitability, as well as causing or aimed at humiliating or ridiculing the employee, isolating him or her  or elimination him or her from the work team.

According to some specialists, in the light of the already existing provisions contained in the Labour Code concerning the principle of non-discrimination in employment, as well as the assumptions of equal remuneration regardless of the employee’s sex, the above-mentioned goal is already being achieved. In addition, experts point out, that the goal of equal treatment of men and women in terms of remuneration for equal work of equal value could only be achieved under the conditions of more complete transparency of the HR and financial policy of employers, especially in the private enterprise sector (as without access to information on the earnings of employees in the same position), it seems to be difficult to prove that an activity is aimed at mobbing. It seems equally difficult to prove an adequate causal relationship between the differentiation of the amount of remuneration based on the employee’s sex and their underestimated professional usefulness, causing or aimed at humiliating or ridiculing them, isolating or eliminating from the work team.

Perhaps other proposals to amend the Labour Code will be the answer to the doubts raised by experts, such as the one resulting from form 135, which as of now has received a negative opinion by the Council of Ministers, and which provided for a change in the provisions of the Labour Code, resulting in the need for the employer informing about the possibility of employing a candidate for employment in a given position to publish  the amount of the proposed gross remuneration?

Monika Chojnacka
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