Impact of Covid19 on Electronics Workers in Poland - supplementary information

Update from Electronics Watch Monitoring Partner, Joanna Szymonek, Polish Institute for Human Rights and Business (PIHRB).

"As in other countries, the COVID pandemic highlighted supply chain interdependencies existing in particular sectors e.g. one of the factories operating in the automotive sector supply chain, which has been strongly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, had to downsize production and employment.

In the companies with unchanged production volume the employers applied all security measures needed to perform work in safe conditions i.e. gloves, masks and other necessary personal protective equipment, while administrative staff work remotely from home. For one company, bonuses and pay rise were suspended while for another the bonuses were maintained, while the pay rise was moved from July to November this year. Foreign workers in these factories were also equipped with the necessary protection equipment, they also did not lose their jobs. Also quarantines managed at the enterprise level by the employer, at an early stage of virus development, were not at the expense of the leave of employees. They did not have to perform the work while maintaining the right to remuneration. It was an employer's initiative.

In the company affected by Covid-19, production and employment were reduced, however, the company tried to avoid redundancies by limiting to direct employment and not extending the contracts (they do not continue the cooperation with agencies/subcontractors) and did not extend the contracts of those workers who were employed on the basis of fixed-terms contracts.

Similar rules were applied to foreign employees, their contracts were not terminated earlier but the employer waited until the expiration date. For reducing the full time job to 95, 90 and 80 percent, employees received a guarantee of employment until the end of 2020. While this reduction did not affect the amount of annual leave, in exchange for the leave (as requested by the employer), employees will receive additional days in 2021 and 2022. The billing cycle period was changed from monthly to annual until May 2021, while overtime occurs in very small amounts and is given as free time, while from October 2020 it will be in the form of monthly paid financial equivalent. All employees have been equipped with appropriate means enabling them to perform work safely whereas office employees perform work in the home office mode

Important is the fact that in all cases the solutions introduced by the company have been consulted with trade unions and in the case of company affected by COVID-19 crisis an official agreement was concluded for a period of 3 months and seems to balance economic and social interests.

In so far collected cases trade unions stated that the dialogue is in place and a number of measures have been introduced at plant level before some official regulations."