Additional holiday leave – days-off for Persons with Disabilities - Part I


Pursuant to Art. 19 of the Polish Act on professional and social rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons, an employee with a certificate of severe or moderate disability is entitled to additional holiday leave of 10 working days in a calendar year.

Type of medical certificates on Persons with Disability 

According to Art. 1 of the a/m Act, the said entitlement refers to people with disability confirmed with a medical certificate:  

  • on qualification made by non-pension authorities for one of the three degrees of disability, namely mild, moderate and severe; or 
  • on complete or partial inability to work under separate regulations (Social Insurance Company, Agricultural Social Insurance Fund).  

When the entitlement to additional holiday leave is obtained? 

The person with proper certificate obtains the right to the first additional leave after working for one year from the date on which they were qualified for a degree of disability. The said date is the date of issue of the decision i.e., the date of the meeting of the medical board. The employee obtains the right to such leave in full.   

Important note: The employee will also become entitled to such leave when they do not work due to illness as well as due to maternity or parental leave. What matters is not the fact whether the employee carries out work but whether they concluded a contract of employment.  

Exceptions: This does not include periods connected with unpaid leave, child care leave, convalescence leave or leave due to imprisonment or military service.  

Duration of the leave 

Duration of the leave of an employee employed on a part-time basis is determined proportionately to their work time. If the employee is, for instance, employed on a half-time basis, then they shall be entitled to 5 days of additional leave instead of 10.  

This type of leave is, as the name suggests, considered as additional leave added to the standard leave provided for in the Polish Labor Code. The acquisition of the right to the first additional leave during the year is considered as supplementary leave. The duration of such holiday leave depends on years of service and the learning period. For instance, if the employee with disability is entitled to 26 days of holiday leave, once they obtain the right to additional leave, they will have 36 days of leave in a year.  

Additional leave of 10 working days does not apply to person entitled to holiday leave in the amount exceeding 26 working days (e.g. teachers) or additional leave under separate regulations (e.g. judges).   

Revocation or change of the decision on disability 

If the employee loses their status of disabled person or they are reclassified to mild disability, the employee will not lose their right to the leave he or she had already attained before the loss of the status or change of the degree of disability. It refers both to current as well as unused leave. In such situations, there are no grounds for the use of the proportionate leave principle. Such person loses their right to the next additional holiday leave.  

Claims and retrospective compensation 

Claims under employment relationship, including claims regarding additional holiday leave, become time-barred after 3 years from the date on which the claim became due.   

It means that the employee’s delay in providing the certificate of disability does not affect their entitlement to additional leave, as per the decision of the Supreme Court of 29.06.2005, II PK 339/04, OSNP 2006, nos. 9-10, item 150.  

In practice, it means that the employer is obligated to compensate the additional holiday leave up to 3 years back, which is also stipulated in the Polish Labor Code.  

Author: Magdalena Tomczyk, Junior Accountant at the MDDP Outsourcing office in Warsaw