Guide to leaves in Poland - Remuneration for holiday time in 2024 Part 5


In the face of the upcoming holiday period, employers must ensure that their employee will submit the proper request for leave and the leave as such will be settled correctly. Holiday is a period when the employee does not perform their job but still receives remuneration as if they still carried out their duties. In order to correctly calculate the remuneration for that period, one needs to take into consideration all the pay components, both fixed and variable.

The employee is entitled to an annual, continuous, paid holiday leave. (Art. 152 § 1 of the Polish Labor Code)  

Pay for holiday leave 

The remuneration for holiday leave is determined along with the remuneration and other benefits solely under the employment relationship. When determining the pay for holiday leave, it is necessary to pay attention to three aspects: 

  • assigning a particular type of amount due to the source of income, in this case: the employment relationship 
  • types of remuneration components which are included and omitted 
  • fixed or variable nature of the remuneration 

Components under employment relationship 

When calculating the basis for the holiday pay, one needs to remember to exclude some components under the employment relationship, namely: 

  • one-time or irregular payments for fulfillment of specific tasks or accomplishments, 
  • remuneration for job-readiness and for period of uncontrolled stoppage, 
  • service anniversary (awards) considerations,  
  • remuneration for the time of holiday leave as well as other justified absence from work, 
  • cash equivalents for holiday leave, 
  • additional remuneration of legal counsels for legal representation, 
  • the balancing payment to remuneration for work up to the amount of minimum wages, 
  • remuneration for the period of inability to work due to sickness or isolation because of an infectious disease, 
  • awards from the company bonus fund, additional annual remuneration, payments under share in profits or balance surplus, 
  • retirement or disability severance payment or other cash-based severance payments, 
  • remuneration and damages in case of termination of the employment relationship.  

Components of the remuneration basis 

On the other hand, the components included in the calculation of the payment basis for leaves are, among others: 

  • bonuses to the remuneration, such as seniority allowance or special duty allowance, 
  • remuneration for overtime work, 
  • bonuses for work at night, 
  • remuneration for work exceeding the work-time basis in case of workers employed under a part-time basis.  

Example 1  

The employee uses holiday leave in June. Their remuneration consists of base remuneration in the amount of PLN 6,000 and special duty allowance in the amount of PLN 250.00. In March, the employee received an annual award in the amount of PLN 2,000.00 and in April and May they received additional statutory bonuses in the amount of PLN 500 in each of those months. Which of the components must be taken into consideration?  

When determining the remuneration basis for the employee’s leave, one needs to acknowledge all the remuneration components that the worker received in a particular period, excluding only the annual award.  

Fixed and variable components of remuneration vs holiday pay 

Components of remuneration specified in the fixed monthly rate for time of leave must be paid in the amount that applies in the month in which the worker uses their leave.   

For the period of leave, the worker is entitled to a remuneration that he or she would have received, if they had worked during that period. Variable components of remuneration can be calculated based on the average pay for the period of 3 months preceding the month in which the leave started; in case of significant discrepancies in the amount of the remuneration, the said period can be extended to 12 months. (Art. 172 of the Polish Labor Code) 

Example 2 

The employee receives basic remuneration under a contract of employment i.e., PLN 5,000.00. In June, they spent 9 days on holiday leave. What will be their remuneration?  

However, regardless of the number of days of used leave, the employee will receive a remuneration of PLN 5,000.00.  

In the case of variable components, it is necessary to: 

  • determine the basis for the holiday pay from the period of 3 or 12 months preceding the leave, 
  • determined the number of hours worked in the period assumed for the determination of the leave basis, 
  • determine the rate per 1 hour of leave (the leave basis is divided by the number of hours worked by the employee in the period that the remuneration is being determined for), 
  • multiply the rate per 1 hour of leave by the number of hours of leave.  

Example 3 

In April 2024, the employee spent 5 days on holiday leave. Their basic remuneration is composed of basic remuneration of PLN 5,000.00, special duty allowance of PLN 200.00 and a monthly bonus that amounted PLN 500.00 in January, PLN 450.00 in February and PLN 250.00 in March. The employee was employed on a full-time basis. How will the vacation pay be calculated?  

The remuneration for the holiday leave must be calculated in the following way: 

  1. The fixed components (basic remuneration and special duty allowance) should be considered in the amount payable in the amount when the leave is used, that is: 

 PLN 5,000.00 + PLN 200.00 = PLN 5,200.00; 

  1. The variable component, namely the monthly bonus, is considered as the total amount of three months preceding the month in which the leave was used – PLN 500.00 (for January) + PLN 450.00 (for February) + PLN 450.00 (for March) = PLN 1400.00;  
  1. The amount of PLN 1400.00 must be divided by the number of hours worked by the employee in that particular period of 3 months, in this case by (168 h + 168h + 168 h)   

PLN 1,400.00 : 504 h = PLN 2.78;  

  1. The result must be multiplied by the number of hours that the worker would have worked during the leave according to their time schedule, had they not used the leave. 

PLN 2.78 x (5 days*8 h) = PLN 2.78 x 40 h = PLN 111.20;  

For the period of the holiday leave, the employee should receive remuneration for variable components in the amount of PLN 111.20. 

The employee’s remuneration is: PLN 5,200.00 + PLN 111.20 = PLN 5,311.20. 


Author: Dorota Rosak, HR and Payroll Specialist at the MDDP Outsourcing office in Warsaw