Leave Guide - Employee leaves part 3 


Special leave, carer’s leave and leave on-demand are types of leave that are not included in the leave plan. These are types of leave that can be granted due to special circumstance, to take care of a healthy child or in a sudden, unforeseen situation that cannot be planned in advance.


The regulation on granting employees time off from work obliges the employer to grant the employee time off from work for a period of time including:  

  • 2 days – in the event of the employee’s wedding or the birth of their child, or the death and funeral of the employee’s spouse or child, father, mother, stepfather or stepmother  
  • 1 day – in the event of the wedding of the employee’s child or the death and funeral of their sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, as well as any other person supported by the employee or under their direct care.  

Although the granting of these days off does not raise any doubts, the date of granting they does. When granting an employee the leave from work in question, the employer should take into account the time at which the employee applies for leave and whether it is closely related to the principal purpose of such leave. As there may be a situation in which an employee applies for special leave at a later date, and if it is strictly related only to a given circumstance, the employer has no reason to refuse the employee.    

The employee retains the right to remuneration for the period of special leave.   

Please note that special leave is not transferred to the subsequent year. 


Regardless of the job seniority, the parents of a child up to 14 years of age have the right to take leave from work, as provided for in Art. 188 of the Labour Code, for 16 hours or 2 days during a calendar year, while retaining the right to remuneration. First application submitted by the employee in paper or electronic form determines whether the employee intends to use the leave in hours or days. The number of days of childcare leave per child is granted regardless of the number of children. Both parents of the child are entitled to the right of taking care of the child jointly, and not to each of them individually. Parents must therefore decide how will they divide these days. If mother takes two days of childcare leave, father is no longer entitled to it, or vice versa. Parents can also divide this leave equally between themselves and each of them will take one day off.   

Leave from work granted on an hourly basis for a part-time employee is determined pro rata to the employee’s working time, and a partial hour of such leave is rounded up to a full hour.  

The unused number of childcare leave days is not transferred to the subsequent year. Therefore, the leave should be taken until the end of the calendar year or until the child turns 14 in a given calendar year. The last day an employee may use childcare leave is the day before the child’s fourteenth birthday.   


Modifications in the regulations that entered into force in the Labour Code on 26 April 2023, give employees the opportunity to take 5 days of carer’s leave during a given calendar year. An employee may make use of this right to provide personal care or support to a family member or person living in the same household who requires care or support for serious medical reasons. A family member in this case is considered a son, daughter, mother, father or spouse. The leave is granted at the employee’s request in paper or electronic form, and the time limit for submitting it cannot be shorter than 1 day before the start the leave. The employee should provide the following information in their request:   

  • full name of a person who requires care or support for serious medical reasons   
  • reason for the need for personal care or support   
  • degree of relationship in the case of a family member remaining under care, and in the case of a person who is not a family member – residential address of this person.   

This leave is not transferable for subsequent years. The employee does not retain the right to remuneration for the time their are on carer’s leave – carer’s leave is unpaid leave. The time spent on leave is included in the period on which employee rights depend.   


The employer grants the employee leave on demand at the date specified by the employee. During the calendar year, the employee is entitled to 4 days of leave on demand. However, please note that requested leave is not additional leave, it is part of the vacation leave. This leave is not included in the leave plan due to its specific purpose.   

An application for leave on demand should be submitted no later than on the day the leave begins, before the start of work, as indicated in the employee’s working time schedule (judgement of the Supreme Court of 15 November 2006 (IPK 128/06)). It should be emphasised that this is the statutory time limit. An employee, bearing in mind the best interest of the employer, should submit their request as soon as possible under the circumstances. Interestingly, according to the Supreme Court, there is no obstacle for a given workplace, pursuant to regulations or generally accepted practice, to set a different, more favourable for the employee, time limit for submitting an application for leave on demand. 

Can the employer refuse to consent to such leave? Well, it turns out that they can, but only in an extraordinary situation when the employee’s absence interferes with the normal course of work. The Supreme Court commented on this issue in two judgements of 16 September 2008 (IIPK 26/08) and 28 October 2009 (IIPK 123/09).   


Author: Aleksandra Stawowy, Junior Manager in the Katowice office of MDDP Outsourcing