Task-related working time in practice
The solution that gives the employee a lot of freedom is task (non-standard) working time. However, many people misinterpret the provisions related to the possibility of using this work system, especially in the context of the way it is introduced or the employee’s right to remuneration for overtime work.
Pursuant to Art. 140 of the Labor Code:
„In cases justified by the type of work or its organization
or the place of work may be used
task-based working time system. Employer after agreement
with the employee, determines the time necessary to perform the entrusted tasks,
taking into account the working time resulting from the standards specified in Art. 129. “
What is performance time and when can it be used?
Task-based or otherwise non-standard working time is a situation where the employer does not have to keep a working time schedule for the employee and control the hours at which he starts and ends work. The employee decides when to start and finish work, how many hours he will work on a given day, and whether and how many breaks he will have. In the case of such a system, it is important that the employee performs the tasks entrusted to him, and not the number of hours at the employer’s disposal. The benefits of such a solution include greater efficiency and motivation of the employee to finish the tasks entrusted to him faster.
It follows from the first sentence of the above-mentioned article that task-based working time cannot be used arbitrarily, and in specific, justified cases. In addition, the employer cannot decide on an ongoing basis about the scope of the tasks entrusted to the employee, but they must be specified at the time of deciding that the employee will be bound by task-based working time, preferably in an employment contract or other act regulating the employment relationship (e.g. in the company work regulations). If, in the employment contract, the parties limit themselves to indicating that the employee’s working time is task-related, without specifying what these tasks are to consist of, such provision will not be binding (see the justification for the judgment of the Supreme Court of August 4, 1999, file reference number I PKN 181/99).
Who is task-based working time for?
Task-based working time may be introduced if the employer would have problems with the precise determination of the beginning and end of the employee’s working time – for example, when the employee performs the duties entrusted to him outside the company’s premises, and the performance of these duties depends on various, variable conditions.
In practice, task (non-standard) working time can be used by people who perform tasks that require creativity, conceptual work (such as architects, designers, IT specialists in programming, lawyers, journalists), as well as other people for whom it is difficult to record and supervise ( like drivers, salesmen or simply people working in the so-called home office). This form of performing tasks may resemble a specific task contract, but it should be remembered that in the case of task-based working time, the right to remuneration cannot be made dependent on the achievement of some economic result.
Task-related working time and overtime work?
There is a belief among employers and employees themselves that the employee is not entitled to remuneration for overtime work with the employee’s task-related working time. Nothing could be more wrong. It is true that the essence of this working time system shows that the parties to the employment contract do not specify how many hours the employee is to work on a given day or week, and the actual working time depends on the number of tasks entrusted to the employee. However, it is the employer who has the obligation to select tasks in such a way that the employee, with due diligence, will be able to perform them within 8 hours a day, in an average 40 week work week, in the event of a litigation, the employer will have to prove that the tasks for the employee have been performed. selected so that he does not have to work more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week (the statement of reasons for the Supreme Court Judgment of March 15, 2006, file ref.no. II PK 165/05 or the statement of reasons for the Supreme Court Judgment of January 27, 2016, file ref. . file I PK 25/15).
If it turns out that the employee is not able to do it in accordance with the generally applicable working time standards, because there are too many tasks and despite the meticulousness, commitment of the employee and most importantly when adopting the measure of due diligence, there is no such possibility, the employee will be entitled to remuneration. per hour (See the rationale for the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Gdańsk of February 14, 2017, III AUa 1262/16)