In connection with the “Europe 2020” growth strategy, the EU member states discuss the need for modernisation of the labour market. It is believed that the best method will be a combination of the flexible model of labour market with social security, the so-called flexicurity (a portmanteau of flexibility and security). The success of this policy will be determined by mutual agreement and confidence between employees and employers.

Poland continues an unrelenting debate about so-called junk contracts. This term is used to refer to both civil law contracts (job contracts, contracts of mandate), contracts with sole traders and fixed-term contracts.

“Despite their attractiveness, fixed-term contracts have been considerably discredited by trade unions. They do not give employers the freedom of decision concerning permanent/stable employment relationship. The fundamental objection postulated with regard to this form of employment is the randomness of the term for which the contract is concluded. If the parties choose to conclude a fixed-term contract, they must also determine the term of the contract. The pursuit of the employer to conclude a long term fixed-term contract does not discharge it from the control of the court which, in a specific situation, is authorised to claim an attempt at evading the provisions of labour law concerning permanent contracts of employment” says Dorota Bryndal, attorney at law, expert in employment law, and partner at GESSEL. This opinion is supported by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland of 7 September 2005 according to which the “conclusion of a long term fixed-term contract of employment (9 years) with an option of premature termination upon two weeks’ notice for dismissal can be qualified as evasion of the provisions of the labour law, their social and economic purpose and the rules of social co-existence. The term of a contract can also be extended upon mutual agreement of the parties”. (…)