The Orthodox people and Greek Catholics living in Poland say that they celebrate Christmas twice: Roman Catholic Christmas in December and their own in January.
They also welcome twice the New Year – according to the Julian calendar, New Year’s Day is on 14th January. The only thing they regret is that their holidays are normal working days in Poland. They often do not know that they are entitled to ask for a day off at work. This applies to other denominations, too.
The employee is obliged to make up for this day without the right to extra remuneration, but the employer is obliged to agree to grant such a day off.
“Granting a day off for the celebration of a holiday is subject to the employee’s request. The employee should file a request for a day off to the employer not later than 7 days before the holiday in question. The employer is obliged to grant a day off on that date. At the same time, not later than 3 days before the holiday (release from work), the employer informs the employee about the rules of making up for this day,” says Arkadiusz Kłos, Deputy Regional Labour Inspector in Wroclaw.
Day off to be made up for
If the employee fails to file the request in 7 days’ advance, the employer is entitled, but not obliged, to grant a day off for the holiday occurring on the date consistent with the calendar of the employee’s denomination. These solutions do not apply to repeated holidays celebrated on a specific day of each week (e.g., a holiday on Saturday) – in this case, the employer is always obliged to grant a day off, determining an individual schedule of working hours at the employee’s request. “There is a prevailing view that only registered religious groups have these rights,” adds Arkadiusz Kłos.
In Poland, except for Sundays, only holidays specified in the provisions of the Non-Working Days Act of 18th January 1951 are non-working days. This act specifies 13 holidays. Every employee, irrespective of his/her denomination, is entitled to these 13 holidays.