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President signs off on new state holiday


President Bronislaw Komorowski on 18 November signed into law an amendment to the Labour Code establishing a new state holiday on 6 January, celebrated by the Catholic Church as the Three Kings Day, effective from 1 January 2011.

According to the estimates of the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party, which sponsored the legislation, the net effect of the law will be to add only one non-working day over 2011-2020. That is because the law at the same time abolishes the right for employees to claim days off as compensation for holidays falling on Saturdays, to soften the impact on business.

However, leading employer groups dispute the interpretation, pointing out that companies will still incur fixed costs on this day. According to PKPP Lewiatan, the aggregate cost for business of the new state holiday will be PLN 900m (approx. €230m) annually.

On the other hand, the Solidarity trade union argues that the net effect for workers will be negative, and has called on the President to refer it to the Constitutional Court.

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