Revolutionary changes to the trade unions act from the beginning of 2019

On 1 January 2019 the amendment to the Trade Unions Act will come into force. The amendment primarily provides for an extension of the trade union coalition right to individuals performing work who are not employees. The purpose of the changes is to equalize the rights of all persons providing work, regardless of its legal basis.

What are the implications?

• enabling persons performing work on the basis of civil law contracts (eg mandate contracts, contracts for specific work or service agreements) as well as persons running a sole proprietorship (so-called self-employed) to form and join trade unions;
• extension of the special protection against dismissal in relation to trade union members who are not employees;
• enabling such persons to be released from work for the period of time corresponding to the term of managing a trade union organization and for the time necessary to perform ad hoc trade union activities.

The amendment also introduces:

• new deadlines for submitting information on the number of trade union members and an explicit sanction for the non-compliance in the form of an inability to use the rights of the trade union organization;
• a new procedure to verify the number of trade union members;
• an increase in the threshold for representativeness of trade union organizations.