Labour courts resolve work-related disputes. These courts are separate divisions of the common courts.
Labour courts deal with the following matters:
- Claims arising from or related to an employment relationship, including claims based on non-labour law relationships that are directly tied to the employment relationship and would not arise otherwise
- Determination of an employment relationship if the legal ties between the parties bear the features of employment, even though they did not enter into an employment contract per se
- Claims based on other legal relations governed by labour law under separate regulations
- Claims for compensation under regulations governing workplace accidents or occupational illness.
Given the broad range of cases under labour court jurisdiction, disputes may be based on the Labour Code, the Civil Code, the “Mass Layoff” Act of 23 March 2003, the State Enterprise Act of 25 September 1981, the “Pay Cap” Act of 3 March 2000, and a series of regulations concerning specific claims.
Court proceedings are dual-instance and conducted on the basis of the Civil Procedure Code. All cases are heard in the first instance by the district court, with the exception of claims exceeding PLN 75,000, which are brought before the regional court. Jurisdiction is vested in the court where the defendant is based, the court where work was or is to be performed, or the court where the workplace is situated.
A case may be brought before the Labour Court by an employee, employer, public organisation or labour inspector. An employee may be represented by a professional attorney (adwokat or legal adviser), or by a trade union representative, labour inspector or employee from the same workplace.