Dear Readers,
Welcome to the May edition of  WBW Weremczuk Bobeł & Wspólnicy law firm newsletter.
This month we write about the implementation of an EU directive through the provisions of the Act on recovery of claims resulting from competition law infringement. 
We also present an article on law amendments concerning safe working environment for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
What is more, we invite you to read our text on changes in possibility of establishing companies online.
Enjoy our newsletter!
The WBW law firm team

Amended rules for the recovery of claims relating to breaching competition law

Directive 2014/104/UE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 November 2014 on certain legislation concerning recovery of claims relating to breaching competition law of the EU member states (the Private Enforcement Directive) aims at harmonising and facilitating every citizen's possibility to claim recovery related to the competition law breach. In Poland, the implementation of these provisions is planned to be fulfilled through the Act on indemnification claim for damage caused through breaching the competition law. The final form of the Act is currently being discussed by the Polish parliament.
The most significant change stipulated by the regulation is introducing legal presumption of damage in every case of competition law infringement. The compensation will include the actual damage as well as lost profits and interest calculated from the day the damage occurred till the day of payment. This is an exception from the general rule of recovery of interest for damage based on tort (the interest is usually calculated from the date of issuing the order for payment). 
What is more, evidence disclosure procedure will be introduced. It will allow the claimant  to request the Court for disclosing evidence owned by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. However, settlement submissions and statements by infringers within the leniency programme will not be subject to disclosure. Documents produced during the proceedings of the competition protection organ will be covered by temporary disclosure ban of till the investigation.  
Marta Szurek

Changes in the labour law: new regulations concerning pregnant employees

Following the entry into force of the Council of Ministers' regulation from 3 April 2017 on the list of hazardous, heavy-load and risk-posing tasks for pregnant and breastfeeding employees, major changes concerning work carried out by this group were introduced on 1 May 2017.
As a result of the new regulations, the rules for preganant and breastfeeding women's work in front of a computer have changed. According to previous regulations, maximum duration of this kind of work was 4 hours. The employer was obliged to delegate different tasks to the worker during the remaining 4 hours of a workday. In case of lack of such possibility, the employer had to release the employee from her obligation to work while she kept her remuneration rights. This solution was subject to harsh criticism and the recent changes, taking into account the prevalence of this type of work, should be considered positive.
The new regulations provide for a maximum time of 8 hours in front of a computer screen for pregnant women while every hour the worker is entitled to a 10-minute break (which means maximum 50 minutes of constant work). The aim of this solution is not the shortening of working time but relieving musculoskeletal system of the pregnant employee in accordance with the State Research Institute recommendations. 
Another change concerns lifting heavy loads. For pregnant women, the weight of the lifted object cannot exceed 3 kg and for breastfeeding mothers, 6 kg if they hold a permanent position and 10 kg if they work on casual basis. When it comes to hand-lifting, the load cannot be neither higher than 6 kg nor lifted to the height of more than 4 meters or distance exceeding 25 meters. 
Sylwester Silski

Important changes in access to S24 system services

Establishing companies via internet will now require using qualified electronic signature or the ePUAP confirmed signature. This may contribute to lowering the number of companies set up online.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the author of the law on amending the following laws: Commercial Companies Code, Civil Procedure Code and National Court Register Act, the changes are a consequence of  numerous instances of abuse and fraud resulting from the current ease of adding e-signatures in the S24 system. So far, it has been possible to establish a company using an 'ordinary' e-signature through opening an account in the electronic system and providing name, surname and PESEL number. This, however, does not guarantee that the signature supplier is indeed the person designated as the article of association signatory.
Currently, the system is based on PESEL number verification against the PESEL register database. In case of foreigners who do not hold a PESEL number, such verification is not possible.    
Filip Zelek
This Newsletter is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended and shall not be treated as professional advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

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