Two days off to donate blood or plasma.  Employers want change

The referees will add one more to the garden of staffing costs – the wages of two days off in connection with the donation of blood or plasma. Although all agree that it is necessary to encourage Poles to be donors, they point out that for some employers this can be logistically challenging and costly.

A bill on blood donation and blood therapy has been advanced to the legislationwhich guaranteed – as was the case during a pandemic – two days off for the honorary donor.

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Another cost to employers

The increasing costs of doing business are one of the many obstacles to the development of Polish companies. According to a survey of employee service, 18 percent. Of the companies most afraid of rising costs – right behind inflation and rising prices, as the percentage of indices was 28%. This issue might also be giving employees additional bonuses for another day off for donating blood or plasma.

While the number of blood donations from 2005 to 2020 increased by 31%, the number of plasma donations increased by 183%. And although it is still much lower than the number of blood donations, another sharp increase in plasma donations can be expected for many reasons – Kamil Sobolewski, chief economist at Employers Poland, tells us.

A blood donor can donate blood up to six times a year (for women four times). A single plasma donor can donate plasma up to 24 times per year. This meant, under pre-pandemic regulations, a maximum of 6 days leave for an honorary blood donor, but under current regulations, up to an additional 48 days per year for an honorary plasma donor. This is more than two months of possible additional absence from work, not counting vacation and sick leave, – explains Sobolewski.

Although there aren’t many cases where someone would use the extra 48 days of leave, taking at least some of it is a challenge.

– We understand the government’s intention to encourage blood donation. There is no substitute for blood. However, the authorities charge employers the costs of the project. Let us note that employees pay an appropriate sickness insurance of up to 2.45%, and employers pay for sick leave up to the 34th of the year – tells us Szymon Witkowski, legal advisor, expert in the Department of Law and Legislation of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers.

He adds that many employees have never received sickness benefit from the ZUS in their lives, but only sickness pay from their employer. In addition, the employer pays for days off due to blood donation by the employee. Certainly, the costs of such campaigns should not be charged to companies, And our interlocutor believes that this should be done with public funds.

Small business problems

– In 2022, approximately 1.4 million donations were made in Poland, which means on average 1 donation per year for every 10 employees. It doesn’t seem like much, but the additional cost to employers of changing regulations regarding the use of second day leave by blood donors in 1.4 million donations and an average salary of 7 thousand. PLN per month is about PLN 1 billion (PLN 890 million plus employer’s social insurance). The amount is large, but moderate at the national level – Kamil Sobolewski of employers in Poland enumerates in an interview with money.pl.

He explains that the new regulations can be a serious problem for companies for two reasons.

In the case of a small family business with two employees, it may turn out that there is no one to work for, the company does not meet deadlines, and is subject to penalties and other costs. explains our interlocutor.

An important factor is also the problem of lack of information about the employee’s absence. As Sobolevsky points out, Failure to show up for work without notice can mean work paralysis. – The lack of a driver who delivers bread or other perishable products may mean non-delivery or loss of goods, and the lack of an operator may stop one link of the production line – Sobolewski convinces.

Employers propose a middle ground

As Szymon Witkowski of the Federation of Entrepreneurs and Employers tells us, in the opinion of the organization “We must adhere to a day off from work due to blood donation, and if the legislator wants to increase the number of days off, this should not be done at the expense of the employer“.

The question was asked in March last year. Rep. Marek Hook of Civic Platform asked if there are other solutions in place to ensure that the employer does not incur additional costs in connection with the donation of blood or blood components.

In this context, it should be noted that hiring workers is one of the means used to achieve the objectives of the employer’s activity. In relation to the activity carried out, the business owner also bears the so-called social risks. It includes the obligation to pay employees wages and some work-related benefits, also in cases determined by law in cases where the employee does not perform the work, reads the response of the Deputy Minister of Family and Social Policy, Stanislava Zoid.

Camille Sobolevsky He suggests the need to notify the employer of the intention to use a day off to collect blood and plasma at least three days in advance.

In the case of honorary blood donors, Sobolewski is considering taking back one day for each donation, and in the case of plasma – subjecting the topic to discussion as part of social dialogue and working out a compromise, for example: Up to 6 donations per year, additional vacation, financial compensation on top of thatAs is the case, for example, in the Czech Republic or Germany.

Weronika Szkwarek, journalist at money.pl

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