Polish Supreme Court upholds its position on night allowances
On the 7th of October 2014 the Polish Supreme Court ruled again that the drivers are entitled to the night allowance, regardless of the conditions of the truck’s cabin. This new verdict of the Supreme Court is a consequence of three Polish drivers requesting from their employer the payment of a lump sum. This lump sum payments was for accommodation in the cabin of the vehicle, which occured years ago and amounts to tens of thousands zlotys. The transport company refused, justifying that drivers did not have to sleep in hotels, because trucks were designed for overnight accommodation.
The drivers headed their lawsuits to the district court. However, the court agreed with the Polish transport company, emphasizing that drivers had comfortable resting conditions, meaning that the cabins in the trucks were equipped with beds, heating, clean water tanks, refrigerators etc.
The three Polish drivers appealed to another court, which directed the case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court pointed out that the law on drivers’ working time by reference to the Labour Code and the regulations on business trips firmly determines, what kind of benefits drivers are entitled to in connection with work on international routes. It is debatable whether it is a good solution for drivers, but the rules clear. The judge added that the Supreme Court is aware that drivers will not stay in hotels now, but they should have that opportunity.
At the end the judge of the Supreme Court decided the lump sum should be granted regardless of the conditions in the cabin.