What was discussed at the plenary session of the Social Dialogue Council on November 19, 2020?
3. On November 19, 2020, a plenary meeting of the Social Dialogue Council was held, chaired by the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Development, Labor and Technology, Mr. Jarosław Gowin. In the introduction, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pointed to the efforts of the government to achieve a stable exit from the crisis caused by COVID-19. He put a lot of emphasis on the labor market and its future. He said that the low level of unemployment shows Poland in a favorable light compared to other EU member states. He emphasized the need to develop digitization and encouraged remote working to limit the spread of the virus. He also announced the introduction of amendments to legal acts in order to improve the situation in which the health service found itself and ensured that hospitals were adequately equipped. He reminded about the 50% increase in health care expenditure since PiS took power and about the recent increase in the amount of unemployment benefit by PLN 400. He declared openness to dialogue and development of common solutions with the social side. The spokesman for SMEs, Mr. Adam Abramowicz, expressed concerns about the industries particularly affected by the crisis, which were not included in the new aid shield. He indicated the need for dialogue with the GIS. He expressed hope that the restrictions that have been imposed on some enterprises will be lifted quickly. He declared his willingness to dialogue and put forward proposals for changes in the form of the so-called “ten spokesman”. Social partners referred to the need to start talks on economic recovery after the pandemic period. It was emphasized that the developed recommendations should refer to both the current activities and solutions covering the perspective of the next few years. Moreover, the social side drew attention to the issues related to the need to increase the transparency of information provided by the government; the need to modernize health protection provisions, including medical personnel allowances; the issue of education; the issue of internship pensions and the idea of conducting COVID-19 tests on employees returning from quarantine. The employers’ side additionally noted the lack of relevant research being the basis for the sectoral exclusion of the economy; the introduction of the planned new levies and taxes and the risk of the SME sector collapsing if the economy is fully closed again. Employers’ organizations suggested to the government that their activities should focus on areas that would encourage entrepreneurs to stay in the market and, in the future, to invest.