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Employee Rights in Czech Republic

General Employee Rights in Czech Republic

Employment contract

The Labour Code requires employers to provide employees with a written employment contract in order for the employment to be valid. Employment contracts can be in any language and must be agreed before the commencement of work. Employers should give a copy to the employee and keep a copy for themselves.
Employment contracts must cover the following details:

  • type of work
  • place or places of work
  • start date

It’s not mandatory to include the employee’s remuneration in the contract (although the amount must be agreed on before the beginning of work). If not included, there has to be a separate agreement stating the monthly gross income in Czech Koruna. Employment agreements that don’t specify the rights and obligations of employees must be presented to them in writing within a month of commencing employment, which includes any data changes and the following details concerning the employment:

  • employee’s full name
  • company’s full legal name and address
  • job title
  • place of work
  • annual leave
  • notice period
  • weekly working hours and their distribution (schedule)
  • wage or salary details and the remuneration method, including the maturity of wage or salary, pay days, and the place and method of wage or salary payment
  • collective agreements regulating the employee’s working conditions, if applicable
  • business trips
  • benefits
  • probationary, if applicable
  • personal data processing clause and consent

On the commencement of employment, the employee must be acquainted with the statutory provisions and other rules concerning the safeguarding of occupational safety and health, which he/she must observe during performance of work. The employee must also be acquainted with the collective agreement and internal regulations.
The consent may be required only exceptionally, such as in the case when the employer wishes to process personal data that isn’t necessary to process in order to fulfil legal or contractual obligations.The conditions for termination, the employer’s obligation to assign work to the employee and ensure health and safety at work are all implied terms in every employment contract, which don’t need to be spelled out to be biding.

Terms and conditions of an employment contract may be amended in writing only and by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. Companies that don’t provide employees with an employment contract in writing may be subject to a fine of up to CZK 10,000,000 by the Czech labour inspection authorities.

Payslip

Employees are entitled to receive an itemised pay slip by the end of the following month after the work was carried out, stating their pay rate, grade, and pay date. Pay slips must also break down any deductions from the employee’s pay. The pay slip can be delivered in a digital or physical form, and wages must be rounded up.
In the absence of an agreement, wages must be paid at the workplace during working hours.

Equal treatment

All employees have the right to be treated equally at work with respect to the working conditions, regardless of gender, disability, or any other grounds for discrimination. Employers should give the same benefits, training, and promotion opportunities to all employees and pay the same for work of the same value and conditions.

Reasonable accommodation

Employees with a disability have a right to reasonable accommodation of their workplace. Employers have the obligation to secure, at their own expense and by means of technical and organisational measures, the necessary adjustment of the working conditions, adjustment of workplaces, establishment of sheltered working sites, training or instruction of such employees and increase in their qualifications in the performance of their regular employment.

Health and Safety

Employers have the duty to care for the employees’ health and safety at work, regardless of whether the employee works in office or from home. Companies have the following duties to comply with:

  • instruct and train employees on health and safety rules.
  • perform regular internal health and safety inspections.
  • provide employees with ergonomic workstations.
  • insure employees under the employer liability insurance.
  • draw up and implement a risk prevention policy, detailing ways that employees can identify, evaluate, and minimize the risks, especially in a home office environment.

Employee protections in Czech Republic

Protection from discrimination

Employees have the right to be protected from discrimination at work and during all stages of the employment cycle, from interviews to termination. If an employee brings the discrimination concern to the court, the burden of proof passes exclusively to the employer.

Employees are protected from being discriminated based on gender; racial, social, or ethnic origin; nationality; age; sexual orientation; marital and family status or obligations to the family; union membership; language; property; religious and political beliefs; and physical or mental disability.

First, the employee can file a complaint, and the employer is obliged to discuss it with the employee. Otherwise, they’re exposed to the risk of a fine of up to CZK 400,000.

Subsequently, the employee may notify the labour inspection, and the labour inspection may impose a fine of up to CZK 1,000,000 on the employer, and up to CZK 500,000 in the case of discrimination in the field of a renumeration.

Whistleblower protection

There are no special regulations protecting whistle-blowers at the moment, but a recent European directive has been adopted, which must be implemented by the end of 2021. An employer must not put an employee at a disadvantage merely because they have lawfully claimed rights arising from the employment relationship. An employee who submits a genuinely held complaint in good faith cannot be dismissed or subjected to any detriment as a result of that action.

Protection in case of a business transfer

During a business transfer, employees are transferred automatically to the new employer and cannot be dismissed before or after the transfer. The rights and obligations of the employment relationship are automatically retained if:

a) the activity is performed after the transfer in the same or similar manner and scope;

b) the activity does not consist wholly or mainly in the supply of goods;

c) immediately prior to the transfer, there is a group of employees which was deliberately created by the employer for providing this activity;

d) the activity is not intended to be short-term or does not consist of a one-off task; and

e) property is transferred, or the right to use it, if such property is essential for the performance of this activity, or a substantial part of employees used by the current employer to perform the activity is taken over, if this activity depends substantially on employees, not on assets.

If all these are fulfilled, the new employer inherits the same responsibilities and must uphold the same employment conditions as stipulated on the employee’s employment agreement with the transferor, while the transfer has no legal consequence for the employee.

Employers must inform and consult with all employees being transferred directly, at least 30 days before the transfer takes place. In case of companies with trade unions or work councils, the employer must inform and consult with them instead (breaches lead to a fine of up to CZK 200,000). The legal, economic, and social consequences of the transfer must be discussed — together with the reasons, date of transfer, and the likely effect of the transfer on the workforce.

Employees who give their notice upon learning about the transfer must have their employment terminated at the latest on the day preceding the day when the transfer enters into effect. The employee may seek a determination at the court that the employment relationship was terminated on the grounds of considerable impairment of working conditions in connection with the transfer. In such a case, the employee may be awarded with severance payment in the same amount as in the case of notice due to organisational changes.

Data protection

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules apply in the Czech Republic, granting the right to privacy and the right to determine who is to receive personal data.

The employer may process personal data for:

  1. the purposes of the employment relationship if it is necessary for the decision on whether to establish an employment relationship,
  2. the performance or termination of the employment relationship, or
  3. compliance with information duties regarding employee representatives under statutory law, a collective bargaining agreement, or a works agreement. Any further use of personal data requires the employee’s direct consent.

Employers controlling data have the duty to keep records of their data-processing activities, particularly with respect to personal data processed systematically and with respect to all employees’ personal data. Companies must also inform employees about the processing taking place and secure the processed data by implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures depending on the type of data processed and its extent.

Companies can transfer personal data within the members of the European Union and the European Economic Area, which adhere to the GDPR rules, if they have legal reasons to do so. For data to be transferred outside these parameters, the recipient of the data must ensure an adequate level of protection.

Protection against dismissal

Employers need to have a valid and recognised reason to terminate the employment of an employee. The reasons recognized by the Labour Code are as follows:

  • redundancy or layoff caused by organisational changes
  • company dissolution or relocation
  • employee’s being medically unfit to work or unfit to work due to a work accident, occupational disease, or threat of an occupational disease
  • failure to fulfil the performance requirements or achieve results
  • breach of work-related obligations and misconduct
  • employee’s failing the probationary period
  • end of the fixed-term contract
  • employee’s losing their capability to perform current work duties due to their long-term state of health
  • employee’s breaching in an especially gross manner an obligation to observe the prescribed regime of an insured person being temporarily unfit for work with regard to their obligation (duty) to dwell, during their temporary incapacity for work, at the place of their stay and to observe the time and scope of permitted walks

Protected employees

Some employees are protected from being dismissed during certain periods of their lives, as follows:

  • those temporarily unfit for work, with medical proof
  • those on pregnancy and maternity leave
  • those on paternity leave
  • those on parental leave
  • those called up for performing a military exercise
  • those subjected to full release for the discharge of a public office
  • those night workers recognized as temporarily unfit for night work
  • those caring for a child under the age of ten or an ill member of the household

Employee Benefits in Czech Republic

Unemployment funds

Individuals who are dismissed from work (except in cases of gross misconduct) and are seeking a new job are entitled to unemployment benefits from the social security authorities if they have made Social Security contributions for a minimum of 12 months in the last two years. Regardless of the reason for the employment termination, individuals younger than 50 years of age are entitled to up to 5 months of unemployment benefits. Those aged 50 to 55 are entitled to 8 months of unemployment benefits, and those over 55 are entitled to 11 months.

Time off

Employees are entitled to paid time off either by the employer or the social security authorities (see the Leave section for more details) in different circumstances:

  • illness for up to 380 days, with a medical proof
  • quarantine for any infectious disease
  • maternity leave of 28 weeks (37 weeks for multiple births)
  • paternity leave of 1 week (2 weeks starting in 2022)
  • parental leave until the child turns 3
  • caring for a child under the age of 10 or an ill member of the household for 9 days (90 days in cases of a long-term illness) or 16 days in the case of a lone employee caring for a child under the age of 16 who has not completed compulsory schooling
  • service leave for military training
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