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Remote Work in Czech Republic

The Labour Code does not have any specific provisions on home office and on employee’s working from home; therefore, all of the stipulations of the Labour Code and related obligations apply to such work.
The only exception is Section 317 of the Labour Code, stipulating that if the employer and the employee agree that the employee does not work at the employer’s workplace and that they have their own schedule, the following does not apply to the performance of such work:

  • The regulation concerning the schedule of working hours, idle time, or work interruptions due to unfavourable climatic conditions shall not be applicable to this employee.
  • Where there are other important personal obstacles, this employee shall not be entitled to compensatory renumeration unless otherwise specified.
  • The employee shall be entitled to neither compensatory renumeration or compensatory time off in lieu of overtime work nor to compensatory renumeration or overtime premium for work on public holidays.

The parties can reach a teleworking or homeworking agreement by mutual agreement only and should do it in writing while further specifying the conditions. Employers should be also mindful of setting objective and fair eligibility criteria for home working to avoid potential unequal treatment claims.

Although those are not mandatory, companies are encouraged to also create internal policies regarding (1) health and safety of home-based workers and (2) regulations on data protection for remote workers.

Work from home (WFH)

Companies with employees working from home must reflect the work set-up and location on the employee’s contract. If the employee that is already working for the company simply changes job locations from the office to home, their employer can create a separate legal framework covering the terms and conditions for home working. The following terms and conditions have to be included in the document:

  • Scope of work completion including what days and hours the employee will be working
  • Mode of communication for tasks or assignments
  • Employee time tracking
  • Home office location/s (two or more sites are permitted) where the employee will be working
    • If the contract specifies multiple workplaces, it is important to specify times/days for each workplace. Otherwise, the employee may be entitled to an allowance for travelling to these locations, as it is considered a business trip.
  • Expectation of availability to supervisors, including cadence and manner of connection
  • Employee responsibilities to maintain home office health and safety standards
  • Data protection procedures and systems in place.

Employers have a few additional responsibilities with WFH set-up:

  • Provide the employee with all the required working equipment and supplies, including the workstation. If the employee uses their own equipment, the employer must pay a certain amount of wear and tear.
  • Cover the costs associated with the set-up of the home office.
  • Cover the additional costs and expenses incurred by employees working from home, such as Internet connection, electricity, heating, and work-related phone calls.
  • Guarantee employee’s health and safety in a work-from-home environment.
  • Instruct employees on how to set up their workstation appropriately to ensure health and safety.
  • Insure employees (employer liability insurance) working from home in the same way that employees going to the office are insured (there is no specific WFH insurance).
  • Ensure that home-based employees requesting to avoid isolation have the option to see other employees.
  • Track and keep mandatory records of employees’ working hours.

Since calculating utility and depreciation costs may be difficult, the parties can also agree on a fixed (monthly) regular payment or allowance to cover all expenses. Employer’s reimbursement is tax deductible from corporate income tax.

For employees working from home, it’s the employer’s responsibility to set their working hours (unless the employment agreement is under Section 317). There may be a level of flexibility in that, and the employer is free to suggest core hours or something similar. However, to avoid the obligation to pay extra for work performed on weekends, at night, and/or on holidays, the employer should instruct the employees not to distribute flexible working hours to those periods. The employer should also agree with the employee on the rules specifying time tracking and reporting, as it is mandatory for employers to have this information on employees.

Employees are also responsible for quantifying and justifying any costs incurred at their home office in order to get a reimbursement from the employer for their expenses, which is not subject to personal income tax. If the employer provides a lump sum allowance instead, the amount is subject to taxation.

Health & safety at home

The same health and safety regulations imposed on employers with office workers are applicable in the work-from-home scenario. Employers are responsible for occupational health and safety and are liable in the event of an injury that happens while work is performed from home.
Here are some of the responsibilities that companies employing remote workers have:

  • Instruct and train employees on how to correctly set up their work station in a safe and secure way.
  • Ensure that the work station and equipment are ergonomic.
  • Provide employer liability insurance to all employees, regardless of the place of work.
  • Draw up and implement a risk prevention policy, detailing ways for employees to identify, evaluate, and minimize the risks in a home office environment.

Employers may choose to visit the employee’s home office to perform the occupational health and safety compliance checks, which may often be impractical. In order to do so, employers must first obtain the employee’s consent. It is therefore important to agree with the home-based employee on the way compliance with health and safety requirements will be ensured. A suitable solution may be a workstation assessment performed by the employee, a confirmation that their workplace meets the health and safety requirements, or an agreement specifying the terms under which the employer may enter the employee’s workplace for the health and safety check.

Employees who suffer an injury while performing work tasks from home have the duty to report the accident to their employer and must allow the employer to carry out an investigation. The home office should also be equipped with a first aid kit paid for by the employer.

Security of information

The same data protection rules that apply at the office apply at the home office. Employers are responsible for ensuring that the company’s, their clients’, and their employees’ data is protected and secure at all times, regardless of the place of work. Employers should pay even closer attention to situations when employees use their own equipment for work and take documents out of the office.

Workspace Guidelines

Employers must take all reasonable steps to ensure the employee’s workstation is correctly set up, safe, comfortable, and easy to use in order to reduce potential injuries, while the employee must also care for their own health and safety and follow any reasonable policies or directions their employer gives them.
To ensure the employee’s workstation set-up is safe, employers should do the following:

  • Provide guidance on what is a safe home office environment, including setting up an ergonomic workstation.
  • Require the employee to learn and comply with good ergonomic practices.
  • Provide a health and safety checklist for working remotely.
  • Organise a virtual workstation assessment.

While working remotely, workers must inform employers of any work-related incidents or injuries that occur.
An appropriate workstation will include the following:

  • good level of illumination (Both natural and artificial light sources should not create glare on the computer.)
  • sufficient lighting level for visual tasks to be completed without eye strain
  • good level of ventilation and thermal comfort
  • unobstructed exit paths in case of emergencies — no entangling electrical cords, uneven carpet, clutter
  • suitable storage for documents

Working conditions

Employees working from home are entitled to the same statutory rights as employees who go to the company’s office (unless the employment agreement is under Section 317, and employees are not entitled to overtime).

Employers are allowed to use various methods to monitor their employees, such as installing video cameras to supervise remote employees or installing GPS in company cars. However, companies must protect and respect the privacy of their employees and should conduct this type of monitoring in only certain circumstances:

  • If there is a sufficient reason to conduct digital supervision
  • If they have fully informed the employee of means and scope of monitoring
  • If necessity, appropriateness, and proportionality are all in place.
This page was last updated on 
22 September, 2022,
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