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Amendment of the labour code – which changes is it going to bring?

On 12 September 2023 the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic passed the amendment of the Labour Code, which was published in the Collection of Laws of the Czech Republic (“Sbírka zákonů”) on 19 September 2023. Below you can find basic information about the major changes which are going to affect employers effective 1 October 2023.

  1. Introduction of conditions and procedures in case an employment contract, an agreement to perform a job (“dohoda o provedení práce”) or an agreement for work
    (“dohoda o pracovní činnosti”) is made, amended or terminated by means of an electronic communication network or electronic communication services. Concluded documents must be sent to an electronic address which is not at the employer’s disposal and of which the employee notified the employee in writing. An employee may withdraw within 7 workdays after delivery.
  2. An extended list of pieces of information under Sec. 37 of which the employer must inform the employee (e.g. information about professional development). In addition, the time-limit has been cut from 1 month to 7 days after the creation of employment, or after the change of provided information. Information provided before 1 October 2023 need to be updated only based on an employee’s request.
  3. Changes in the field of agreements for work performed outside employment relationship (agreements to perform a job and agreements for work), namely:
    • Duty to provide information shown in Sec. 37 in the same extent they are provided to employees in employment relationship.
    • Duty to schedule working hours in advance by means of a written schedule and to inform employees about it, or about its changes, not later than 3 days before the beginning of a shift or before the beginning of a scheduled period. An employer and an employee may agree a different information period.
    • Agreements to perform a job must specify the agreed job and the ceiling (300 hours per year) includes also hours worked by an employee for the same employer under another agreement to perform a job.
    • Right to compensation of pay in the case of other important personal obstacles to work and obstacles to work due to community interest (it may be excluded by agreement or by an internal guideline)
    • If relationship established by agreement lasted for at least 180 days in the preceding 12 months, an employee may apply for employment in employment relationship and the employer must reply within 1 month in writing.
    • Employees have a right to apply in writing for a their employers’ reasoning of a notice of termination, if they believe that their employers terminated employment because employees had sought the protection of their rights.
    Effective 1 January 2024 employees working under agreements for work performed outside employment relationships have right to vacation. For the purposes of vacation, employees’ working hours are deemed to be 20 hours per week.
  4. Increased limit for other agreed overtime work in healthcare which will allow the performance of works above the already agreed scope of overtime work by further
    416 hours per calendar year (624 hours for paramedics) – as of 1 January 2029 the provision will be terminated.
  5. New rules of remote work (home-office)
    • Remote work will only be allowed based on a written agreement (if employees already work remotely and there is no written agreement, then written agreements of remote work must be made not later than by the end of October)
    • Expenses on remote work may be reimbursed by employers in flat-rate amounts, stipulated by the Regulation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic in the amount of CZK 4.60 per hour, or in documented amounts. The employer and the employee may agree that the employee has no right to reimbursement of expenses on remote work.
    • Protected employees (pregnancy, taking care of a child under 9, taking care of a person who is dependent on care) have a right to apply with their employers for remote work. If employers do not allow their employees to work remotely, they must provide a reasoning in writing.
  6. Changes in parental leave – applications for taking parental leave must be submitted by employees not later than 30 days before the initial date of parental leave. Applications for parental leave must specify the period of parental leave unless employees are prevented from specifying such information due to serious grounds; and applications may be submitted repeatedly.
  7. Changes in delivering of documents
    • Under the new rules, all types of deliveries of documents by employers are equivalent; except for deliveries made by post – employers may send documents by post only if they cannot deliver documents at the workplace.
    • If stipulated conditions are met, certain documents may be delivered by employers and by employees by means of electronic communication networks.
    • Documents may be delivered to data boxes of employers and of employees, unless their data boxes are disabled; approval of an employee is no longer needed.
  8. New sanctions have been added into Act No. 251/2005 Sb., providing for inspection of work, for example sanctions for non-compliance with remote work duties (failure to make written agreements – a sanction of up to CZK 300 000); or failure to provide a written reasoning after rejecting a “protected employee’s” application for reduced working hours or for remote work (sanction of up to CZK 200 000).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Veronika Nožičková, attorney-at-law at VGD Legal, who specializes in labour law (veronika.nozickova@vgdlegal.cz).

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