Anyone considering a move to work in the Czech Republic should read this for essential information about Czech employment law and regulation relating to employment contracts, working hours, paid leave and dismissal.
Contract of employment
Although the contract does not have to be in writing, employers are obliged to provide employees with a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment. The contract of employment is concluded for an unlimited period, unless a fixed duration of the contract is explicitly stipulated.
The duration of the trial period is a maximum of three months, which can be shortened on agreement between the two parties; this must be agreed in the contract of employment. Either party can cancel the employment relationship during this period, as long as it is done in writing.
Regular hours of work may not exceed 40 a week. Overtime is permitted, but the working week, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours on average over a four-month period. In return for overtime work, an employee is entitled to normal wages plus at least 25% of his or her average earnings, if time off in lieu of the overtime has not been agreed.
The statutory period of annual leave is four weeks. Employees in organisations engaged in ‘non-entrepreneurial activities’ have a right to five weeks of annual leave.
Pregnant workers, and those with children under the age of three, are protected against dismissal, but the employer must be informed about the pregnancy.
In general, employees are entitled to maternity leave for a period of 28 weeks. They have a right to financial maternity assistance in accordance with the sickness insurance legislation. It is prohibited for pregnant workers to carry out physically demanding work. If the employee usually performs this type of work, she may transfer to other work.
Notice of dismissal
Czech labour law imposes no restrictions on employees wishing to terminate their contracts of employment. The period of notice is two months, and employees are not obliged to provide grounds for leaving.
The employer, however, can only dismiss an employee on two grounds. The first relates to the employer’s situation: if any organisational changes take place, or in order to increase productivity. In these cases, the period of notice is three months, and the employee will receive severance pay of approximately double average monthly earnings.
The second permissible reason for dismissal relates to the employee’s performance. If this is unsatisfactory, the employer must inform the employee of this in writing and can only dismiss the employee if this warning was issued within the past six months. An employee may also be dismissed if he or she is no longer capable of performing his or her work for health reasons. In these cases, the period of notice is two months, and no severance pay is offered.
Trades unions and trades union bodies are the only legitimate representative bodies of employees in labour relations that have the right to collective bargaining. Trades union bodies represent all employees in labour relations, including those who are not affiliated to any union. Approximately 33% of workers are members of trades unions.
Source: International Labour Organization