The new amendment of the Czech Labor Code and the expected changes in the Czech Labor Law
Repeal of the standstill period
By amending the Czech Labor Code, the Chamber of Deputies repealed the provisions on the standstill period (“karenční doba”). In the area of Labor Law and benefits, this period represents the first three days of health-related absence during which the employee is not entitled to wage compensation. For example, if an employee is sick for five days, he is compensated only for the last two days. With effect from July 2019, entrepreneurs will have to pay employees compensation for wages from the first day of sick leave, while the compensation will be 60 percent of the reduced daily assessment base (i.e. a formula, which reduces gradually earnings per hour in the following 3 categories: the part of hourly wage up to EUR 7,39 is reduced by 10 %, the part from EUR 7,39 up to 11,09 EUR is reduced by 40 %, the part from EUR 11,09 up to 22,4 EUR is reduced by 70 % and the part above 22,4 EUR is reduced by 100 %).
This is justified by the detrimental impact of the current system on low-income employees. The amendment will affect both the employees under regular employment contracts and employees working under agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship contained in the Czech Labor Code.
The anticipated general amendment still not in sight
Currently, negotiations are under way at ministries, trade unions and employers to agree on the long-awaited comprehensive amendment of the Czech Labor Code. The compromise proposal is still not available, and a wide range of modifications is being discussed. The information so far has introduced the following areas of adjustment.
The first one is a new concept of a shared working place that will allow at least two employees with the same type of work and shorter working hours to share one working place. Thus, the employees could schedule their working hours and alternate according to their needs, effectively working as a single employee. This would be done upon a prior agreement with the employer, who will retain the ability to make a final decision as to the distribution of work.
In the area of temporary assignment of workers, the proposed changes increase the flexibility for the assigning employer, while clarifying the conditions that will differentiate such employer from the institution from employment agencies whose business model is focused on temporary assignment of employees to the user.
The changes in the agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship concern mainly the guaranteed rest periods, the registration of working hours and the protection of remuneration from the agreement.
A minor change is also proposed in the leave regulation, in particular allowing the transfer of a part of unused leave to the next calendar year.
In the area of the transfer of rights and obligations from labor relations, the amendments respond to the case law of the EU, which stipulates conditions for the transfer of the employer’s activities, and further specifies the conditions for dismissal given by the employee pursuant to Section 51a of the Czech Labor Code (due to the transfer of rights and obligations from labor relations).
Another modification is supposed to simplify the rules on the notification of documents from the employer to the employee by reinforcing the possibility of fictive notification.