Introduction of paternity leave and some new quarantine rules, changes to occupational health services, in particular occupational health examinations of employees, increase in minimum wage and discount on social security premium for selected groups of employees – Czech employers and employees have to adapt to several significant changes in the field of Czech labour law for this year. Below we summarise them briefly, clearly and chronologically, according to their effective date.
Introduction of paternity leave
As of 1 December 2022, the Czech Labour Code has been amended to add paternity leave as a new obstacle to work on the part of the employee. According to the new provision of Czech labour law, the employer is obliged to grant the employee paternity leave in connection with the birth and care for a child. The employee is entitled to paternity leave for the duration of the paternal care benefit under the Czech Sickness Insurance Act. A male employee on paternity leave is afforded the same protection as a female employee on maternity leave (e.g. the prohibition of termination with certain exceptions and prohibition of immediate termination of the employment relationship by the employer during paternity leave, the right to be assigned to the original job and workplace, right for leave immediately following the paternity leave, etc.).
From 1 December 2022, the Czech labour law has also introduced some new quarantine rules. Consequently, the employer is (with exceptions) prohibited from terminating the employment relationship during the period when the employee is quarantined. At the same time, it has also been added to the Czech Labour Code that in the event that a quarantine is ordered for an employee during their leave, the leave is interrupted unless the employee requests to continue taking leave during the quarantine.
Furthermore, the communication in the area of ordered quarantine has been simplified in connection with the implementation of the “quarantine computerisation” plan. The ordered quarantine and the processes associated with it (notifications), as well as temporary incapacity for work, are now carried out electronically (in electronic form).
Changes to occupational health services
As of 1 January 2023, changes in the area of occupational health services, in particular occupational health examinations of employees, shall apply. One of the main changes is that the obligation of periodic occupational health examinations in categories 1 and 2 of “risk-free occupations” (risk-free work categories, work without occupational risk) for employees in an employment relationship is abolished and these are now only carried out if required by the employer or employee. The changes have not affected the obligation to carry out entry examinations on employees. Periodic examinations shall also be carried out, inter alia, in the case of work of the same type carried out on the basis of agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship, in respect of work at occupational risk or carried out pursuant to other legislation, or if the employee or employer requires such examinations. Due to the latest modifications, the area of workplace supervision has also undergone major changes.
Travel allowances for 2023
As of 1 January 2023, the extent of data for the purposes of travel allowances granted to employees has been updated in the Czech Republic on the basis of Decree No. 467/2022 Coll., on the change of the basic compensation rate for the use of road motor vehicles and meal allowances and on the determination of the average price of fuel for the purposes of granting travel allowances for 2023.
Minimum wage in the Czech Republic
Similarly to other countries (see Hungary and Slovenia), as of 1 January 2023, the minimum wage has been increased also in the Czech Republic. The monthly minimum wage for fixed weekly working hours of 40 hours per week has been increased to CZK 17,300 and the minimum wage per hour to CZK 103.80. For other lengths of fixed weekly working hours, according to the recalculation, the minimum wage per hour is CZK 107,10 for the fixed weekly working hours of 38.75 hours and CZK 110,70 for the fixed weekly working hours of 37.5 hours. There has also been an increase in the lowest level of guaranteed wages, but only in work categories 1 and 8.
New premium discount in Czech labour law
As of 1 February 2023, an employer in the Czech Republic can claim a discount on social security premium for the selected groups of employees for the first time for the month of February 2023 provided that the statutory conditions are met. This option applies to employees in an employment relationship (or service relationship) with agreed shorter working hours. To qualify for the discount, all other conditions set out in the Czech labour law must be met (including, for example, shorter working hours of not less than 8 hours and not more than 30 hours per week), and at the same time there must not be any of the reasons for which the discount on the premium for an employee is not applicable. A statutory condition for claiming the discount on the premium is the prior notification of the intention to apply such premium discount for a particular employee to the Czech Social Security Administration (CSSZ). Only one employer may be entitled to a premium discount for the same employee. Therefore, there applies a rule that if more than one employer intends to claim a premium discount for the same employee, the employer who has first notified the Czech Social Security Administration of this intention is entitled to the premium discount for that employee.
Furthermore, a major change of the Czech labour law (Czech Labour Code) is highly expected in 2023.
If you have any queries about the Czech labour law or need to adapt to the new rules, the experts and advisors of WTS Alfery, the exclusive representative of WTS Global for the Czech Republic will be happy to provide you with professional support.