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Amendment to the Labour Code finally approved with effect from 1 October 2023

Amendment to the Labour Code finally approved with effect from 1 October 2023

Czech Republic
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As the amendment is effective as early as 1 October 2023, we provide below an overview of the main changes, indicating the necessary or recommended steps for employers to be taken:

1) Home Office    

Overview of Main Changes

  • HO will only be possible based on a written agreement with 15 days’ notice (can be modified or excluded by agreement). 
  • 3 methods of compensation for costs of HO: (i) proven actual costs, (ii) flat rate per hour as per relevant regulation, or (iii) agreement that no costs are to be compensated. 
  • Protected employees (pregnant women, employees caring for children under 9 or dependents) can request HO - discretionary, only right to written explanation.  

How to Prepare? 

  • Enter into a written HO agreement within 1 month.
  • Select and implement a method of compensation for costs of HO.

Review and modify existing internal HO agreements, guidelines, and regulations. 

2) Agreement on Performance of Work (APW)/Agreement on Working Activity (AWA)

Overview of Main Changes

  • Obligation to schedule employees' working hours and to inform the employees of the schedule at least 3 days before the shift, unless a shorter period has been agreed. 
  • Entitlement to basic scheme allowances (for night shifts, weekend shifts, holidays shifts, difficult working environment).
  • Application of the Labour Code regarding working hours and mandatory rest periods.
  • Entitlement to all work-related impediments as for employment, but newly granted impediments are unpaid. 
  • Holiday entitlement (from 1.1.2024) - same calculation as for employees working on the basis of an employment agreement (notional 20h work week, the employee must work minimum of 4 weeks and 80 hours). 

Option to apply for transfer to the legal regime of an employment agreement - after working a minimum of 180 days in the last 12 months - discretionary, only right to written explanation.

How to Prepare?

  • Revise the existing templates of the APWs/AWAs
  • Conclude amendments to the existing APWs/AWAs

Review and modify existing internal regulations, documentation, and processes.

3) Extension of the Information Obligation

Overview of Main Changes

  • Expanding the scope of information to be provided during onboarding. 
  • Special information obligation when sending employee for work abroad.
  • Reduction of the time limit to 7 days from the start of the employment.
  • Existing employees only need to be “newly” re-informed if they request it. 
  • Possibility to inform electronically if it is possible to save and print the information.  

Information also for APW/AWA to an equivalent extent. 

How to Prepare? 

  • Revise and complete the template information. 
  • Prepare new information for APW/AWA. 

Review and modify existing internal regulations, documentation, and processes. 

4) Electronic Conclusion of Agreements

Overview of Main Changes

  • It will be possible to conclude the employment agreement, APW/AWA and amendments thereto, including termination agreements, electronically, typically by e-mail, even with a simple electronic signature.  
  • Under the condition that, once concluded, the document will be delivered to the employee's private e-mail address, which the employee has notified in writing. 

The employee can withdraw within 7 days (except for termination agreements and if the employee has already started working). 

How to Prepare?

  • Decide on the electronic conclusion of agreements.
  • Obtain private email addresses from employees. 

Review and modify existing internal regulations, documentation, and processes.

5) Delivery of Important HR Documents

Overview of Main Changes

  • Significant narrowing of the list of documents that must be delivered in person pursuant to the Labour Code - in particular termination documents (with the exception of agreements) and salary statement remain.
  • It is up to the employer to choose the main method of delivery (in person at the workplace/anywhere, by e-mail or by databox). Only by classic mail delivery, the impossibility of personal delivery at the workplace is required. 
  • It will be possible to deliver using e-mail with a recognised e-signature, subject to the employee's special consent to his/her private e-mail address (fiction of delivery after 15 days). 
  • It will also be possible to deliver to the employee's databox without his/her consent unless he/she denies deliveries of private messages.

Significant simplification also for e-delivery to a designated employer’s e-mail address (a simple signature is sufficient, 15day fiction of delivery).

How to Prepare?

  • Decide on the use of e-delivery.
  • Prepare wording and obtain qualified employees’ consents.
  • Obtain databox information.
  • Determine and inform employees about email address for delivery to the employer.

Review and modify existing regulations, documentation, and processes.

6) Other Important Changes

Overview of Main Changes

  • Increase in limits for agreed overtime for employees in the healthcare sector.
  • Modified request for parental leave (in writing, at least 30 days in advance, incl. duration)
  • "Shortened" continuous rest week (min. 24 hours, but plus 11 hours)

Shifted burden of proof in certain employee disputes.

How to Prepare? 

  • Review and modify existing internal regulations, documentation, and processes.  
  • New agreements for additional overtime for employees in the healthcare sector.  

By Radek Matous, Partner, Eversheds Sutherland

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

PRK Partners, one of the leading Central European law firms, has been helping clients achieve their business objectives almost 30 years. Our team of lawyers, based in our Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava offices, has a unique knowledge of Czech and Slovak law and of the business environment. Our lawyers studied at top law schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and elsewhere. They also have experience working for leading international and domestic law firms in a number of jurisdictions. We speak your language, too. Our legal team is fluent in more than 15 languages, including all the key languages of the region.

PRK Partners has one of the most experienced legal teams on the market. We are consistently rated as one of the leading law firms in the region. We have received many significant honours and awards for our work. We represent the interests of international clients operating in the Czech Republic in an efficient way, combining local knowledge with an understanding of their global requirements in a business-friendly approach. We are one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our specialised teams of lawyers and tax advisors advise major global corporations as well as local companies. We provide comprehensive legal advice drawing on our profound knowledge of local law and markets.

Our legal advice delivers tangible results – as proven by our strong track record. We are the only Czech member firm of Lex Mundi, the world's leading network of independent law firms. As one of the leading law firms in the region, we have received many national and international awards, in some cases several years in a row. Honours include the Chambers Europe Award for Excellence, The Lawyer and Czech and Slovak Law Firm of the Year. Thanks to our close cooperation with leading international law firms and strong local players, we can serve clients in multiple jurisdictions around the globe. Our strong network means that we can meet your needs, wherever you do business.

PRK Partners has been repeatedly voted among the most socially responsible firms in the category of small and mid-sized firms and was awarded the bronze certificate at the annual TOP Responsible Firm of the Year Awards.

Our work is not only “business”: we have participated on a longstanding basis in a wide variety of pro bono projects and supported our partners from the non-profit sector (Kaplicky Centre Endowment Fund, Tereza Maxová Foundation, Czech Donors Forum, etc.).

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