Long-awaited, the amendment to the Labour Code (the “Amendment”) was finally approved by the Chamber of Deputies and signed by the president. Most of the amendments shall enter into force in the month following the Amendment’s publication in the Collection of Laws, i.e., on 1 October 2023 or 1 November 2023. As the date of 1 October 2023 is still in play, we recommend preparing for the changes now. Below, you can find a brief overview of what to expect:
Electronic execution and delivery of documents
- A copy of a contract of employment, agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship and agreements to modify or terminate such contracts or agreements that have been executed electronically must be delivered by the employer by electronic means to the email address of the employee/worker (to an email address provided by the employee/worker in writing for such purposes, which email address is other than the email address assigned to the employee/worker by the employer).
- Electronically executed contracts of employment, agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship and agreements to modify such contracts or agreements may be cancelled by the employee/worker within 7 days after the delivery of the contract or agreement to the email address of the employee/worker (unless the employee/worker has already started to work).
- New rules for delivering employment-related documents:
- Documents delivered by employers by electronic means: Acknowledgments of receipt of documents delivered by electronic means (typically via email) no longer need to be signed by advanced electronic signature of the employee/worker (the employer, however, must be certain/able to prove that the acknowledgement was indeed made by the employee/worker). Where the receipt of documents is not acknowledged by the employee/worker within 15 days, the documents shall be presumed to have been delivered. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to documents delivered by employees/workers to their employers.
- Documents delivered by employers into data boxes: Consent of the employee/worker to the delivery of documents into the data box of the employee/worker is not required, provided, however, that the option of receiving documents from private individuals/body corporates is not disabled by the employee/worker. Where the employee/worker does not sign into their data box within 10 days after the delivery of the data message, the message shall be presumed to have been delivered. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to documents delivered by employees/workers to their employers.
In connection with the new rules for delivering employment-related documents, we recommend amending the relevant provisions of contracts of employment, agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship, agreements and other documents (internal guidelines, etc.) well in advance to avoid unnecessary complications and misunderstandings. You are welcome to contact us for any advice and guidance.
What should be included in a contract of employment
- Contracts of employment should now include more information than before, for instance, state the procedure that must be followed by the employer and the employee in terminating the employment, detail the professional development plan, provide information as to the meal and rest breaks and/or adequate periods for rest and meals, and specify the social security office which collects the employee’s social security contributions from the employer.
Contracts of employment executed after the Amendment comes into force will have to be adapted to the new legislation. You are welcome to contact us for assistance in drafting new sample contracts of employment.
- Where the contract of employment does not contain all the information required by the Labour Code, the employer will have to communicate them to the employee within 7 days rather than within 1 month as was required under current law (before the Amendment).
- Where the information is communicated by electronic means, it must be accessible to the employee in a way enabling the employee to save and print it; the employer must keep proof that the employee received the information.
- What to do if the contracts of employment have already been executed? Where the contract of employment has already been executed and the deadline for informing the employee of all the information to be contained in the contract as required by the Labour Code has expired before the Amendment comes into force, the employer must communicate the „newly required information“ to the employee only if required by the employee in writing within 7 days after the delivery of the contract.
Agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship
- Agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship will as well be subject to the obligation to inform the worker about the content of the legal relationship, to more or less the same extent as in the case of contracts of employment.
Agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship executed after the Amendment comes into force will have to be adapted to the new legislation. You are welcome to contact us for assistance in drafting new sample contracts for work and new model contracts for services.
- Workers must be informed by the employer in writing in advance about how their contractual hours will be split across the days of their working week and be given at least 3 days’ notice of the work schedule or any changes to it.
- Workers who have worked under an agreement on work performed outside an employment relationship for at least 180 days in the preceding 12 months may apply to the employer for a contract of employment. The employer must respond to the application in writing within 1 month.
- Workers are entitled to continuous rest, rest breaks, compensatory time-off, and extra pay for working on bank/public holidays, for working at night, for working in difficult working environments and for working at weekends.
- Starting from 1 January 2024 on, the workers are entitled to paid leave.
Rules for teleworking
- Teleworking (remote work) will newly require a written agreement of both the employer and the employee. The Amendment, however, provides for no substantive elements of the written agreement.
You are welcome to contact for assistance in drafting sample telework agreements. We recommend preparing new agreements well in advance.
- Where the nature of the work allows it and the place from which work is carried out is suitable for teleworking, employees may be ordered to work from home (telework) as a result of a measure taken by a public authority and for as long as may be necessary.
- Where telework is requested by a pregnant employee or an employee caring for a child younger than 9 years old or for a care-dependent person and the employer turns down the request, the employer must provide an explanation in writing of why the request is being turned down.
- The original proposal, which included an obligation for employers to reimburse employees for the costs of telework plus a lump sum of CZK 2.80 per hour of work, was not adopted. The Amendment distinguishes the costs associated with telework as costs demonstrably incurred by the employees as a result of their teleworking and as a lump sum reimbursement, if agreed or if provided for by the internal guideline. At the same time, however, it may be agreed that the employee is not entitled to reimbursement of costs associated with telework.
You are welcome to contact us for assistance in determining the rules for the reimbursement of costs associated with telework, drafting the relevant internal guidelines or incorporating the rules directly into telework agreements.
Rules for notifying an intention to take parental leave
- Employees must newly give at least 30 days’ written notice of parental leave and specify the duration of the period of parental leave requested (even repeatedly) to allow the employer to plan the headcount easily.
If you have queries about any of the above or if you need advice on any aspect of employment law, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Buřil & Partners