HOME OFFICE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC – 2020
This short summary has been prepared by BURIL PARTNERS as general information for employers in the Czech Republic in relation to home office during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Performance of work outside the employer’s workplace (“home office”) is regulated by Czech Act No. 262/2006 Sb., the Labour Code, as amended (the “Labour Code”).
The Czech Government has preferred the use of home office since the first (spring) wave of the pandemic in the Czech Republic, however the obligatory use of home office by Czech employers has been introduced for the first time by Governmental Measure No. 1102 dated 26 October 2020. If an employee may perform work in the place of the employee’s residence, taking the nature of the work and operational conditions into account, the employer is obliged to use home office.
The Labour Code has not been specifically amended in relation to the use of home office in connection with the pandemic and/or (possible) obligatory introduction of home office if and where possible.
The employee must consent to home office. Written agreement regulating terms and conditions of home office (such as the place of performing work, the manner of assignment of work tasks by the employer to the employee or remuneration for the use of the employee’s equipment and energy consumption during work performance) must be executed between the employee and the employer. The employer must not order the employee to do home office without such agreement (employee’s consent).
Home office means performance of work by the employee, so provisions of the Labour Code apply to home office accordingly unless the Labour Code stipulates otherwise (e.g. the employee herself / himself schedules the working hours or the employee is not entitled to wage / compensatory wage or
compensatory time off for overtime work or work on public holidays ).
The employee is entitled to the employee’s standard wage during home office.
The employer may also order leave taking during home office or instead of using home office, despite the fact that the main purpose of the leave is not to solve lack of work for employers due to the pandemic.
The employer must order the employee to take leave in writing at least two weeks in advance unless a shorter term is agreed with the employee.
The employer may even order collective leave taking with the consent of a trade union organization or works council, but only where it is necessary due to operational reasons and such collective leave taking may not last more than two weeks.
The employee is entitled to compensatory wage in the amount 100 % of average earnings during the leave.
Assignment to another Employer
If an employer does not have work for its employees and cannot assign work tasks to them even using home office, the employer may wish to “lend” its employees to other employers.
Such “lending” of employees in the form of assignment to another employer is possible, however the employee must consent with such assignment. The assignment cannot be forced upon the employee.
The assigning employer may only invoice expenses related to the assignment (i.e. the employee’s wage,
travel expenses and statutory levies) to the receiving employer. However, the assigning employer must
not invoice any margin to the accepting employer (i.e. to act as an employment agency).