Czech Republic: Upcoming Amendment to Labor Code
Recently, the amendment to the Czech Labor Code was published in the Collection of Laws as Act No. 281/2023 Coll, primarily implementing the European Union directives on working conditions, work-life balance for parents, and minor changes to certain aspects of working time. The amendment shall come into force effective October 1, 2023.
One of the amendments is regarding the change to the terminology of uninterrupted daily rest and uninterrupted weekly rest.
Amendment to Daily Rest
Current Provision of Daily Rest – Section 90 (1) – The employer is obliged to schedule working hours so that the employee has a continuous rest period of at least 11 hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of the next shift and an employee under 18 years of age for at least 12 hours during 24 consecutive hours.
Section 90 (2) – The rest according to paragraph 1 can be shortened to up to 8 hours during 24 consecutive hours for an employee over the age of 18, on the condition that the following rest will be extended by the period of the reduction of this rest
Section 90a – Rest between the end of one shift and the beginning of the next shift, shortened to the extent according to Section 90, paragraph 2, can be replaced by an employee over the age of 18 during seasonal work in agriculture by being provided to him in the period following 3 weeks after its reduction.
Effective October 1, 2023, the above-mentioned Section 90, shall be amended to read as follows:
“The employer is obliged to provide the employee with a continuous daily allowance rest of at least 11 hours in any 24 consecutive hours and to a juvenile employee for at least 12 hours within 24 consecutive hours.”
Also, in Section 90a the words “Rest between the end of one shift and the beginning of the following shifts” are replaced by the words “Continuous daily rest”. The provision shall read as follows:
“Continuous daily rest shortened to the extent according to Section 90, paragraph 2, can be replaced by an employee over the age of 18 during seasonal work in agriculture by being provided to him in the period following 3 weeks after its reduction.”
Amendment to Weekly Rest
Current Provision of Weekly Rest – Section 92 – Employers are required to provide at least 35 consecutive hours of rest between shifts.
Effective October 1, 2023, the weekly rest provision shall read as follows –
“Within a week, the employer is obliged to provide an employee over the age of 18 with continuous rest lasting at least 24 hours, together with continuous daily rest (11 hours), which must be followed immediately; the total duration of these rests is a continuous rest per week.”
Thus, the total weekly rest period provided to an employee shall be of at least 35 hours.
Some of the other amendments are:
- Employers will be responsible for extended notification to the employees regarding certain facts related to the content of the employment relationship within 7 days from the date of its commencement or of changes to the content of the employment relationship no later than on the day when such changes take effect.
- The employer will now be obliged to schedule the working time of the work performance agreements (WPA) and work activity agreements (WAA) no later than 3 days before the beginning of the period for which the time is scheduled unless both parties agree on a different time.
- Requesting parental leave – The employee will now be obliged to submit a written request for parental leave at least 30 days prior to commencement. Such a request must include information on the duration of the parental leave and can be submitted repeatedly.
- The amendment introduces fundamental changes to agreements outside the employment relationship.
- It introduces entitlement to paid leave for such employees. The amount of leave will be determined on the basis of a notional working time of 20 hours per week. The provision on leave for so-called agreement-based workers will take effect on January 1, 2024.
- Employees working under an agreement will also be entitled to extra pay for work on public holidays, night work, work in a difficult working environment, and weekend work.
Conclusion – Employers should review their existing policies on uninterrupted daily rest, and weekly rest and revise the terminology used at the earliest for clarification purposes.