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Changes to the Annual Vacation Calculation in the Czech Republic
An Amendment to Act No. 262/2006 Labour Code [ Act No. 285/2020 Coll. ] which was approved by the government in mid-December 2019, provides for a significant change in the annual holiday calculations in the Czech Republic. The amendment is waiting for the approval of the House and is most likely to come into effect by January 1, 2021.
Current Provisions relating to Annual Leave
Each employee is entitled to a minimum of four weeks of annual vacation per calendar year. The Labor Code provides for two different types of leaves – leave for a calendar year or its proportional part and leave for days worked.
An employee who has worked in continuous employment with the same employer for at least 60 days in a calendar year shall be entitled to leave for the calendar year, or it’s proportional part if the employer did not last continuously for the entire calendar year. The employee, whose right to annual leave or its proportional part has not arisen, is entitled to leave for the days on which he carried out work in the length of 1/12th of annual leave for every 21 days on which the employee carried out work in the relevant calendar year.
Shortcomings in the Current Provision
The current system of providing leave to the employees does not take into account employees who work long and short weeks.
For example, an employee who works for 8 hours on a regular basis each week, he can take up leave on any day as it would on average accounts for 8 hours a day and it will not matter on which day of the week he takes leave. But for an employee whose work hours are unevenly distributed over weeks, or who works say 12 hours shift in one week and 4 hours in another week, there would be an immense difference when he takes a vacation. If he takes a holiday in a shorter week, he will have 4 hours as a holiday, whereas he would work for 12 hours in a longer week period.
Hence, the new provision is aimed at curbing out this discrepancy by taking into consideration the different shifts worked by an employee individually to provide vacation periods accordingly.
Changes via the Amendment to the Calculation of Annual leave
The calculation of the vacation will no longer be based on the number of working days, instead, it shall be calculated on the basis of hours worked. In other words, the amount of leave remains the same, which is 4 weeks in a calendar year, but this will be derived from the weekly working hours of the employee.
Employees who have a continuous employment relationship with the employer for 52 weeks in any calendar year and the required number of weekly working hours applicable to this period are entitled to vacation for the calendar year calculated by:
multiplying the amount of required weekly working hours by the number of weeks vacation to which the employee is entitled in the given period.
An employee who works a shorter working week will be entitled to vacation corresponding to that shorter working week.
The employee under the proposed provision will now be entitled to a proportional part of the leave of 1/52 for each weekly period worked after 4 weeks of service instead of the current 60 days rule.
Calculating Annual Leave according to the Proposed Rule
The employee will start full-time on October 1, i.e. 40 hours, with equal working hours. The amount of leave entitlement is 4 weeks. If he works by the end of the calendar year, he will work 13 full weekly work shifts, so his entitlement to leave after the change in the law will be as follows:
40 hours / 52 weeks (length of the calendar year)× 13 weeks (hours worked)× 4 weeks (total holiday entitlement) = 40 hours (holiday entitlement)
Additional Holiday Entitlement
If an employee has worked more than 52 times the specified weekly working hours in the calendar year according to the shift schedule, the duration of leave shall be extended by 1/52th of the leave per calendar year for each additional weekly working hours.
Reduction of the Holiday for Unexcused Absences
Currently, the employer can reduce the leave both for unexcused absences and in case of long-term obstacles at work. The amendment does not provide for such reduction in leave for a calendar year or its proportional part except leave for unexcused missed shifts, and only by the number of unexcused missed hours. The missing of shift due to certain personal obstacles at work such as due to illness, quarantine order, parental leave, and other important personal obstacles, that it can now be recognized as the performance of work for the purpose of calculating the leave up to only 20 times the weekly working time in the same calendar year.
Any period of personal obstacles above this limit is not included in the hours worked. Also, this will be considered as the performance of work if the employee has worked outside their duration in a calendar year for at least 12 times the weekly working hours.
Holiday Taken in Parts
Additionally, the employer may exceptionally decide the use of leave by the employee with his consent to an extent shorter than the length of the shift, but at least in the length of one half of it. That is unless otherwise agreed between the employer and the employer, at least one part of the leave must be 2 weeks at a time.
Carry Forward of Leave
The proposed changes in the Act also allows on the basis of a written request from an employee to transfer to the next year a part of the leave that exceeds its statutory minimum length of 4 weeks.
The amendment will bring justifiable conditions for employees with an uneven distribution of working hours. The calculation would be much fairer based on the number of hours actually worked and not working days. In fact, this does not bring much of a difference for employees who work a consistent regular number of hours. But this will be of immense importance for employees who work in shifts with different working hours.
*This document is for reference purposes only. Subject to legislative changes