The labour law in the Czech Republic is regulated mainly by Act No. 262/2006 Coll. – The Labour Code. The Labour Code governs the terms and conditions of employment such as working hours, holidays and rest periods, wages, overtime, occupational health and safety, and termination of employment. The other act that governs employment relationships is Act No. 187/2006 Coll., Sickness Insurance Act.
Hours & Pay Regulations
Working time is the time during which the employee is obliged to perform work for the employer and the time during which the employee is ready to perform work at the workplace according to the employer’s instructions.
The length of set weekly working hours shall be 40 hours per week. Working hours are usually distributed over a 5-day working week. The length of a shift may not exceed 12 hours, inclusive of overtime.
Shorter Working Hours
An employer and employee may agree to shorter working hours as compared to the set weekly working time. In such cases, the employee shall be eligible for wages corresponding to the agreed shorter number of working hours.
Even distribution of working hours
A schedule in which the employer schedules the specified weekly working hours for individual weeks, or shorter working hours.
Unequal distribution of working hours
A schedule in which the employer does not distribute the specified weekly working hours or shorter working hours evenly for individual weeks, but the average weekly working hours may not exceed the specified weekly working hours or shorter working hours for a maximum period of 26 weeks in a row. However, via a collective agreement the limit can be increased to a period of a maximum of 52 consecutive weeks.
Schedule of Working Hours
The working hours including the beginning and end of shifts are scheduled by the employer. Working hours are generally scheduled within a 5-day working week. The employer shall prepare a schedule of weekly working hours and shall notify of any change to the employee no later than 2 weeks before the beginning of the period for which working hours are scheduled unless otherwise agreed with the employee.
Two shift pattern – A pattern (schedule) of work organization in which the employee rotates in two shifts during a period of 24 consecutive hours.
Three shift pattern – A pattern (schedule) of work organization in which employees rotate in three successive shifts during a period of 24 consecutive hours.
Scheduled Weekly working hours – The length of the set weekly working time is 40 hours per week. Employees who work two shift patterns – weekly hours is 38.75 hours and those who work three shifts or a continuous pattern of shift – weekly hours is 37.5 hours.
Flexible Working Hours
A flexible working time regime refers to time periods of basic and optional working hours, the start and end of which are decided by the employer. During basic working hours, the employee shall be present at the workplace. And during the optional working hours, the employee decides the start and end of the working time. The total length of the shift must not exceed 12 hours.
With a flexible distribution of working hours, the average weekly working hours must be performed in the 26 weeks in a row and no longer than 52 consecutive weeks.
Flexible working time arrangement does not apply during the employee’s business trip, at the time of taking leave, in case it is necessary to ensure an urgent work task in a shift – the beginning and end of which are fixed, if it cannot be applied due to operational reasons, at the time of important personal obstacles at work, in other cases as may be specified by the employer. In these cases, a predetermined schedule of weekly working hours into shifts shall apply to the employees, which the employer is obliged to determine.
On-call time means the period during which the employee shall be prepared to perform any work under the employment agreement, which must be performed in excess of the employee’s shift schedule in case of urgent need. On-call time may only be at another place agreed with the employee, different from the employer’s workplaces.
An employee may be required to perform on-call duty only if it is agreed between the employer and employee. During the period of on-call time, an employee is entitled to remuneration of at least 10% of average earnings.
Any on-call duty performed by an employee above the set weekly working hours is considered overtime work. For overtime work, an employee is generally entitled to 25% of average earnings. The on-call time during which work is not performed shall not be included in working hours. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 79-85, 78(h) 95 and 140.
Working Time Account
The working time account is a method of arranging a working time, which may be done only by a collective agreement or an internal regulation with an employer If a working time account is applied, the settlement period may not exceed 26 consecutive weeks. However, via a collective agreement, this period can be increased to a maximum of 52 consecutive weeks. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 86 – 87.
An employer shall maintain records of each employee specifying the beginning and end worked shift, overtime work, night work and on-call periods. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 96.
An employee cannot perform more than 8 hours of overtime work in one week and 150 hours of overtime work within one calendar year.
Average weekly overtime work may not exceed 8 hours in a period which may not exceed 26 consecutive weeks. However, this period can be increased to 52 consecutive weeks based on a collective agreement.
Pay – An employee is entitled to at least 25% of average earnings unless the employer and the employee have agreed that instead of the premium pay for overtime work, the employee will take compensatory time off for the overtime hours worked.
If the employer does not give the employee the compensatory time off within 3 months after performing the overtime work, or within another agreed period, the employee is entitled to the premium of 25% of average earnings, in addition to regular salary.
An agreement between the employer and employee can be formed which provides for wages has been agreed for up to 150 hours of overtime work to be availed in case of overtime work performed by the employee instead of receiving the general premium pay or compensatory time off for overtime work. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 93 and 114.
Night work is the time period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. A night employee is an employee who works at least 3 hours of working time during the night time within 24 consecutive hours on average at least once a week during a 26 consecutive weeks time period.
The working time at night may not exceed 8 hours in a period of 24 consecutive hours.
In case, the above is not possible, the employer is required to schedule weekly work time in such a manner that the average length of shift does not exceed 8 hours in a maximum period of 26 consecutive weeks.
Pay – An employee performing night work is entitled to regular wages and a premium of at least 10% of the average earnings for each hour of work at night. However, it is possible to agree on a different premium amount and method of determining the premium. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 94 and 116.
Employees are entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes for meals and rest after 6 hours of continuous work. A work break for meals and rest shall not be provided at the start and the end of working hours. Breaks for meal and rest breaks (i.e. work breaks) shall not be included in the working hours. In case, the break period has been divided, then at least one part of it must be of at least 15 minutes.
An employee who is engaged in work that cannot be interrupted shall be provided with a break for meal and rest without interruption in the work and such breaks shall be included in the working hours of the employee.
Safety break – In case, an employee is entitled to a safety break during special work in accordance with special regulations, in such circumstances, this break shall be included in the working hours. If the safety break falls during the time of the break for meal and rest, then such break for meal and rest shall be included in the working hours of the employee. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 88.
Employees are entitled to a rest period of at least 11 hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of the next shift.
This rest period can be reduced to 8 hours in case of jobs that require continuous operation, public facilities, medical, in the event of natural disasters and other similar emergencies, on the condition that the following rest will be extended by the period of reduction of this rest. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 90.
Employers are required to provide at least 35 consecutive hours of rest between shifts.
If work permits, a continuous rest of the week shall be determined for all employees on the same day and so that it includes Sunday.
In the case of technological processes that cannot be interrupted, the employer may only schedule the working hours of employees in a manner that the period of continuous rest per week will be at least 24 hours per week so that over a period of 2 weeks, the length of that rest is at least 70 hours in total.
For an employer with whom the employee works in night shifts, the day of rest begins with the hour corresponding to the arrival of the employees for the shift. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 92 and 118
Employees working Saturdays/Sundays are entitled to regular wages and a premium of at least 10% of average earnings for each hour of work on Saturday and/or Sunday.
An employee who is performing work abroad shall be provided with the premium of 10% of average earnings for work on days which, according to local conditions usually is considered as a continuous rest period during the week. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 92 and 118.
Employees are entitled to the following 7 national holidays:
- Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State – 1 January
- Day of Victory – 8 May
- Day of Slavonic Prophets Cyril and Methodius – 5 July
- Day if the Burning of Master Jan Hua- 6 July
- Day of Czech Statehood – 28 September
- Day of Establishment of the Independent Czechoslovak State – 28 October
- Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy and Independent Student Day – 17 November.
Following are 7 other holidays in the Czech Republic –
- New Year – January 1
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Labor Day – May 1
- Christmas Day – December 24
- Christmas Day – December 25
- Christmas Day – December 26
Public holidays and other holidays are non-working days.
Pay – An employee who does not work on a public holiday is entitled to wages in an amount equal to the employee’s average earnings.
An employee who performs work on a public holiday shall be entitled to regular wage and compensatory rest or an additional pay corresponding to 100% of average earnings (instead of compensatory rest) if such has been agreed between the employer and employee.
The compensatory time off is to be availed latest by the end of the third calendar month after the public holiday on which the employee worked, or within another agreed period. Upon availing of compensatory time off, an employee is entitled to a compensatory wage in the number of his average earnings.
Overtime work on a Public Holiday – Employees are entitled to the regular wages for hours worked plus a premium for overtime work (min. 25%) along with a premium for work on public holidays (min. 100%) or equivalent amount of compensatory off as may be agreed between the employer and employee. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 91, 115 and Act, No. 245/2000 Coll., Public Holidays, §1 – 4.
An employee who during a continuous period of employment with the same employer has worked for him at least 52 weeks in the relevant calendar year within the specified weekly working time for that period shall be entitled to annual leave of the specified weekly working time multiplied by the amount of leave (4 weeks) which the employee is entitled in the relevant calendar year.
If the employment relationship with the employer does not last at least 52 weeks, then the employee is not entitled to leave for the entire calendar year.
If the employee’s employment with one employer lasts for at least 4 weeks and the employee has worked at least 4 times the weekly working hours for the same employer, then the employee is entitled to a proportional part of the leave for the calendar year. The length of the proportional part of the leave is calculated in such a way that for each specified or shorter weekly working time worked, the employee is entitled to 1/52 of this specified or shorter weekly working time multiplied by the amount of leave (4 weeks).
The total amount of leave is at least 4 weeks in a calendar year. The length of leave to which an employee is entitled in a calendar year is rounded up to whole hours.
For an employee who has worked for more than 52 times the specified weekly working hours, the length of the leave shall be extended by 1/52th of the leave per calendar year for each additional specified weekly working time.
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 the employee works by the end of the calendar year, he will work 13 full weekly work shifts, so his entitlement to leave 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).
Time Offs – 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, can be recognized as the performance of work for the purpose of calculating the leave, but is allowed up to only 20 times the specified weekly working time or 20 times the shorter weekly working time in the same calendar year.
Also, the above obstacles will be considered as the performance of work if the employee has worked during a calendar year for at least 12 times the specified weekly working hours or shorter weekly hours.
Holiday Pay – Employees are entitled to wages in an amount equal to average earnings for the period of annual leave. An employee is entitled to receive wages for untaken vacation only in case of termination of employment.
Shortening of Leave – An employer may reduce the leave only for an unexcused missed shift by the number of missed hours. The leave can only be reduced for reasons such as temporary incapacity, quarantine, maternal/parental leave. When reducing the leave an employee whose employment with the same employer lasted for the entire calendar year must be granted leave for at least 2 weeks for the entire year.
Manner of taking annual leave – An employer shall ensure that the employees take the annual leave in the calendar year in which the entitlement arose unless personal obstacles at work take place. An employee can be granted leave in several parts, but at least one part must be of 2 weeks duration in total unless the employer and employee agree on different lengths of leave.
Carry Forward of Leave – An employer and employee may enter into an agreement in cases where an employee has leave that exceeds the statutory minimum of 4 weeks, to be carried forward until the end of the following calendar year.
In case, an employee is not able to use the leave in the relevant calendar year due to personal obstacles at work such as temporary incapacity, maternity leave, parental leave, etc, in such circumstances, the annual leave can be taken after the end of such obstacles at work via an agreement between the employer and employee.
Annual leave coinciding with Public Holiday – If during an employee’s annual leave, a public holiday falls on a day which is otherwise his normal working day, it shall not be included in the leave. However, this does not apply if the employee would otherwise \have to work on the day of the holiday.
If the employer has scheduled compensatory leave for an employee – for overtime work or for work performed on a public holiday in such a way that it falls within the period of annual leave, in such case, the employer shall assign the employee compensatory leave for another day. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 212 – 223.
The current minimum wage is CZK 15,200 per month as of January 1, 2021.
If an employee becomes incapable of work due to sickness or injury, the employer must pay sickness benefits from the first day to the 14th day of work incapacity.
The sickness benefit is equal to 60 per cent of the employee’s average wage. During the first 14 days of an employee’s inability to work, employers are permitted to check that the employee is following a physician’s instructions. If employees violate the prescribed regimen, employers can reduce sick benefits or, in the case of a gross breach, refuse to pay them at all. The government authority pays sick benefits from the 15th day of work incapacity. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, § 192 and Act No. 187/2006 Coll., Sickness Insurance Act. § 23 – 30.
Parental leave must be granted to employees on request. Parental leave can be taken at any time from the end of maternity leave (for mothers) or the date of birth (for fathers) to the extent requested by the employee. It can last at a maximum until the child reaches 3 years of age.
Pay – Employees are entitled to 70% of their average earnings for the period of parental leave. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 196.
Female employees are entitled to 28 weeks of maternity leave (37 weeks for multiple births). A female employee shall go on her maternity leave, at the beginning of the sixth week before the expected childbirth date, but no earlier than the beginning of the eighth week before the expected date of delivery.
If a female employee has taken less than six weeks of maternity leave before the childbirth because the child was born earlier than the expected date of delivery she is entitled to maternity leave as of the day when she started to take it until the expiry of the period of 28 weeks or 37 weeks in case of multiple births. If a female employee has had less than six weeks of maternity leave before delivery of the child for some other reason, she shall be entitled to 22 weeks of maternity leave as of the childbirth, or to 31 weeks if she gives birth to two or more children at the same time. If a child is stillborn, the female employee is entitled to maternity leave of 14 weeks.
Maternity leave shall not be shorter than 14 weeks and it can not be terminated before the expiry of 6 weeks from the date of birth. If a child dies while the employee is on maternity or parental leave or when an employee is on parental leave in such cases, the maternity or parental leave shall be granted for a further period of 2 weeks from the date of the child’s death, until the child reaches the age of 1 year at the latest.
Pay – The payment for the period of maternity leave is made by the Social Sickness Insurance Authority.
An employee is entitled to two 30 minutes breaks for each child up to the end of 1 year of age. Subsequently, in the next 3 months, mothers are entitled to one 30 minutes break. In case, the mother works part-time, but at least half of a week’s working time, she is entitled to only one 30 minutes break, for each child up to the age of 1 year.
This break is in addition to other breaks to which an employee may be entitled. Breastfeeding breaks are included in working hours and are paid in an amount equal to average earnings. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 195,198 and 242.
Fathers are entitled to 7 days of paternity leave on the birth or adoption of a child(under the age of 7 years). The leave shall be taken within 6 weeks of birth or adoption of a child.
Pay – Fathers are entitled to 70% of their average earnings for the period of leave. Act No. 187/2006 Coll., Sickness Insurance Act. § 38.
Employees are entitled to leave from work for caring for a child younger than 10 years of age who is ill or has suffered an injury or for providing care to a sick family member whose state of health due to illness or injury necessarily requires care by another natural person.
Pay – The payment for the duration of leave taken by the employee is made by the Social Sickness Insurance Authority. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 203 an Act No. 187/2006 Coll., Sickness Insurance Act. § 38.
Employees who have taken a child into their care and are in the position of substituting parental care are entitled to maternity and parental leave. A female employee is granted a maternity leave of 22 weeks from the day she takes a child into her care (31 weeks for two or more children), though this leave cannot extend beyond the child’s first birthday. Parental leave is the same as for birth parents.
Pay – The payment for the duration of leave taken by the employee is made by the Social Sickness Insurance Authority. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 197.
Employees are entitled to paid leave to the extent necessary in order to perform military services. Employees shall also be entitled to time off work from the employer which is necessary for the journey to the place of occupation for the period of military training or service in operational deployment and recovery.
If the performance of an employee’s work tasks extends within 24 hours after termination of military exercise or service in operational deployment, in such circumstances also the employees shall be provided the required time off from work. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 204.
Employees are entitled to leave for a period as may be required to perform public functions and other acts in the general interest if such activities cannot be performed outside working hours. An employer is not required to pay wages for the period of leave unless specified by separate legislation or internal regulation. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 200.
An employee who performs a public function may be granted leave of up to 20 working days in a calendar year for the performance of a public function. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 201.
Employees are entitled to leave for reasons related to being personal obstacles at work which can be paid or unpaid depending upon the purpose for which the leave is being taken to the extent as may be specified by the government authority. In cases, where an employee is being sent to another international organization as a national expert, the employee shall be entitled to paid leave to the extent required but no longer than a period of 4 years. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 199.
The performance of civic duties is in particular for witnesses, interpreters, forensic experts and other persons summoned to appear before a court, administrative authority, other state body or body of a territorial self-government unit, in providing first aid, in measures against infectious diseases, in providing personal assistance in fire protection, in the event of natural disasters, or in similar extraordinary cases, and also in cases where a natural person is obliged under legal regulations to provide personal assistance. The duration of the leave is not provided in the legislation. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 202.
An employee who participates in training or study which interferes with the working hours is entitled to paid leave, in order to improve the performance of the work to the extent as may be required. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 205.
Employees are entitled to paid leave for a period of 5 working days in order to participate in training organized by the trade union.
Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 205(c).
An employee is entitled to 24 hours of paid leave for the purpose of donating blood and recovery. In cases, where 24 hours is not sufficient, the required amount of leave with wages shall be provided by the employer for the necessary additional time. The donor of other biological materials are generally provided with 48 hours of paid time off but in case the donor requires more time, then the employer shall provide sufficient paid time off as may be necessary. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 205(d).
Employees are entitled to paid leave in the number of average earnings for a maximum of 1 week in a calendar year (for one employer) and only if it is an event organized by a legal entity registered in the public register of legal and natural persons for at least 5 years and working with children and young people is her main activity. Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 203(h) and 203(a).
- An employee shall be entitled to paid time off from work for attending lectures or teaching for a maximum period of 12 shifts (working days) in a calendar year. The shorter parts of the individual shifts in which leave was granted are added together.
- Employees who are members of Mountain Service and personally assist in a rescue operation in the field shall be entitled to time off work to the extent required.
- Employees working as economic and health representatives, leaders, educators in the children and youth camp shall be entitled to take paid leave to the extent necessary but no more than 3 weeks in a calendar year.
- The activities of a Red Cross volunteer in providing medical supervision at a sporting or social event shall be entitled to time off work to the extent strictly necessary.
- The activities of mediators and arbitrators in collective bargaining shall be entitled to time off work to the extent necessary.
Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code § 205(f) – 205(l).
Last updated on: September 29th, 2021