The labour law in Czech Republic is regulated mainly by Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code, as amended. 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 acts that govern employment relationships are the Collective Bargaining Act, the Employment Act etc.
Hours & Pay Regulations
The length of standard weekly working hours shall be 40 hours per week. As a rule, working hours are distributed over the five-day working week. The length of a shift may not exceed 12 hours.
- Two shift pattern of work means – pattern (schedule) of work organization is which employee rotate in two shifts during a period of 24 consecutive hours.
- A three-shift pattern – pattern (schedule) of work organization in which employees rotate in three successive shifts during a period of 24 consecutive hours.
- A continuous pattern of work is a pattern or schedule of work in which employees rotate in shifts during a 24 consecutive hours period because their employer’s operations are continuous.
- A continuous operation shall mean operation which requires work to be performed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The length of a shift may not exceed 12 hours.
An employee who works two-shift pattern – 38.75 hours weekly. An employee who works three shifts/continuous pattern of shift – 37.5 hours weekly.
When working time is evenly scheduled, the difference between the length of working time in an individual week should not exceed three hours and the length of one shift should not exceed 9 hours. Average weekly working time, without overtime work, in a period of 4 successive weeks may not exceed the limit determined for weekly working time.
In case of the uneven schedule of working time, the length of one shift may not exceed 12 hours. Employees are obliged to be at their workplace at the beginning of their working time and to leave the workplace only after their working has ended. Labour Code, Sec 79-87
Overtime work may be performed only exceptionally. Outside the frame of normal weekly working hours, an employer may order no more than 8 hours of overtime work within an individual week and 150 hours of overtime work within 1 calendar year.
For overtime work, an employee is entitled to his or her salary for work done (attained salary) and to a premium of at least 25% of his or her average earnings, unless the employer and the employee have agreed that instead of the premium for overtime work the employee will take compensatory time off (i.e., time off in lieu of premium pay) 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 mentioned above, in addition to his or her regular salary.
Average weekly overtime may not exceed 8 hours in a period that may not exceed 26 consecutive weeks. It can be increased to 52 consecutive weeks based on CBA. Labour Code Sec 93.
Night work means work performed during night time. Nighttime is the time between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. An employee doing night work is entitled to the wages and a premium in the amount of at least 10% of the average earnings for his work at night.
Working Time at night may not exceed 8 hours in a period of 24 consecutive hours; if this is not possible, the employer is required to schedule weekly work time in such manner that the average length of shift does not exceed 8 hours in a maximum period of 6 consecutive calendar months. This is with regards to 5 days work week. Labour Code Sec 94.
Employees are entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes for lunch and rest after six hours of continuous work. A work break for meal 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.
Daily Rest time may be reduced to up to 8 hours within 24 hours of successive employees, provided that the subsequent rest is extended by the period of reduction of such rest in continuous operations, uneven working hours and overtime.
In such a case of reduction, the employer may only schedule the working hours of employees so that the continuous weekly rest period is at least 24 hours; a continuous weekly rest period of at least 70 hours shall be granted over a period of 2 weeks. Labor Code Sec 88.
Rest of at least 11 hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of the next shift. Labor Code Sec 90.
An employer is required to provide at least 35 consecutive hours of rest between shift. If work permits, a continuous rest of the week shall be determined for all employees on the same day and so that it falls on Sunday.
In the case of technological processes that cannot be interrupted, the employer may only schedule the working hours of employees so that the continuous weekly rest period is at least 24 hours; a continuous weekly rest period of at least 70 hours shall be granted over a period of 2 weeks. Labour Code Sec 92.
Employees working Saturdays/Sundays are entitled to their wages and a premium of at least 10% of average earnings for hours of work on Saturday and/or Sunday. Labor Code Sec 92.
The Czech Republic currently has 12 statutory public holidays, which are not included in the minimum holiday entitlement, including:
- 1 January: New Year’s Day (Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State);
- Easter Monday (floating holiday);
- 1 May: Labour Day;
- 8 May: Liberation Day;
- 5 July: Day of Slavonic Apostles Cyril and Methodius;
- 6 July: Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Jan Hus;
- 28 September: Day of Czech Statehood;
- 28 October: Day of Founding the Independent Czechoslovak State;
- 17 November: Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy;
- 24 December: Christmas Eve;
- 25 December: 1st Christmas Day;
- 26 December: 2nd Christmas Day.
Where an employee performs work on a public holiday, he shall be entitled to his normal wage plus compensatory rest or an additional pay corresponding to the 100 percent of his average earnings. The compensatory time off 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 compensatory time off, the employee is entitled to compensatory wage in the number of his average earnings. Act on National Holidays, No. 245/2000 (as amended); Labor Code, No. 262/2006 (as amended).
Each employee is entitled to a minimum of four weeks’ holiday per the calendar year. The employee is entitled to a proportional part of annual leave for every month of his employment with the same employer and this proportional part equals one-twelfth of annual
leave for every calendar month of employment
The employee who under his continuous employment with the same employer performed work for this employer for at least 60 days in one calendar year is entitled to leave per such calendar year, or to its proportional part in the case that his employment did not last continuously for the entire calendar year. Every day on which the employee worked the major part of his shift is regarded as the day on which work was done; parts of one shift falling on two days are not regarded as two days on which work was done. For the purpose of leave, the time for which an employee did not work due to important personal obstacles shall not be considered as the performance of work.
The employee, whose right to annual leave or its proportional part has not arisen because he has not been employed by one employer for at least 60 days in a calendar year, is entitled to leave for the days on which he carried out work (for one employer) in the length of one-twelfth of annual leave (i.e. leave entitlement per annum) for every 21 days on which he carried out work in the relevant calendar year.
If an employee is granted leave in several parts, at least one part must be at least 2 weeks in total, unless the employee and the employer agree on a different length of the leave taken.
Leave should be availed in the same year in which it is accrued. Where leave cannot be taken in the year in which it has been accrued, the leave can be availed latest by the end of the subsequent calendar year. Employees are entitled to compensation of wages or salary for untaken leave only in the case of termination of employment.
The employee whose working hours are unevenly scheduled is entitled to take days of annual leave as is the number of working days per his time of leave, based on the annual average.
If the employee falls on a holiday during a holiday on a day that is otherwise his / her normal working day, he/she is not included in the holiday. If the employer has determined compensatory time off for overtime work or a public holiday so that it would fall within the period of leave, the employer is obliged to determine compensatory time off for another day.
Calculation of Annual leave
Effective January 1, 2021, 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 of 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.
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 (Effective January 1, 2021) 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 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. Labour Code Sec 212-223.
The current minimum wage is CZK 15,200 per month as of January 1, 2021.
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). It can last at a maximum until the child reaches three years of age. Labor Code, No. 262/2006 (as amended).
Female employees are entitled to 28 weeks’ maternity leave (37 weeks for multiple births). A female employee shall go on her maternity leave, as a rule, at the beginning of the sixth week before the expected childbirth (confinement), but no earlier than the beginning of the eighth week before the expected confinement. If a female employee has taken less than six weeks of maternity leave before the childbirth because the child was born earlier than the date determined by her doctor, she is entitled to her maternity leave as of the day when she started to take it until the expiry of the period as stated. If a female employee has had less than six weeks of maternity leave before her confinement 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. Labor Code, No. 262/2006 (as amended). Labor Code, No. 262/2006 (as amended).
Czech law does not contain any specific right to paternity leave. Fathers are entitled to take parental leave from the date of birth of the child. In some cases, they are entitled to receive maternity benefits, if they care for the child and those benefits are not paid to the mother. Fathers are also entitled to an optional leave of 10 consecutive or non-consecutive working days, at the same time that the mother is taking her initial parental leave. Labor Code, No. 262/2006 (as amended).
An employee can be absent from work for caring for a child younger than ten years of age and for providing care to a sick family member. Further, if an employee caring for a child under 15 years of age, or another dependent person, requests shorter working hours or some other reasonable adjustment to the weekly working hours, the employer must comply with the request, unless serious operational reasons prevent it from doing so. Labor Code, No. 262/2006 (as amended).
The right to maternity or parental leave and related payments applies to female or male employees if these employees have taken a child into their care and are in the position of substituting parental care (including adoption, child custody, and guardianship). A female employee is granted 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 birthparents.
Employees are entitled to leave during their military training. The leave is paid by the military. Because military service is not compulsory in the Czech Republic, this provision only applies to persons who volunteer for the military training, and its practical impact is marginal.
When an employee is elected to public office, the employer is required to permit the employee to assume public office and grant him or her unpaid leave not exceeding 20 days per year.
Governmental Decree No. 590/2006 Coll. sets out a list of events for which an employee must be granted time off. These include medical examinations, weddings and the birth of a child, as well as deaths and funerals within the immediate family. In addition, employers must grant their employees leave for the performance of work at a public office and other duties of public interest if employees cannot perform these activities outside working hours.
If an employee becomes incapable of work due to sickness or injury, the employer must pay sickness benefits from the fourth to the 14th day of work incapacity (employees are not entitled to benefits for the first three days). The sickness benefit is equal to 60 percent 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 worker 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 pays sick benefits from the 15th day of work incapacity.
Last updated on: January 8th, 2021