Changes impacting employment law in the Czech Republic in 2020
In June 2020, the long-awaited amendment to the Labour Code was approved. The amendment is to take effect on 30 July 2020, with the exemption of certain matters, especially the new calculation of annual leave entitlement and the concept of the shared workplace, which will take effect on 1 January 2021.
Below we summarize main changes of the amendment important from the HR perspective.
New holiday calculation
This amendment introduces a new system of holiday calculation and will require new set up of internal HR systems. The most significant change is that holiday entitlement will be calculated for the weekly worked hours, not for the days worked, as it is now aiming to make the rules more transparent especially when it comes to part-time workers or employees changing their working hours pattern in the course of the calendar year. The amendment further defines the possibility of carrying forward any holiday provided by the employer above the statutory minimum holiday entitlement of 4 weeks (i.e. 5th and possibly other weeks) to the following calendar year if the employee requests so – currently such transfers are not encouraged and in principle should take place only under limited circumstances.
Another completely new initiative is a shared workplace, which brings the possibility of concluding a written agreement on a shared workplace with 2 or more employees with the same type of work. Employees in this shared workplace will then schedule their working hours for themselves, i.e. will decide without the employer’s intervention – who will work when. It remains to be seen how this new institute will be used as practically it does not bring so much advantage also under consideration that the maximum weekly working hours for all the sharing employees must not exceed 40 hours per week. However, the Czech government announced that there may be incentives for creation of such shared workplace, whose conditions are not known yet, which may motivate the employers to introduce the concept. This initiative was introduced by the Government as a way of incorporating more flexible hours for employees.
New rules for Transfer of Undertaking
The amendment introduces new regulation of Transfer of Undertaking (TUPE). The current legal regulation is very broad and for TUPE to apply requires a mere transfer of activity or its part without requiring the transfer of economic entity retaining its identity consisting of various factors (assets, people, know-how etc.). The new regulation aims to make the regulation more aligned to the Acquired Rights Directive and related case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and thus strengthens the conditions for TUPE to apply. In our opinion the new regulation will have significant impact on outsourcing or service providers and their clients as it will not continue to apply in many situations of service provision change in which it applied until now.
Delivery of important employment law documents
The amendment simplifies the delivery of the important labour law documents to employees (such as dismissal documents). As the main advantage we consider the possibility to omit mandatory attempt for personal delivery, which under current regulation must be taken before sending the document by post (e.g. when dismissing an employee for an unexcused absence, it will be possible to send a notice immediately by post without having to chase the employee in person).
Posting of employees
Similarly as in other EU countries the amendment also includes an adjustment transposing the amendment to the Posting of Workers Directive (96/71/EC). From the amendment,there is a distinction between two categories of posting employees in terms of the length of posting and an extension and deepening of the range of minimum conditions that apply to posted workers. Additional reporting duties will apply when it comes to long-term postings.
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