Employers should take note of a new public holiday, a recent ruling on sick leave and proposed legislation affecting employment law in the Czech Republic.
What has happened
A new public holiday
From March 2016, Good Friday has been declared a public holiday. This means that both Easter Monday and Good Friday are now public holidays.
Employee assistance during sick leave
In a recent ruling the Supreme Court addressed a situation where an employee received notice of termination for breaching sick leave requirements. She did not have her name on the post box or doorbell where she was residing, so her employer was unable to check on her and deemed this to be a breach of the sick leave regime under the Labour Code.
The Supreme Court found that this was not a breach of the sick leave regime and did not constitute a sufficient reason to serve notice of termination.
The sick leave regime under the Labour Code requires employees to remain in their designated place of residence (as detailed in their contract) during any temporary period of incapacity but does not refer to any express duty to assist their employer should the employer wish to physically check on them during the period away (for example, by marking the doorbell with their name).
Employment law changes to watch out for
Sickness benefits to be paid from day 1
The Chamber of Deputies (the Czech Republic Parliament’s lower chamber) is discussing an amendment to the Labour Code which proposes a reintroduction of sickness benefits for employees during the first three days of their sick leave. Currently employers pay this compensation from the fourth to fourteenth day only in order to restrict employees from taking short-term sick leave. However, this has led to employees attending work while ill and is to be reconsidered.
Compensation for carrying out salary deductions
Another proposed amendment is introducing compensation for employers who deduct payments from their employees’ salaries for court ordered debts. This suggested compensation may form an initial payment of CZK 250 per relevant employee, and subsequent payments of CZK 50 per employee for each month of deduction from the employees’ salaries (depending on the total debt).
New conditions for employment agencies
An amendment to the Act on Employment aims to establish stringent conditions that must be met by temporary employment agencies in order to obtain an agency license.
These would include an obligatory deposit of CZK 500,000 (payable to the government and refundable once the agency terminates its business) as well as new administration offences such as:
- Breaching certain listed duties (set out in the Labour Code),
- Situations where hiring companies (workforce users) wrongfully inform agency employees about working conditions or remuneration conditions (such conditions must be comparable with permanent employees in a similar role and must be granted to employees assigned by an employment agency),
- Breaching employees' privacy through the use of hidden or open surveillance (typically CCTV system or email communication monitoring).
The maximum fine for these administrative offences for either party (hiring company or employment agency) will be CZK 1 million.
We will keep you updated on any developments of the proposed legislation.
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