With effect from 1st January 2014, the period for which employers are obliged to provide sick pay to employees has decreased from the first 21 days following sickness and returned to the previous first 14 days following sickness This change will reduce the costs to employers incurred by their employees’ sickness absence and also has an impact on other provisions related to sick leave.
Under Czech law, the employee is not entitled to any sickness benefits or sick pay for the first 3 working days of their sick period.
From the 4th working day of sickness until the 14th (previously 21st) calendar day, the employee receives sick pay from the employer for every shift missed due to sickness. The sick pay amounts to 60% of his/her reduced average earnings (the reduction negatively affects high earning employees as there is a cap on the sick pay of CZK 150/hour (approx. EUR 5,50). From now on, after the 15th calendar day of sickness, the employee will receive a sickness benefit from the state for every calendar day of his/her continuing sickness. Previously, the sickness benefit was due just from the 22nd calendar day.
The shortening of the sick pay period also has an impact on the employer's right to check whether the sick employee has correctly followed his/her treatment advice set by a doctor (i.e. in most cases whether he/she should stay at home). However, the employer's right to verify the employee’s sickness absence now only applies to the first 14 calendar days of sickness (compared to 21 days). After that period, the employer is entitled to file a complaint to the Social Security Authorities who then conduct an inspection within 7 days but can no longer verify the sickness absence itself.
In cases of serious breach of the treatment plan during the first 14 calendar days (e.g. the employee goes on holidays abroad instead of recovering at home in line with the doctor’s advice), the employer is entitled to unilaterally terminate the employment by notice. For any breach after the 14 day period the employee may not be dismissed (he/she may however be penalised by the Social Security Authorities).
Finally, during the probation period, the employer may not terminate employment during the first 14 calendar days of an employee's sickness (as opposed to 21 calendar days previously).
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