News - Czech Republic

Czech Republic - March 2014

Sickness Benefits for Employees

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.

Commentary

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).

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Mr Daniel Vejsada and/or Ms Tereza Erényi on +420 221 430 111 at PRK Partners, Prague - www.prkpartners.com.

Disclaimer

Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article. For further legal information click here.

Circular 230 disclosure

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this article (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Copying

If you would like to copy or otherwise reproduce this article then you may do so provided that: (1) any such copy or reproduction is for your own personal use or if it is made available to any third party it is done so on a free of charge basis; and (2) the article is reproduced in full together with the contact details, disclaimer and any logos as they appear on each article.