Czech Republic: 2023, Looking ahead
Novelties in Czech employment law for 2023
In 2023, Looking ahead, we explore the most important trends and developments related to labour and employment law in Czech Republic.
Due to the number of upcoming changes in the field of employment law and HR in the Czech Republic in 2023, we only present below a selection of major novelties.
As of 1 December 2022, new legislation on paternity leave has been in force, adding a new impediment on the part of the employee to the Labour Code, namely paternity leave (until now, only the benefit granted was provided for and the corresponding impediment to work was absent in the Labour Code). This leave pertains to the employee for the duration of granting the paternity postnatal care benefit under the Sickness Insurance Act, and the employee may therefore be entitled to paternity leave of two weeks. Paternity leave has also been equated with maternity leave, and the employee is thus in a protection period during that impediment, with corresponding limitations, e.g., regarding employment termination.
As of 1 December 2022, there has also been full digitalisation in the field of ordered quarantine, where employers will no longer be obliged to accept the form “Confirmation of Ordered Quarantine” and submit it to the relevant District Social Security Administration. The procedure for claiming the benefit should be similar to that for temporary incapacity for work.
As every year, also as of 1 January this year the minimum wage has been increased by CZK 1,100, from CZK 16,200 to CZK 17,300 per month. In “hourly” terms, the increase is CZK 7.40, i.e., from CZK 96.40 to CZK 103.80 per hour. There has also been an increase in the lowest level of guaranteed wages for certain groups of work and adjustments to the amounts of meal allowances, whether domestic or foreign.
Another change effective from 1 January concerns occupational medical services and has been long awaited by employers. Periodic occupational medical examinations of selected employees (especially those performing work in non-risk categories) are performed only in cases where they are required by the employer or the employee.
Then, from 1 February 2023, a law introducing a discount on insurance premiums for vulnerable groups of employees will come into force. This is a discount applicable to employees with shorter working time who meet one of the statutory conditions (e.g., a person over 55 years of age, a person caring for a child under 10 years of age, a person with a disability, a student) and at the same the condition that would exclude the application of the discount under the law is not met. The discount will represent social security contributions for employers that will be up to a fifth lower.
Further, changes to the Czech Labour Code are expected in 2023. Below we briefly summarise the most important areas of a possible amendment (the form of which, however, may still change):
Homeoffice – homeoffice should only be possible on the basis of a homeoffice agreement and employers and employees will have new rights and obligations related to homeoffice.
Delivery of important documents – delivery of some of statutory documents (e.g., when concluding an employment contract) should be possible in electronic form, under conditions modified by the amendment.
In addition, an Act on Protection of Whistleblowers is expected to be adopted in 2023. The long-awaited Act brings about protection for whistleblowers and also makes it mandatory for employers to implement an internal system for receiving and handling reports on breaches. In addition to this internal reporting channel (through the person designated by the employer), the Act also introduces an external channel that will process reports through the Department of Justice.
A change for 2023 is also being prepared for employers employing foreigners with temporary protection. In respect of these foreigners, employers will also be obliged to notify of the date of commencement of employment if the employment relationship has not established participation in sickness insurance.