In many cases the regulation leaves sufficient space for negotiation between the employer and employee. The experience of most foreign investors in the region thus confirms what probably holds true for most parts of the world: that the actual relationship between the employer and employees depends far more on a good HR policy and informal negotiations and relations between both sides rather than on a strict enforcement of all legal prescriptions which are usually used as a last resort when things go the wrong way.
There is usually a work contract concluded in the Czech Republic, when work is organised with a worker. It can be a contract either for a definite time period or for indefinite time, but it can be also a short-term contract or long-term contract, or a contract related to seasonal works.
Employment contracts are customary in the Czech Republic, whether for an employment relationship for a definite or indefinite period, temporary work or seasonal employment.
Employment contract should contain:
• date of work commencement,
• the agreed kind of job,
• the place of work,
• the length of the working hours (employment period),
• the length of a holiday,
• wage and the form of payment.
When signing a contract the employee should make sure that he/she fully understands the requirements and conditions of the employment agreed. He should find who (him or his employer) will pay expenses for travelling to work and accommodation expenses and he should study the contents of an agreed work position in detail. We recommend to employees verifying if the employer has been paying health and social insurance costs on his or her behalf.
Under normal circumstances, the contract will agree a trial period of 3 months, unless it specifically states a shorter period. Czech law does not permit the agreement of a trial period longer than 3 months. During the trial period, both the employer and the employee may terminate he employment relationship for any reason or without giving a reason. However, during the trial period the employer may not terminate the employment relationship within the first 14 days of the employee’s temporary incapacity for work (or quarantine).
If the employee experiences any problems during his employment he should first contact his superior and after that union bodies. If he feels that his employer is in some manner failing to abide by the Labour Code he can contact the local employment office with a complaint. Employment offices in the Czech Republic have the power to penalise unlawful behaviour.
In the Czech Republic the employment period of 40 hours a week usually comprises five eight-hour working days. Lunch breaks are not included in the employment period. Generally, working hours are different in state institutions and in private enterprises.
Larger companies in the Czech Republic have collective bargaining agreements which can regulate certain employment conditions, e.g. the employment period, overtime pay, compensatory free time, a variety contributions for holidays and pension. They also set up company nursery schools, agree better safety conditions etc.
The basic holiday allocation in the Czech Republic is four weeks a year. The collective bargaining agreement may stipulate a longer holiday allowance. An employee who under his continuous employment with the same employer performed work for this employer for at least 60 days in one calendar day is entitled to leave per such calendar year, or to its proportional part in the case that his employment did not last continuously for the entire calendar year.
Work on a statutory holiday depends on whether the work of the respective organisation or company must be guaranteed. In the event of work on a statutory holiday, an employee is entitled to a surcharge as specified by law.
For further information go to Labour Code at: http://www.mpsv.cz/files/clanky/3221/labour_code.pdf
http://portal.mpsv.cz/eures/prace_v_cr/zp_vytah - Living and working conditions in the Czech Republic, EURES – European Employment Services
http://www.mpsv.cz/files/clanky/3221/labour_code.pdf - Zákon č. 262/2006 Sb., Labour Code