Changes in labour law
Labour law, what exactly is changing?
On 4 April 2020, an amendment to the Labour Code was adopted as the Act No. 66/2020 Coll. This
applies to the emergency situation, state of emergency and state of crisis and for a period of two
months after their withdrawal. Given that an emergency situation has been declared in relation to
the measures to prevent the spread of a new type of Corona virus, the new arrangements naturally
relate to the situation currently we are in.
What has actually changed during the above stated period?
- a. In the event that such a situation is based on the prevention and spread of infectious diseases or
measures during period of endangerment of public health, the employer shall be entitled to order
home work (if the agreed type of work permits this) and the employee has the right (if the agreed
type of work permits this) and is not justified by operational reasons not allowing such performance.
The difference from the existing regulation: It is normally not possible to order work from home by
an employer, it is necessary to agree or obtain the consent of the employer in cases initiated by the
- b. The employer is obliged to notify the employee of the working time schedule at least two days in
advance (unless agreed to a shorter period), valid for at least one week.
The difference from the existing regulation: The employer is normally obliged to announce the working time schedule at least one week in advance.
- c. The employer is obliged to notify the employee at least seven days in advance to take annual leave and at least two days in advance if the leave is from the previous year. This period may be shortened with the consent of the employee.
The difference from the existing regulation: Under normal circumstances, the employer is obliged to notify the employee at least 14 days in advance (unless an agreement is reached) before ordering the leave and no distinction is made to how many days in advance the leave has to be announced by an employer to take the leave, whether the leave is for the actual year or from the previous years.
- d. The employer shall excuse the absence of an employee at work even during his / her important personal impediment to work, which is a quarantine measure or isolation; for this time, the employee shall not be entitled to wage compensation, unless a special regulation provides otherwise. An employee who has an important personal impediment to work due to quarantine measures, isolation, personal and day-to-day treatment of a sick family member under a special regulation or personal and full-time care for a natural person under a special regulation temporarily incapable of work. An employee returning to work after the isolation, personal and full-time treatment of a sick member of the family under a special regulation or personal and full-time care for a natural person under a special regulation is deemed to be temporarily incapable of work for the purposes of dismissal prohibition.
The difference from the existing regulation: Some details regarding quarantine and isolation and taking care of family members are specified. In particular, there is a stronger protection of employees against dismissal.
- e. If an employee is unable to perform the work in whole or in part because the activities of the employer were stopped or restricted on the basis of a decision of the competent authority or the activities of the employer were stopped or restricted as a result of emergency situations, or state of emergency, or state of crisis, it is an obstacle on the part of the employer, in which case the employee is entitled to receive an employee’s wage compensation equal to 80% of his/her average earnings, but at least equal to the minimum wage; individual agreements with employees’ representatives are not affected by this provision. This does not apply to employees of entities of economic mobilization, in which labour was imposed obligation.
The difference from the existing regulation: A written agreement with employee representatives is normally required for such a possibility, but it is then possible to reduce the reimbursement up to 60%, provided that such an arrangement is made by an agreement with the employees´ representatives.
Additionally, the changes have occurred in other areas related to labour law, including alterations and extension of the support period of unemployment, the group of persons that qualify for nursing contributions and as well as in the field of health and safety at work in which some rules were relaxed, particularly for transfers, arrival and deployment of new technologies and the extension or resting, several law given deadlines, including deadlines for the implementation of maintenance, of course, in ensuring safety.
The Labour Code has already been amended in relation to the current situation by the Act No. 63/2020 Coll., which refines important personal obstacles to work in the context of personal and all-day care for sick family member, personal and daily care of a natural person, a period during which the person who otherwise cares for a child under eleven (after the most recent adjustment) years of age.