The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has submitted a long-awaited bill to amend the Labour Code, which is to implement two EU directives in Czech law. Among other things, the new regulation will affect the working conditions of employees working under agreements to complete a job or to perform work. Employers should be on the alert, as the amendment brings major changes.
One of the novelties is the employers’ obligation to schedule the work for their employees working under the agreements, and the obligation to inform them of this schedule in advance, no later than one week before the start of the scheduled period unless another period has been agreed with the employee. This means that the agreements will no longer operate fully on the principle of on-call work.
Another important change is that employees working under the agreements will be entitled to paid vacations. Their amount will be determined in the same way as for employment contracts, i.e., based on the agreed-upon scope of work and the total number of hours worked by the employee. If a maximum scope of work is agreed, the weekly working hours for the purposes of calculating vacation will correspond to this scope. For agreements to complete a job, 10 hours per week will always be considered the weekly working hours for calculating vacation.
Because of the employer's obligation to schedule work for these employees, all provisions on obstacles to work will now also apply to them. This means that the employer will have to provide wage compensation, e.g., for visits to a physician; of course, the employee's obligation to attend to their personal matters as much as possible outside working hours also applies here.
Employees working under the agreements will also be subject to the provisions regulating the minimum time of rest between shifts or extra pay for work on public holidays, at night, on weekends, and in an unfavourable working environment. For agreements to perform work, the amendment reduces the period for which compliance with the maximum permissible scope of work is assessed to 26 weeks. Only a collective agreement may stipulate a longer period that may nonetheless not exceed 52 weeks.
The Labour Code also newly allows concluding certain employment contracts electronically. This applies both to agreements outside employment contracts, and to employment contracts and agreements amending or terminating those relationships. The employee will have the right to withdraw from such concluded contracts / agreements in writing within 7 days, except for agreements on the termination of employment or on the termination of a relationship arising from an agreement on work outside employment.
Since the bill amending the Labour Code has only just entered the legislative process, its final wording may still change significantly. Considering the need to transpose two EU directives for which the deadline has already passed, we expect that all efforts will be made to adopt it as soon as poss
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