Planned changes in labour law

In the coming weeks, a major amendment to the Labour Code is to be adopted, which is expected to be effective from 1 January 2024. Although it is still possible that the introduced legislation will change, it is most likely to be only partial details. The main purpose of this amendment is to transpose two EU directives. In other words, the state is obliged to incorporate the legislation contained in the directives into the Czech legal system. 


Work agreements outside employment relationships


The most extensive changes concern work agreements  outside the employment relationship, which are the agreement to perform work (DPČ) and the agreement to complete a job (DPP). Probably the biggest change is the right of an employee working on the basis of DPČ or DPP to a holiday. In the case of DPČs and DPPs, the weekly working time for holiday purposes should be set at 20 hours, with the employee being entitled to 1.5 hours of holiday for every 20 hours worked. As in the case of an employment relationship, it will be possible to provide compensation if the employee is unable to take the leave. 


Another planned change is the obligation of the employer to draw up a working time schedule for employees working on DPČ or DPP and to inform them of this schedule at least three days in advance, unless they agree on a shorter period of familiarisation. The Explanatory Memorandum further states that the employer should not be obliged to schedule an employee's working time for a longer period of time. It is therefore sufficient if the employer schedules in advance, within a statutory or agreed period, for example, one or more shifts for which the employer knows in advance that the employee will be required to work for a certain period of time.


The amendment also introduces the so-called transition to an employment relationship, whereby an employee working under DPČ or DPP may request in writing to the employer a transition to employment under an employment relationship if he or she has worked for the employer under one of the agreements for at least 180 days in the previous 12 months. The employer should then be obliged to provide the employee with a written reply within one month, stating the reasons of his decisions. Therefore, the employer does not necessarily have to comply with this request. 


The last important novelties in the case of DPČs and PDDs should be the provision of additional payments, e.g. for night work, weekend work, etc. and the abolition of the legal regulation that limited the right to use all obstacles to work by an employee working on a DPČ or DPP.


telework (home office) 


Another significant change in employment law is the emergence of home office legislation, defined as teleworking. The performance of telework should only be possible on the basis of a written agreement between the employee and the employer, while the law does not stipulate any mandatory elements of this agreement. However, it is reasonable to assume that any agreement should include at least the place of work, the method of communication, the scheduling of working hours, the volume of work and the method of assigning work. 


The notice period of the agreement should be 15 days, although it is possible for the employee and the employer to agree on a different notice period. The amended law also provides for the possibility for the employer to order telework in certain cases, if a measure of a public authority provides so, for a necessary period of time, if the nature of the work to be performed allows it and on condition that the place of telework is suitable for the performance of the work. 


In the event of a request by an employee to telework, employers should be obliged to provide written reasons why their request has not been granted in the case of pregnant employees, employees caring for a child under the age of 9 or dependent persons.


Electronic contracting and service of documents 


The amendment should also allow bilateral documents relating to the establishment, change or termination of an employment relationship (e.g. employment contract, DPČ, DPP, amendments, termination agreement) to be concluded and delivered electronically. However, such service can only be made to an electronic address of the employee that is not in the employer's possession (typically a private e-mail). Employees should have the right to withdraw from such documents within 7 days of delivery, provided that they have not yet started work. 


In the case of unilateral documents relating to the termination of the employment relationship (e.g. notice of termination, immediate termination, termination during the probationary period), as well as wage or salary statements, the priority remains to deliver these documents by hand. The employer should only be able to serve documents electronically if the employee has given his consent in a separate written declaration in which he has provided an electronic address for service which is not at the employer's disposal. The employer is also obliged to inform the employee of the conditions for electronic service before giving consent. 


All said documents from the employer should be mandatorily signed with a recognised electronic signature. The document itself should then be delivered on the date the employee acknowledges receiving it (typically by replying to an email). If the employee fails to do so, the so-called "fiction of delivery" will apply. Thus, the document will be deemed to have been duly delivered after the expiry of the 15-day period from the date of delivery. Similar rules apply to employees, except that the employee is not required to sign the message with a recognised electronic signature.