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Fundamental Amendment to the Labour Code

The long-awaited amendment to the Labour Code[1], introducing significant changes in the area of leave regulation, delivery of documents between the employer and his employees, new institute of job sharing, came into partial effect on 30th July 2020. It is mostly the less important changes which became effective as of this date, while provisions constituting more significant interventions to the current regulation will take effect on 1st January 2021. The overview of the fundamental changes is summarized below. We have already informed you of the amendment to the Labour Code here and here.

Transfer of rights and obligations from labour relations

The transfer of rights and obligations from employment relations occurs during the transfer of employer’s activities and tasks (or part thereof) to another employer. According to the new regulation effective from 30th July 2020, the employee has to be informed of the planned transfer of rights and obligations from employment relations within a newly established period of 30 days prior to the effectiveness of such transfer. Following the employer’s notification, the employees are granted with a period of fifteen days within which the employees are entitled to terminate their employment. Under such circumstances, the employment ends no later than on the day preceding the effective date of the transfer of rights and obligations from employment relations.

There is also a specific regulation for cases where the employee is not informed about the transfer at all or if the notification is not provided within the newly set period of 30 days. In such case, if the notice on termination of employment is given before the effective date of transfer, the employment shall again end on the date preceding the effective date of the transfer. Further, if the employee was not sufficiently informed of the transfer and gave their notice on termination within two months as of the effective date of the transfer of rights and obligations, the employment will terminate upon the expiration of a fifteen-day notice period.

Service of documents

Another important change is the adjustment of service of documents between the employer and his employees. According to the previous wording of the Labour Code, the employer could have delivered documents to the employee in person at the workplace, in his apartment or possibly wherever employee could have been reached or through an electronic communication network services, and firstly after all of these methods were not successful, the employer could have proceeded with a postal service provider.

As a result of changes to the Amendment, the employers shall further deliver the documents to their employees primarily in person at the workplace. However, in the event that such delivery is not possible, either of the other methods mentioned above can be used, newly at the choice of the employer. In other words, the delivery by a postal service provider is no longer conditioned by previous unsuccessful attempts to service the documents by alternative methods. A newly approved delivery method is the delivery via data box (however provided that the documents cannot be delivered to the employee at the workplace).

Remember that it can only be delivered to the employee via data box, provided there is a prior written consent of the respective employee. In such a case, the documents are considered as delivered even if the employee does not log in to the data box within ten days since the documents have been delivered to the data box.

According to the Amendment, the fiction of delivery shall also apply for the delivery of documents by the employee to the employer. If the employer refuses to accept a document, or in any way makes it impossible for the employee to deliver the same at the workplace, such document shall be deemed delivered on the day on which the employee attempted to deliver it.

Delivery to the employer’s data box shall only be possible only with the employer’s consent and such delivery is determined by fiction as of the day of delivery of such document to the employer’s data box.

Annual leave regulation from 1. 1. 2020

The first of the major changes, which will become effective on 1st January 2021, is the adjustment of annual leave, which will newly be based on the weekly working time set in hours. Compared to the current regulation based on days worked the new regulation is intended to ensure equal conditions based on weekly working hours. The adopted changes will require revision of existing employment contracts, relevant internal regulations containing leave arrangements or appropriate setting of the accounting systems. We will bring you more information on the new leave regulation in a separate article.

Sum compensation for the surviving dependents

From the beginning of 2021, the issue of sum compensation for surviving dependants will also be newly regulated. Under the current regulation, the sum compensation in the amount of at least CZK 240,000 falls to the entitled persons upon the death of an employee caused by an accident at the workplace. Since in the vast majority of cases, the employers have paid precisely this amount of money, which sometimes seemed to be insufficient, the Amendment to the Labour Code introduces a new calculation of sum compensation.

Starting from 2021, the compensation should be calculated from the average wage in the national economy determined for the first three quarters of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the surviving dependent’s right to sum compensation arised. This amount of average wage will be announced by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs by a notice published in the Collection of Laws. The amount of such compensation should be newly at least twenty times of the average wage. Therefore, if we calculate sum compensation in 2020 according to the average wage found for the first three quarters of 2019 (which was CZK 33,429), the compensation for surviving dependant’s would amount to at least CZK 668,580, which is more than a 100 % increase as compared to the current regulation.

Job sharing (shared workplace)

Finally, the new and awaited institute of job sharing will come into effect starting from the new year. Employers will be allowed to instruct employees with shorter weekly working hours and with the same type of work to agree among themselves on a work schedule so that each one of them covers the average weekly working time within up to the maximum of four weeks compensation period. The employees will then be obliged to submit a work schedule at least one week before the beginning of the period in question, and further to notify of any changes to this schedule at least two days in advance. In case that the employees do not fill the amount of the stated weekly working hours, the work schedule shall be determined by the employer.

The job sharing agreement will require a written form, which must also be necessary for its termination.

[1] Act No. 262/2006, Labour Code

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