Overview

Divided into two sections, this article provides an overview of recent developments covering, both regular and key changes to look out for in the Czech Labour and Social Security Laws.

Contents

Key developments

Discount on social insurance for part-time employees

With effect from 1 February 2023, according to Act No. 216/2022, which amends the Act on social insurance premiums and contributions to state employment policy, the employer can claim a discount on social insurance premiums for one calendar month for an employee in an employment or service relation who:

  • is over 55 years of age;
  • cares for a child under ten years of age of whom they are the parent or who is in foster or similar care;
  • cares for a close person under the age of ten who is dependent on the assistance of another person;
  • is at the same time preparing for a future profession by studying;
  • in the 12 calendar months preceding the calendar month for which the premium reduction is claimed, they entered retraining as a jobseeker pursuant to the Employment Act;
  • is a person with a disability as referred to the Employment Act; or
  • is under 21 years of age.

The condition is that those listed above have an employment contract with shorter working or service hours than the specified weekly working or service hours, with a minimum of eight and a maximum of 30 hours per week (except for employees under 21). The discount is 5% of the aggregate of the assessment base of the employees to whom the discount is applied. The discount must be notified in advance and claimed on the prescribed form and can only be claimed up to the due date of the premium for the calendar month for which the rebate is due.

Increase in compensation for loss of earning following incapacity to work as a result of an occupational accident or disease

Effective from 1 January 2023, the Compensation Adjustment Regulation increased the compensation available for loss of earnings following incapacity to work or disability due to an occupational injury or illness. There was a 5.1% increase for both injured employees and survivors' compensation if the deceased was the employee. The adjustment applies to compensation for loss of earnings and compensation for survivors' maintenance costs, which were due by 31 December 2022.

Change in workplace hygiene rules

Government Regulation No. 303/2022, which amends Regulation No. 361/2007 which lays down occupational health conditions, revises the minimum temperature requirements in the workplace in view of the war in Ukraine. This follows from a restriction/interruption in the supply of natural gas. In view of the uncertainty as to whether the energy crisis could be exacerbated, the Regulation sets the minimum temperature for non-conditioned workplaces for work classes I and IIa and lowers the minimum temperature for all types of conditioned workplaces where air conditioning is used for heating. For work class I and a clothing thermal resistance of 1.0 duty, the minimum temperature is reduced from 22°C to 18°C. For work class II and a clothing thermal resistance of 1.0 duty, the minimum temperature is reduced from 20°C to 16°C. The temperature in changing rooms has been reduced from 20°C to 18°C, in washrooms from 22°C to 19°C, in showers from 25°C to 19°C and in toilets from 18°C to 15°C.

Decree no. 304/2022, which amends Government Decree No. 6/2003, is changing established hygienic limits of chemical, physical and biological indicators for the indoor environment of rooms of certain buildings. The amount of air to be exhausted (air-vented) per hour is 30 m3 per washbasin, 35-110 m3 per shower and 50 m3 per toilet if it is a bowl and 25 m3 if it is a urinal.

The changes are effective from 12 October 2022.

Government regulation on amendments to the regulation of labour migration

A government regulation effective from 1 November 2022 changes labour migration. The regulation empowers the government to set quotas for economic migration from third countries. The government sets a maximum number of applications for a visa to stay over 90 days for business purposes, applications for a long-term residence permit for investment purposes and applications for an employment card that can be submitted within one year in the territorial district of the relevant embassy.

Paternity leave protection

Act no. 358/2022 amends the Act on the Provision of Benefits to Persons with Disabilities, the Act on State Social Support, the Act on Sickness Insurance and other labour and social security regulations.

This amendment changes the area of the Labour Code and the Sickness Insurance Act. With effect from 1 December 2022, the rights related to paternity after childbirth care are significantly extended. Fathers who, until 1 December 2022, received paternity post-natal care benefits under the Sickness Insurance Act are entitled to parental leave in connection with such benefits. However, they are entitled only if the child was born alive. However, now, they are entitled to paternity leave for the period during which they received the benefit under the Sickness Insurance Act, even if the child was stillborn or died in the six weeks after birth.

At the same time, paternity leave now has the same protection against immediate termination of employment by the employer as maternity leave. Failure to provide paternity leave will also be sanctioned by the Labour Inspectorate in the same way as failure to provide maternity leave, which is with a fine of up to CZK500,000 (EUR21,024).

The amendment adds quarantine as a ground for prohibiting termination under the Labour Code. The quarantine order now leads to interruption of leave as well as sick leave. The provision is effective from 1 December 2022.

The amendment also introduces an increase in the mobility allowance, an increase in the special assistance allowance and some other minor changes in relation to funeral allowances and professional soldiers.

Cancellation of periodic medical examinations

In the second half of December, the Ministry of Health introduced an amendment to Decree No. 79/2013, on occupational health services and certain types of post-accident care. With effect from 1 January 2023, periodic occupational health examinations for non-hazardous occupations are voluntary. Employers will no longer be obliged to provide such examinations if the occupation is non-hazardous. The provision and performance of periodic occupational health examinations remains compulsory only for occupations that are classified under the Act no. 258/200, on the Protection of Public Health, as a risk category, fall into occupational risks, or involve risk factors that preclude or limit ability to perform the work. The Decree does not affect the initial occupational health examination in any way, but the Ministry of Health envisages an amendment to the act defining them to achieve a comparable result to the Decree. The aim is to free up doctors' time and save employers money and unnecessary paperwork.

Changes to the list of occupational diseases and increase in compensation for pain

With effect from 1 January 2023, the Regulations extend the list of occupational diseases to include chronic diseases of the lumbar spine caused by prolonged overexertion due to heavy physical work and the diagnosis of which results in temporary incapacity for work for at least 12 months in the last three years.

The government has decided to increase compensation for work-related injuries. The point assessment for pain and impairment of social work was increased from CZK250 (EUR10.50) to CZK393 (EUR16.50). The value of the point will be variable and will be set at 1% of the average wage in the national economy as established for the first to third quarter of the calendar year preceding the year in which the obligation to assess pain and impairment of social work arose.

Regular changes

Increase in the minimum wage

From 1 January 2023, the minimum wage in the Czech Republic has increased to CZK17,300 (EUR720) per month or CZK103.80 (EUR4) per hour. The minimum guaranteed salary has also increased to reflect the increase in the minimum wage.

The increase in the minimum wage also affects income tax and social security allowances.

Travel allowances

With effect from 1 January 2023, a decree regulating the foreign meal allowance rates for 2023 was published in the Collection of Laws under no. 401/2022. The foreign meal allowance rates for 2023 were increased, for example, to EUR45 for Poland or EUR60 for Sweden and Denmark. In total, changes have been made for 25 countries.

Domestic travel allowances were affected by Decree no. 467/2022 which increased the rate of the allowance for the use of a private car to CZK5.20 (EUR0.22) per km. The amount of the domestic meal allowance is, as of 1 January 2023:

  • CZK129 to CZK153 (EUR5.4 to EUR6.4) if the working trip lasts between five and 12 hours
  • CZK196 to CZK236 (EUR8.25 to EUR9.93) if the business trip lasts between 12 and 18 hours
  • CZK307 to CZK367 (EUR12.9 to EUR15.4) if the working trip lasts 18 hours or more

Fuel prices for the purpose of calculating the compensation for fuel consumed from 1 January 2023 are:

  • CZK41.20/l BA 95 (EUR1.4)
  • CZK45.20/l BA 98 (EUR1.9)
  • CZK44.10 /l NM (EUR1.86)
  • CZK6/kwh electricity (EUR0.25)

Reduction thresholds for adjustment of daily assessment base for sickness insurance

The reduction thresholds for 2023 are:

  • CZK1,345 (EUR56.45)
  • CZK2,017 (EUR84.65)
  • CZK4,033 (EUR169.25)

Reduction factors are important in calculating various social security allowances such as sickness allowance, maternity allowance, and speed of using the parental allowance.

Increase in the amount applicable to employees' participation in sickness insurance

From 1 January 2023, based on a statutory regulation, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has set the limit of the decisive amount for participation in sickness insurance at CZK4,000 (EUR167.87).