We covered labour law changes effective 1 January 2012 in a special labour law edition of Legal Update (January 2012).

An amended Labour Code reintroducing the chaining of employment contracts for certain groups of employees under specific conditions is due to be approved by the upper chamber of Parliament.

The amendment will, at variance with the general prohibition in the provision of § 39(2) of the Labour Code, provide for the repeated (more than twice) execution of a fixed-term employment contract with an employee, where serious operational reasons or reasons arising from the nature of the work exist (typically, seasonal work in agriculture or construction). A condition will be the execution of an agreement with a trade union that details the respective reasons and rules for negotiating fixed-term employment contracts, the type of employees to whom this procedure will apply and the period for which the agreement with the union is negotiated. Where no union exists, the above-described agreement may be replaced by an internal employer regulation.

The change is designed to render the labour market more flexible and increase corporate competitiveness. We expect the amendment to enter into force in H2 2013.