28 Jan 2021

Updates to the Czech Labour code, which took effect on 1 January 2021, have resulted in new rules for calculating annual leave and provided the new legal concept of a “shared workplace”.

By Sabina Krajíčková, Wolf Theiss

Annual leave calculation

On 1 January 2021, a major update to the Czech Labour Code came into effect. The update deals primarily with annual leave entitlement, bringing in new rules on how leave will be calculated.

Annual leave will now be calculated based on the hours, rather than days, worked. As a result, employees will no longer be at a disadvantage if they work irregular or part-time hours. The changes to the calculation will also apply when leave entitlement is statutorily reduced due to impediments to work on the employee’s side.

The four-week annual leave entitlement remains unchanged, despite discussions around increasing this entitlement to five weeks to better reflect current trends and employees’ needs. Another important change is the possibility of carrying over any leave entitlement agreed above the statutory minimum to the following year, at the employee’s request.

Shared workplace

The update to the Labour Code also introduced the entirely new legal concept of the “shared workplace”. This came into effect on 1 January 2021. Employers can agree to a single job position being shared by two or more employees, each working shorter working hours and performing the same type of work. Specific rules include:

  • The employer must enter into a written shared workplace agreement with each employee concerned.
  • The employees will themselves then distribute their working hours based on the statutory weekly working hours. The statutory working hours can be satisfied across a consecutive four-week period.
  • The employees must submit the agreed weekly working schedule to the employer one week in advance. If they fail to do so, the employer will choose how to distribute their working hours.
  • The employer must be notified of any changes in the schedule at least two days beforehand, unless another notification period is agreed.
  • Unless agreed otherwise, the employer cannot ask for the other employee to substitute for the employee scheduled to be working when he/she cannot work due to unforeseen impediments to work on their side.
  • Shared workplace agreements can be terminated with 15 days’ notice by any party for any reason whatsoever. However, this does not mean that the employment of the participating employees will be terminated. Once the shared workplace agreement has been terminated, they will continue working shorter hours under their original employment agreement.

Comment

Employers should take note of these recent changes, and in particular given then new legal concept of a “shared workplace”, they should begin to consider how any shared workplace requests may be handled, considered and practically implemented.

© 2021 Wolf Theiss

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