Saturday, November 1, 2008

Czech Republic

Changes in labor law 

By Eva Adamcova
Peterka & Partners

The basic legislation governing employment relationships in the Czech Republic is the Labor Code and the Employment Act. Some areas related to employment relationships are governed by individual Acts, such as Act No. 187/2006 Coll., on Sickness Insurance, which comes into force on 1 January 2009.

Under this Act, sickness insurance will now be administered exclusively by sickness insurance authorities (and no longer by employers). Also, legislation governing employee accident insurance should come into force on 1 January 2010. Under the current system, an employer must be insured against liability for damage caused as a result of workrelated accidents and occupational diseases. New legislation will transfer employee accident insurance to the social security system. Preparations are also underway for an antidiscrimination law which should be passed and come into force by the end of 2008.

Currently, an amendment to the Employment Act is being prepared. It will introduce green cards and tighten conditions relating to agency employment and conditions for the provision of welfare and unemployment benefits. Pursuant to the draft amendment, the green card will replace both residence permits and working visas. Foreigners will be entitled to apply only for jobs rejected by job seekers from the Czech Republic or EU within 30 days of the vacancy being advertised. Compared to current regulations, the draft amendment assumes the participation of the Interior Ministry in the process of awarding permits for employment mediation. Without the approval of the Ministry, it will not be possible to issue permits to employment agencies. The amendment will also increase the penalties imposed on agencies.