Basic Information on Foreigners’ Employment in the CR
Are you a foreigner and do you need help translating and explaining your employment contract or would you like to have it checked before signing? Seek free legal counselling offered by integration centres and NGOs.
- Employment Contract
- Working Time
- Probationary Period
- Job Loss and Change
- Registration at the Labour Office
- What am I Entitled to as an Employee?
- Employees’ Health and Social Insurance
- Agreements outside Employment
I have found a job and I want to draw up an employment contract.
Employment contracts always have to be drawn up in a written form! If you and your employer sign an employment contract, employment is established. Always ask your employer to provide you with your own copy of the employment contract and never sign a contract which you do not understand! Be sure to keep all documentation!
What does a contract have to include?
The employment contract has to include: 1) the type of work – what you will do for your employer, 2) the place of work and 3) the day you start working. If any of these essential elements are missing, the contract is invalid and does not constitute employment. This rule applies to Czech citizens as well as foreign nationals.
It is in your own interest that the contract also includes the following information:
- working time – from when until when you will work,
- your pay and the pay day,
- probationary period (if any),
- how you will be compensated for overtime,
- the number of days of your annual leave,
- conditions under which you may be sent on business trips etc.
Fixed-Term/Indefinite Term Contract
Another piece of information given in contracts is for how long they are valid. If such information is missing, the contract is considered to be valid for an indefinite period of time. The employer may give you a fixed-term contract only three times in a row (always for a maximum of three years), after that you have to get an indefinite term contract (with the exception of seasonal workers).
A full time job in the CR equates to 40 hours a week. You may also agree with your employer on working part-time, which means the wage is reduced accordingly.
The beginning and end of working time and the schedule of individual shifts is determined by the employer. The employer is obliged to draw up a written weekly working time schedule and, as a rule, to provide it to the employees two weeks in advance.
If the employees rotate every 12 hours within a 24-hour period, it is called a two-shift work system. If they rotate every 8 hours within a 24-hour period, it is called a three-shift work system.
The length of one shift may not exceed 12 hours (for minor workers, the limit is 8 hours).
An employment contract usually states a gross wage, which is the wage before the income tax and health and social insurance deductions. In 2021, the minimum gross wage for a full-time job is 15, 200 CZK. The specific wage level including deductions is stated on your payslip. According to law, you must not be paid less than the minimum wage. Wages are usually paid once a month. You are always paid retrospectively for the preceding month.
In the employment contract, you and your employer may (but do not have to) agree on a probationary period. During the probationary period you can decide whether you are satisfied with your new job. It cannot last for more than 3 months (6 months for managers). If you are not satisfied with your job, you may terminate your employment any time during the probationary period. However, the employer may also terminate your employment any time during the probationary period without giving any reasons.
During the probationary period you may receive an initial pay, which will be increased once the probationary period is over.
Job Loss and Change in the CR
When can I be dismissed by the employer?
If your employer wants to dismiss you, they can do so only under very narrowly defined circumstances. For example, you may be given notice if your job position becomes redundant, if you fail to meet qualification requirements for your job or if you repeatedly violate your working conditions and have already been notified about it twice in writing (e.g. for repeatedly showing up late to work). Your employment may be terminated immediately only if you grossly violate working practices (e.g. you come to work drunk). Your employment may also be terminated by the expiration or by the withdrawal of your residence permit.
If you are laid off through no fault of your own (e.g. due to reorganization), you are entitled to severance pay.
Work practices and routines in the Czech Republic may significantly differ from those in your country of origin. Arriving for work on time is crucial for maintaining a good relationship with your employer and not coming on time may affect your employer’s will to employ you. No consumption of alcohol is generally allowed at work. Ask your employer or your new colleagues about further workplace rules and customs.
How can I as a foreigner in the CR quit my job?
If you want to leave your job, you do not need to have a special reason to do so. All you need to do is to write an agreement of termination of employment, in which you agree with your employer on your final day of employment. If your employer does not agree to your leaving your job, you can terminate your employment by giving notice. If you decide to give notice, there is a 2-month notice period before you can actually leave your job.
Changing Jobs and Foreigners’ Responsibilities towards the Ministry of the Interior of the CR
If you are a foreign national and the Employee Card holder and you want to change your employer, you must report the change to the Ministry of the Interior of the CR (Department for Asylum and Migration Policy) Report the change by filling in a specific form (all boxes of the form need to be filled in) and producing required documents (document certifying the existence of the previous employment and the date of termination of the employment, new employment contract, and declaration of the employer that you as their future employee have the required job qualification). You can start working at the new job only after the ministry approves the change.
The notification must be submitted no later than 30 days before the change takes place. It must be submitted in course of the current employment that is planned to be changed. If the original employment has already been terminated, the notification must be submitted no later than 60 days from the day of its termination. The Ministry is obliged to deliver you and your employer a notification stating whether they approve the change or not without undue delay (at the latest within 30 days). In this situation, the Ministry does not make a decision on the approval; they just inform you whether your notification met all requirements and whether you may therefore work at the new job. If the Ministry does not approve the job change, your notification is considered to have never been submitted. This means that you may not start working with the new employer. In this case, seek free legal counselling immediately as this situation might result in losing your foreigner’s residence permit and having to leave the CR.
There are two conditions you must meet to be able to start working at the new position: 1) The date of the commencement of the job stated in the form has come, and, at the same time, 2) you or your employer have been informed by the Ministry of their approval with the job change.
Foreigners with free access to the labour market do not report the change of jobs, they only inform the Ministry about the job change (using a different form and not relying on the Ministry’s approval) within 3 days from the actual change.
Foreigners who are Blue Card holders who want to change jobs during the first 2 years after being granted the Blue Card need to ask for approval of the change of their employer or job position and to do so within 3 days from the actual change.
Registration at the Labour Office
If you are unemployed or if you lose your job and you meet the statutory conditions, you may register at the Labour Office which provides unemployment benefits and retraining courses and acts as an intermediary with job offers.
You have to register at a specific labour office based on your place of residence!
More information can be found on the website of the Labour Office.
What am I Entitled to as an Employee?
For overtime work, work at night, during weekends and on bank holidays you are entitled to bonus pay from your employer. Alternatively, you can take compensatory leave.
According to law, as an employee you are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave during which you are paid your contractual wage (after having worked for 60 days).
You can also agree with your employer to part-time work. Your wage will then correspond to the number of hours you work.
If you cannot go to work due to illness, your doctor will give you a confirmation of incapacity to work. You are entitled to sick leave benefits, which means that you are paid a part of your wages for the duration of your incapacity to work.
Employers are obliged to allow women to go on maternity leave, which lasts for 28 weeks.
If your children fall ill, you can stay at home with them and take care of them.
Employees’ Health and Social Insurance
The employer is obliged to pay health and social insurance for you. A part of it is deducted as a percentage from your wage, another part is paid directly by the employer. All employees, Czech citizens as well as foreigners, take part in public health insurance.
Agreements outside Employment
Apart from full-time employment, which is established through an employment contract, Czech citizens as well as foreigners can also work part-time based on the following agreements.
Agreement to complete a job (a widely used Czech abbreviation is DPP)
If you arrange to work through DPP, you may work for up to 300 hours per year for one employer. If your monthly income from DPP work exceeds 10,000 CZK, apart from income tax you also have to pay health and social insurance.
Agreement to perform work (a widely used Czech abbreviation is DPČ)
With DPČ, there is also a limit on the scope of work permitted– the maximum you may work is a half of a full working week (that is 20 hours) for one employer. Payment of health and social insurance is done the same way as in the case of full-time employment.