Living and working in Czechia

05 Rugpjūtis 2021

Data source: Eurostat

Eurofound provides research, data and analysis on a wide range of social and work-related topics. This information is largely comparative, but also offers country-specific information for each of the 28 EU Member States, which included the UK prior to its withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020. Most information is available in English but some has been translated to facilitate access at national level.

Eurofound strives to strengthen the ongoing link between its own work and national policy debates and priorities related to quality of life and work. Increasingly important in this context are the EU’s policy priorities for a European Green Deal, a digital future, an economy that works for people, promoting and strengthening European democracy. To help repair the economic and social damage caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU leaders have also agreed on a recovery plan that will lead the way out of the crisis and lay the foundations for a modern and more sustainable Europe. The EU’s long-term budget, coupled with NextGenerationEU, the temporary instrument designed to boost the recovery, will be the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget to help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe. 

The European Semester provides a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU. It allows Member States to discuss their economic and budget plans and monitor progress at specific times throughout the year. For 2021, the European Semester will be temporarily adapted to coordinate it with the Recovery and Resilience Facility to address the impact of the crisis caused by the pandemic. As part of this, Member States are encouraged to submit national reform programmes and recovery and resilience plans in a single integrated document. These plans will provide an overview of the reforms and investments that Member States will undertake in line with the objectives of the Facility.

2015 Eurofound EWCS survey results in Czechia: 86% of people think their safety is not at risk because of their work

Living and working in Czechia and COVID-19

COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on people’s lives across the globe, with major implications for quality of life and work. Eurofound has taken a multipronged response to the pandemic, adapting its research focus in a variety of ways. A new database of national-level policy responses, COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, collates information on measures taken by government and social partners, as well as company practices, aiming to cushion the effects of the crisis. Eurofound's unique e-survey, Living, working and COVID-19, provides an insight into the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives across the EU, with the aim of helping policymakers to bring about an equal recovery from the crisis. Two rounds of the survey in April and July allow for comparisons between a lockdown situation in most Member States and the gradual reopening of society and economies. The survey investigates the impact on quality of life and society, working and teleworking, the financial situation and security of people, and the quality of public services during COVID-19. Findings for each country and a range of data pages are now available.

Explore our data pages by country to find out more on the situation in Czechia.

 

The country page gives access to Eurofound's most recent survey data and news, directly related to Czechia:

Research carried out prior to 31 January 2020, and published subsequently, may include data relating to the 28 EU Member States. Following this date, research only takes into account the 27 EU Member States (EU28 minus the UK), unless specified otherwise.

Survey results

Ability to choose or change
methods of work

Data source: 2015 EWCS survey

Possibility to accumulate overtime
for days off

Data source: 2013 ECS survey

Recent developments

Eurofound contacts in Czechia

Correspondents in Czechia

Correspondents report on topics related to developments in the country's working life and inform Eurofound’s pan-European comparative analysis. Read more

Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (VUPSV)

Eurofound Management Board members from Czechia

Eurofound's Management Board is made up of representatives of the social partners and national governments of all Member States, European Commission representatives and an independent expert appointed by the European Parliament. Read more

Vlastimil Vana Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Vladimíra Drbalová​ Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR)

Lucie Studničná Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS)

Related content

Other country-specific information may be available in certain areas on demand. Please feel free to contact your country contact at Eurofound for this or any other information at information@eurofound.europa.eu

Living in Czechia

Quality of life

Quality of life

The share of respondents in Czechia reporting difficulties in making ends meet has decreased from 52% in 2011 to 40% in 2016. This is around the EU28 average of 39% in 2016.

The share of respondents who ‘feel free to decide how to live their lives’ has decreased from 29% in 2011 to 22% in 2016. This share is below the EU28 average of 26%.

Many of the other indicators about quality of life in Czechia are close to the EU28 average and have remained fairly stable in recent years.

  2003200720112016
Life satisfactionMean (1-10)6.66.66.46.5
Taking all things together on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy would you say you are?Mean (1-10)7.37.57.16.8
Optimism about own futureAgree & strongly agree---60%
Optimism about children’s or grandchildren’s futureAgree & strongly agree---52%
Take part in sports or physical exerciseAt least once a week--39%39%
In general, how is your health?Very good-21%23%24%
WHO-5 mental wellbeing indexMean (1-100)-626263
Making ends meetWith some difficulty, difficulty, and great difficulty49%49%52%40%
I feel I am free to decide how to live my lifeStrongly agree--29%22%
I find it difficult to deal with important problems that come up in my lifeAgree & strongly agree---28%
When things go wrong in my life, it generally takes me a long time to get back to normalAgree & strongly agree---25%

Work-life balance

Work-life balance

Work-life balance related problems are more common in Czechia in comparison to the EU28 average. Breakdowns by gender reveal that men experience work-life balance problems slightly more often than women: 56% of men in Czechia report that they have difficulties to fulfil family responsibilities because of work at least several times a month, compared to 51% of women. Overall, work-life balance related problems have increased in Czechia in recent years, following the visible trend in the EU28.

  2003200720112016
(At least several times a month)   

I have come home from work too tired to do some of the household jobs which need to be done

Total58%58%60%67%
Men62%60%61%68%
Women54%55%59%66%
      

It has been difficult for me to fulfil my family responsibilities because of the amount of time I spend on the job

Total30%39%39%53%
Men36%43%41%56%
Women22%33%38%51%
      

I have found it difficult to concentrate at work because of my family responsibilities

Total8%10%21%30%
Men7%8%20%32%
Women9%11%23%27%

Quality of society

Quality of society

Perceived tensions between poor and rich people have decreased in Czechia from 48% of respondents reporting a lot of tension in 2011 to 35% in 2016. This is still above the EU28 average of 29% but significantly lower than other countries, for example Hungary at 59%. Perceived tensions between different racial and ethnic groups have also decreased. In 2011, 68% of respondents reported a lot of this kind of tension, falling to 54% in 2016. Despite the decrease, Czechia ranks high among the EU28 in relation to this type of tension, following very close behind the highest ranking country Italy at 55%.

In 2016, 17% of respondents in Czechia felt safe when walking alone after dark, being the lowest ranking country among the EU28 and far from the EU28 average of 35%.

  2003200720112016
Social exclusion indexMean (1-5)-2.22.52.3
Trust in peopleMean (1-10)4.84.54.04.3
Involvement in unpaid voluntary work% "at least once a month"--10%6%
Tension between poor and rich people% reporting 'a lot of tension'43%40%48%35%
Tension between different racial and ethnic groups% reporting 'a lot of tension'55%53%68%54%
I feel safe when I walk alone after darkStrongly agree- -17%

Quality of public services

Quality of public services

Quality ratings for seven public services

Note: scale of 1-10, Source: EQLS 2016.

The perceived quality of public services in Czechia is very close to the EU28 average in 2016. Additionally, many of the indicators have improved from 2003: for instance, the perceived quality of health services increased from 5.8 in 2003 to 6.8 in 2016 (on a scale of 1–10). Other public services where the quality rating has increased include the education system and public transport. The ratings for the rest of the public services measured (childcare and long-term care services, social housing and the state pension system) have remained fairly stable in recent years.

  2003200720112016
Health servicesMean (1-10)5.86.46.56.8
Education systemMean (1-10)6.07.26.66.8
Public transportMean (1-10)5.46.46.16.7
Childcare servicesMean (1-10)-7.16.67.0
Long-term care servicesMean (1-10)--6.06.1
Social housingMean (1-10)--5.05.3
State pension systemMean (1-10)4.84.34.24.6

Working life in Czechia

About

  • Autorius: Aleš Kroupa, Renata Kyzlinkova, Stepanka Lehmann, Petr Pojer and Sona Veverkova
  • Institution: Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA)
  • Published on: Ketvirtadienis, Rugpjūtis 5, 2021

This profile describes the key characteristics of working life in the Czech Republic. It aims to complement other EurWORK research by providing the relevant background information on the structures, institutions and relevant regulations regarding working life. This includes indicators, data and regulatory systems on the following aspects: actors and institutions, collective and individual employment relations, health and well-being, pay, working time, skills and training, and equality and non-discrimination at work. The profiles are updated annually.

 

Highlights – Working life in 2020

Highlights – Working life in 2020

Author: Štěpánka Lehmann and Soňa Veverková
Institution: Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA)
Highlights updated on: 15 March 2021
Working paper: Czechia: Working life in the COVID-19 pandemic 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected working life in Czechia. To tackle the pandemic, the Czech government adopted strict containment measures. These had a negative impact on the economy but were mitigated by the generous support provided to employers, employees and self-employed people, with the aim of maintaining employment levels, income levels and liquidity. These measures helped to keep unemployment levels low in 2020. Because of the current government’s positive approach to social dialogue, the social partners played an active role in finding solutions at the tripartite level.

However, the outlook for the next period is uncertain. Given the ongoing third wave of the pandemic and the related lockdown measures, it is likely that the crisis will continue to affect working life in Czechia for a large part of 2021. A further rise in unemployment, a slowing down of wage growth and a deterioration in working conditions for a considerable number of employees should all be expected. Given that collective agreements are mostly concluded for the period of a calendar year, the impact of the pandemic will be fully reflected only in collective agreements for 2021. A number of trade unions have already experienced a deterioration in the conditions for collective bargaining in companies during 2020 and, in the worst-hit sectors, it may be problematic to conclude any collective agreements. In terms of content, the focus of collective bargaining will shift from raising wages to maintaining employment.

The social partners expect that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be mitigated by the enactment of a new short-time working scheme (Kurzarbeit) and its introduction into the Employment Act. This measure, which should provide a long-term tool to bridge crisis periods, has been discussed since the beginning of the pandemic; however, because of disagreements in the coalition government over the measure, agreement on its legislative form was not concluded in 2020. Employer and trade union representatives have jointly called on the Chamber of Deputies to approve the measure as soon as possible. Short-time working should then replace the temporary measures that are currently in place.

The crisis has shown that companies that invest in digitisation and automation are best equipped to cope with unpredictable events. This should help companies to focus their efforts in the coming period. The pandemic has accelerated the process of digitisation and automation, which has been relatively slow in Czechia. Another labour market challenge that employers will face in 2021 is the ongoing lack of a sufficiently qualified workforce, which has been exacerbated by the outflow of foreign workers.

It is clear that the longer the COVID-19 pandemic lasts, the more fundamental and lasting the changes in the labour market will be.

Key figures

Key figures

Comparative figures on working life in Czechia

 

2019

2020

% (point) change 2012–2019

% (point) change 2019–2020

 

Czechia

EU27

Czechia

EU27

Czechia

EU27

Czechia

EU27

GDP per capita

18,330

27,970

17,250

26,230

20.8%

11.5%

-5.9%

-6.2%

Unemployment rate – total

2

6.7

2.6

7.1

-5.0

-4.1

0.6

0.4

Unemployment rate – women

2.4

7

3

7.3

-5.8

-4.0

0.6

0.3

Unemployment rate – men

1.7

6.4

2.2

6.8

-4.3

-4.3

0.5

0.4

Unemployment rate – youth

5.6

15

8

16.8

-13.9

-8.7

2.4

1.8

Employment rate – total

76.7

73.4

76.4

72.9

5.1

2.4

-0.3

-0.5

Employment rate – women

69.8

67.9

69.2

67.5

6.3

3.0

-0.6

-0.4

Employment rate – men

83.4

79

83.3

78.3

3.9

1.8

-0.1

-0.7

Employment rate – youth

29.7

39.4

27.3

37.9

-1.6

-0.4

-2.4

-1.5

Source: Eurostat: Eurostat – Real GDP per capita (chain linked volumes [2010], in EUR) and percentage change 2012-2020 (both based on sdg_08_10). Unemployment rate by sex and age – annual average, (15–74 years, % active population) and youth (15–24 years) % [une_rt_a]; Employment rate by sex and age – annual average, (15–64 years, unit % total population, employment indicator active population) % [lfsi_emp_a].

Background

Background

Economic and labour market context

After strong growth in 2017, the Czech Republic’s economy continued to increase in 2018 and 2019, although the GDP growth was lower than in 2017 – in 2018, year-on-year GDP growth was 2.9% and in 2019 it was 2.4%. Compared to 2019, real GDP decreased by 6.2% in 2020. The rate of unemployment was low in 2018 (3.2%) and in 2019 it further decreased (2 %). In 2020, it increased by 0.6 pp., the change was most significant for youth. In this age group, unemployment rate increased by 2.4 pp.

Looking at gender, in 2019 male unemployment of 1.7%, was lower than female unemployment, of 2.4%. The Czech economy continued to face a shortage of available labour. In reaction to the Czech labour market situation, new scheme Qualified Employee Program for workers from Ukraine, India, Mongolia, the Philippines, Montenegro, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Serbia) and the Highly Qualified Employee Program and Program Key and Scientific Staff were realised in 2019.

More information on:

Legal context

Fundamental legislation regarding labour relations can be found in Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, Act No. 435/2004 Coll., on Employment (as amended) and in Act No. 2/1991 Coll., on collective bargaining (as amended). The Labour Code regulates the way of origination, duration and termination of employment, working discipline, working conditions, working hours, breaks at work, overtime work, night work, sick leave, etc. It also regulates wages and reimbursement of wages, occupational health and safety, employee care, female and young workers' working conditions, labour disputes, compensation for damage, etc. The Labour Code is closely linked to the Act No. 309/2006 Coll., Stipulating further requirements for health and safety at work, which regulates requirements concerning occupational health and safety in labour law relations. The last extensive amendment, harmonising labour rules with EU law, was implemented in 2000 and further in 2006.

Act No. 435/2004 Coll., on Employment regulates the provision of the state’s employment policy, the goal of which is to attain full employment, to protect against unemployment, to ensure fair treatment and prohibit discrimination against persons asserting their right to employment and the activities performed by labour offices and their powers.

Act No. 89/2012 Coll., Civil Code does not contain direct regulations on employment relationships (which are to be found in Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code); however, it covers all matters not covered by the Labour Code. Previously, the Civil Code was applied to labour law only where the Labour Code explicitly referred to it.

Industrial relations context

There is no comprehensive legal regulation in Czechia on trade unions, employer organisations and collective bargaining; these legal relations are provided for in several laws:

  • Act No 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code, which forms the legal basis for negotiating collective agreements at enterprise and higher level;
  • Act No. 435/2004 Coll., on Employment;
  • Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining, which has been substantially amended as of 1 January 2007 in connection with the adoption of the new labour code and which continues to regulate the collective bargaining process at company and higher (sectoral) levels, the issue of settlement of collective disputes and extension of HLCAs.

The Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining regulates the collective negotiations between the respective trade unions organisations and employers, the participation of the state, as the case may be, the purpose of which is the conclusion of a collective agreement. It regulates the terms of the collective agreement, the procedure of concluding collective agreements, collective disputes, a strike within a dispute related to the conclusion of a collective agreement, lockouts, etc.

Actors and institutions

Actors and institutions

Trade unions, employers’ organisations and public institutions play a key role in the governance of the employment relationship, working conditions and industrial relations structures. They are interlocking parts in a multilevel system of governance that includes the European, national, sectoral, regional (provincial or local) and company levels. This section looks into the main actors and institutions and their role in the Czech Republic.

Public authorities involved in regulating working life

Regulation of working conditions and industrial relations falls within the authority of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, MoLSA ( Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí, MPSV). The primary role of MoLSA in the area of industrial relations and working conditions is to set up a legal framework for both individual and collective employment relations and to control its application. MoLSA also cooperates with the tripartite body Council for Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic (Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody České republiky, RHSD ČR).

The enforcement of employee’s rights is ensured in particular by the National Labour Inspectorate (Státní úřad inspekce práce, SÚIP), MoLSA’s subordinate body, its eight district labour inspectorates, and locally competent courts. There are no special labour courts in Czechia; labour legislation including labour disputes falls within the authority of general courts. SÚIP and the district labour inspectorates supervise compliance with labour law by employers and employees, in particular in such matters as health and safety at work, working conditions, employment agencies, illegal employment of both Czech citizens and foreigners, bogus self-employment etc. They also promote health and safety and provide counselling in relevant areas. SÚIP can fine employers and employees for detected offences.

Inspection of safety at work, technical devices, compliance with sanitary and counter-epidemiological regulations is also provided by specialised supervisory bodies, such as the Technical Inspection of the Czech Republic (Technická inspekce České republiky, TR ČR), the State Mining Administration (Český báňský úřad, ČBÚ) and regional public health authorities.

MoLSA and its subordinate body, the Labour Office of the Czech Republic ( Úřad práce ČR, ÚP ČR) exert authority over the national employment policy. The ÚP ČR acts as an intermediary in the labour market, provides counselling, applies measures of active employment policy, pays unemployment benefits, and operates the register of jobseekers, foreign workers and free positions.

Representativeness

Social partners’ representativeness at the central level is addressed only in terms of membership in the Council for Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic ( Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody České republiky, RHSD ČR). The condition for participation of social partners in RHSD ČR is their representativeness, as indicated by the number of workers employed by their members. Criteria are set in the statute of RHSD ČR.

Employers’ organisations must have associate companies with 400,000 employees. The members of RHSD ČR are:

  • Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (Svaz průmyslu a dopravy České republiky, SP ČR)
  • Confederation of Employer and Entrepreneur Associations of the Czech Republic ( Konfederace zaměstnavatelských a podnikatelských svazů České republiky , KZPS ČR)

Trade unions are required to have 150,000 members in order to be recognised. Members of RHSD ČR are:

  • Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions ( Českomoravská konfederace odborových svazů, ČMKOS)
  • Association of Autonomous Trade Unions of the Czech Republic ( Asociace samostatných odborů, ASO)

More information on representativeness of the main social partner organisations can be found in Eurofound’s representativeness study of the cross-industry social partners or in Eurofound’s sectoral representativeness studies.

Trade unions

About trade union representation

Basic legal provisions of social dialogue for trade unions (and employers) are embedded in Act No. 23/1991 Coll., Charter of fundamental rights and freedoms, which is part and parcel of the constitutional order of the Czech Republic, providing in Art. 27 for coalition freedom, the right to associate and unionise.

The establishment and existence of trade union organisations and associations is provided by Act No. 89/2012 Coll., Civil Code, which regulates trade unions and employers’ association in sub-section 2 on societies/associations (Articles 214–302) and in Articles 3025 and 3046.

There is no comprehensive legal regulation in Czechia on trade unions, employer organisations and collective bargaining; these legal relations are provided for in several laws, namely in Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code and further in Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining.

An employee is free to join a trade union or not to join as he/she chooses. Consequently it is unfair to dismiss any employee either because he is or because he is not a member of a trade union. Trade union membership is voluntary; one can resign his/her membership any time. Trade union bodies are entitled to take part in labour law relations, including collective bargaining under the conditions stipulated by law. From this law are excluded members of the armed forces only.

Trade union membership and trade union density

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

 

Trade union density in terms of active employees

11.9%*

11.9%*

11.6*

11.5*

11.2*

2010–2012 OECD/Visser 2013–2016. *National source (RILSA Prague – author’s own calculations based on the data of trade unions

Trade union density in terms of active employees

11.9%

11.9%

11.7%

11.4%

n.a.

OECD/AIAS ICTWSS Database 2021

Trade union membership in 1000s

500.0*

510.5*

506.6*

506.0*

495.7*

2010–2012 OECD/Visser 2013-2016. * National source (RILSA Prague – author’s own calculations based on the data of trade unions

Trade union membership in 1000s

496

507

504

500

n.a.

OECD/AIAS ICTWSS Database 2021

Source: 2010–2012 OECD/Visser 2013–2016. *National source (RILSA Prague – author’s own calculations based on the data of trade unions). Other data about trade union membership and union density are from the three largest trade union confederations, ČMKOS, ASO, KUK, and from 29 independent unions (own calculation).

Main trade union confederations and federations

Long name

Abbreviation

Members 2019

Involved in collective bargaining?

Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions

ČMKOS

287,360

(as of 30 October 2019)

Yes

Association of Autonomous Trade Unions of the Czech Republic

ASO

75,300

(as of 31 December 2019)

Yes

Confederation of art and culture

KUK

29,122 (as of 31 December 2019)

Yes

There are three main trade union confederations in Czechia: ČMKOS, ASO, KUK. These confederations represent circa 79 % of trade union members in Czechia.

Main trade union confederations and federations

Some of the largest trade union federations in Czechia are members of ČMKOS. As of October, 2019, these are:

  • Czech Metalworkers’ Federation KOVO (Odborový svaz KOVO, OS KOVO), which according to trade union data had 97,178 members (Note: this total number of members includes member-pensioners too);
  • Trade Union of Health and Social Care of the Czech Republic ( Odborový svaz zdravotnictví a sociální péče České republiky, OSZSP ČR) with 25,552 members;
  • Czech-Moravian Trade Union of Workers in Education ( Českomoravský odborový svaz pracovníků školství, ČMOS PŠ) with 16,870 members;
  • Trade Union on State Bodies and Organisations ( Odborový svaz státních orgánů a organizací, OSSOO) with 19,822 members;
  • Trade Union ECHO (Odborový svaz ECHO) – brings together employees from the energy and chemical industries, with 19,082 members.

At the end of 2019, the largest trade union confederation ČMKOS had 31 member unions (new TUAssociation of Translators and Interpreters ( OS Jednota tlumočníků a překladatelů) joined ČMKOS during 2019).

The third largest trade union confederation in terms of members and importance is the Confederation of art and culture ( Konfederace umění a kultury, KUK), which used to be a member of the RHSD ČR till 2000. In December 2019, according to its own data, KUK comprised 13 trade unions in Czechia with 31,500 members and one in Slovakia.

Representativeness or, more precisely, the membership of the two biggest union confederations showed during last five years an increase in 2015–2019 of 2.1% in the ČMKOS and decrease of 5.9% in case of the ASO.

There is a certain degree of coordination between the ČMKOS and the ASO. This involves an exchange of opinions and consultation on joint steps, especially with respect to preparation of the plenary session of the RHSD ČR (Council for Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic). Otherwise both confederations are autonomous and their cooperation cannot be described as very intensive.

Employers’ organisations

About employers’ representation

Employers´ interests in national-level social dialogue in Czechia are represented by two largest employer confederations, SP ČR and KZPS ČR, which are part of the tripartite bodies. Both social partners hold talks on a tripartite platform within RSHD ČR, when the Plenary Session of the RHSD ČR – the highest tripartite body – consists of the Czech Prime Minister, seven government members, seven trade unionists and seven employer representatives.

Membership in the above employer´s organisations is voluntary, and members are required to pay membership fees. Employer´s associations assert their interests within the business branch generally and represent employers in the context of RHSD ČR. Employer’s associations comment on draft legislation, are involved in consultation or representation at collective bargaining, influence economic and social policy via joining of expert teams, take part in trade delegations accompanying the highest government representatives at state and official visits abroad and are active as members in working groups within international organisations.

The Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic ( Hospodářská komora ČR, HK ČR) tries to play a similar role and in many respects it speaks out in favour of the protection of interests of employers and the business sector in general. However, it is not an association of employers within the meaning of the above-mentioned international documents and is not party to the national social dialogue. The Czech Chamber of Commerce consists of nearly 16,000 members (legal and physical entities) in the form of 60 regional and 127 sectoral associations.

Employers’ organisations – membership and density

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Source

Employers organisation density in terms of active employees

63%*

61%*

61%*

60%*

60%

*own calculation based on data from SP ČR, KZPS ČR and SO ČR

Employers’ organisation density in terms of active employees

58.2%

56.3%

56.3%

55.5%

n.a.

OECD/AIAS ICTWSS Database 2021

Employers’ organisation density in private sector establishments*

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

6%

European Company Survey (ECS) 2019

Source: national data for 2012–2019: data from three largest employers´ associations: SP ČR, KZPS ČR and SO ČR and from Eurofound’s Czech Republic: Industrial relations profile (2012).

*Percentage of employees working in an establishment which is a member of any employer organisation that is involved in collective bargaining.

Main employers’ organisations

  • Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic ( Svaz průmyslu a dopravy České republiky, SP ČR)
  • Confederation of Employer and Entrepreneur Associations of the Czech Republic ( Konfederace zaměstnavatelských a podnikatelských svazů ČR, KZPS ČR)

Long name

Abbreviation

Members

2019

Involved in collective bargaining?

Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic

SP ČR

Represents 11,000 members with 1,300,000 employees

2019

yes

Confederation of Employer and Entrepreneur Associations of the Czech Republic

KZPS ČR

Represents 22,000 members with 1,300,000 employees

2019

yes

Source of national data for 2019: data from three greatest employer´s associations: SP ČR and KZPS ČR and SO ČR (data obtained from secretariat of SO ČR).

Tripartite and bipartite bodies and concertation

The tripartite forum at national level, the Council of Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic ( Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody České republiky, RHSD ČR) is the country’s main social dialogue institution. The task of the RHSD ČR is a strictly consultative function. The aim of the tripartite organisation is to reach agreement via mutually respected forms of dialogue in fundamental areas of economic and social development. Above all, it seeks to maintain social consensus as a prerequisite for positive development of the economy as well as citizens’ standard of living.

The top negotiating body of the tripartite organisation is the Plenary Meeting, where the government delegation is represented by eight members, employer organisations by seven representatives – namely from the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic ( Svaz průmyslu a dopravy České republiky, SP ČR) and the Confederation of Employer and Entrepreneur Associations of the Czech Republic ( Konfederace zaměstnavatelských a podnikatelských svazů České republiky , KZPS ČR) – and union confederations by seven members – namely from the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions ( Českomoravská konfederace odborových svazů, ČMKOS) and Association of Autonomous Trade Unions of the Czech Republic ( Asociace samostatných odborů, ASO). The criteria for participation are set out in the RHSD ČR Statute.

In a European perspective, Czechia is one of the countries in which tripartite concentration covers a wide array of activities. The areas on which the RHSD ČR may comment are defined by its own statute: economic policy, labour relations, collective bargaining and employment, social issues, public service wages and salaries, public administration, safety at work, employment of foreign workers, development of human resources and education, and Czechia’s position within the EU.

There are also 13 regional tripartite bodies which deal with similar areas to those dealt by the national body. The issues they deal with are defined by their statutes.

There is no bipartite body in Czechia.

Name

Type

Level

Issues covered

Council of Economic and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic ( Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody České republiky , RHSD ČR)

Tripartite

National

Economic policy, labour relations, collective bargaining and employment, social issues, public service wages and salaries, public administration, safety at work, development of human resources and education.

Regional Councils of Economic and Social Agreement ( krajské Rady hospodářské a sociální dohody)

Tripartite

Regional

Similar to those above, defined by the statute of each regional tripartite (13)

Workplace-level employee representation

Employee representatives – that is, trade unions, works councils, and safety at work and health protection stewards – are required by law to keep employees in all workplaces informed about their activities, and about the content and conclusions of all information and negotiations with the employers. Employee representatives must neither profit from, nor be discriminated against because of their membership of the works council.

Trade unions play by far the most significant role in employee representation not only in terms of competency, but also because of their existence in the workplace, and function in social dialogue, particularly collective bargaining. Only trade unions can represent employees in labour relations, in collective bargaining while concluding collective agreements, and in tripartite negotiations in the RHSD ČR.

Employees may be represented by a works council, which has no legal subjectivity and which can act only as a mediator between employers and employees to ease the flow of information and consultation within a company (this form is very rare in practice). The term of office for a member of a works council, or for a safety at work and health protection steward, is up to three years.

Regulation, composition and competences of the bodies

 

Regulation

Composition

Competences of the body

Involved in company level collective bargaining?

Thresholds/rules when they need to be/can be set up

Trade union

(Odborová organizace)

Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code and Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining

Anybody, apart from military.

Yes

Trade union can be set up by a minimum of three people. However, if the trade union wants to be active at a particular employer, these three people have to be employees of the same employer. An employer is not allowed to prohibit the establishment of new trade union organisations and their activities.

Works council

(Rada zaměstnanců)

Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code

Employees. The authority of a works council shall not be limited to any specific sectors or in other ways.

No

The employer shall organise an election into works council on the basis of a written proposal signed by at least one third of the employees, not later than within three months of the date of delivery of such proposal.

Safety at work and health protection steward

Zástupce odborové organizace pro otázky bezpečnosti a ochrany zdraví při práci )

Act No. 262/2006 Coll. Labour Code.

Employees. The authority of works council shall not be limited to any specific sectors or in other ways.

No

The employer shall depend on the total number of employees employed with that employer and the risk exposures contained in the work performed; however, the upper limit shall be set at one steward per ten employees.

Collective bargaining

Collective bargaining

The central concern of employment relations is the collective governance of work and employment. This section looks into collective bargaining in the Czech Republic.

Bargaining system

In Czechia, it is possible to conclude both higher-level collective agreements (HLCAs) and company-level collective agreements (CLCAs). Both higher-level collective agreements and company-level collective agreements are legally binding. The most common level of collective bargaining in Czechia consists of that held at the company level. Collective bargaining at the national level does not exist.

Collective bargaining is relatively stable; there is no trend to centralise it, with trade union confederations and employer associations being entirely autonomous.

Wage bargaining coverage

Wage bargaining coverage is slightly above 30%: this number has been relatively stable since 2006.

Collective bargaining coverage – national data

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Sectoral level, so called ‘higher level agreements’

n. a.

n. a.

n. a.

n. a.

n.a.

Company level

31.6%

30.4%

31.2 %

31.5%

32.1%

Source: ČMKOS (for ČMKOS only)

Collective wage bargaining coverage of employees from different sources

Level

% (year)

source

All levels

34.2 (2018)

2021 – OECD/AIAS ICTWSS Database 2021

All levels

9 (2019)

2019 – ECS

All levels

47 (2010)

2010 – SES

All levels

50 (2014)

2014 – SES

All levels

47 (2018)

2018 – SES

Sources: Eurofound, European Company Survey 2019 (ECS), private sector companies with establishments >10 employees (NACE B-S) – multiple answers possible; Eurostat, Structure of Earnings Survey (SES), companies >10 employees (NACE B-SxO), single answer for each local unit: more than 50% of employees covered by such an agreement – online dataset codes: [EARN_SES10_01], [EARN_SES14_01], [EARN_SES18_01] (Percentage of employees working in local units where more than 50% of the employees are covered under a collective pay agreement against the total number of employees in the scope of the survey); OECD/AIAS ICTWSS Database 2021.

Report on the progress of collective bargaining at a higher (sectoral) level and company level 2015–2019

   

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Sectoral level

Number of HLCAs conducted for this year:

Number of employers to which HLCAs apply:

Number of employees covered by conducted HLCAs:

21

n. a.

n. a.

23

n. a.

n. a.

22

n. a.

n. a.

23

n. a.

n. a.

22

n.a.

n.a.

Company level

Number of employers in which parent organisation of union operates:

Number of CLCAs conducted for this year:

Number of employees covered by conducted CLCAs:

4,803

3,910

1,315,259

4,660

3,849

1,291,339

4,617

3,767

1,338,937

4,531

3,770

1,384,711

4,613

3,690

1,414,788

Note: The national data are for ČMKOS members only (based on source below), except for the number of HLCAs, which is for the Czech Republic as a whole.

Source: ČMKOS, Report on the progress of collective bargaining at a higher (sectoral) level and company level in 2019.

Unfortunately, no information is available on the number of employees covered by higher-level collective agreements for 2015 and following years (ČMKOS was unable to obtain such data from individual member trade union associations).

Bargaining levels

Higher-level collective agreements (HLCAs) serve as a framework or guide for the determination of company-level collective agreements: they set out minimum standards with respect to wages and working time which are subsequently adhered to in company-level collective agreements; CLCAs can set out higher standards, but not lower. Higher-level collective agreements and company level collective agreements are legally binding.

No register is maintained of company-level collective agreements concluded in Czechia; however, higher-level collective agreements are monitored by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

The most important level of collective bargaining in Czechia is company level. The closed HLCAs serve as a framework or guideline to determine the form of company collective agreements in the sector. HLCAs are usually concluded between social partners in the following sectors: chemistry and energetics; machinery incl. aviation industry; mining and oil industry; construction; wood processing, forestry and water management; textile, apparel and leather industry; banking and insurance sector; wholesale, retail and tourism industry; postal, telecommunication and newspaper services; agriculture; in transportation (road transport services); in road transport management and car repairs.

The number of employees to whom concluded HLCAs relate was continually declining during 2012–2014.

Levels of collective bargaining, 2019

 

National level (Intersectoral)

Sectoral level

Company level

 

Wages

Working time

Wages

Working time

Wages

Working time

Principle or dominant level

       

X

X

Important but not dominant level

   

X

X

   

Existing level

           

Articulation

Higher-level collective agreements set up minimum standards of wages and working time – this standard is then followed by company-level collective agreements – CLCA can set higher standards, but not lower.

Timing of the bargaining rounds

The vast majority of negotiations on a new collective agreement (or amendment to a collective agreement) begin in the fourth quarter of the year. Contracts are signed mostly in the period between December and January the next year. This applies to bargaining at the company level and at the sector level. Earlier the HLCAs were usually concluded for the period of one year, but now higher-level agreements are gradually replaced by those with a multiannual validity. However, the wage-related parts of these contracts are still negotiated with an annual validity (in the form of appendices). Company-level collective agreements are usually concluded for a period of one year.

Coordination

There is no coordination mechanism for collective (wage) bargaining in Czechia, but higher-level collective agreements usually give minimum standards for collective bargaining at the company level.

Extension mechanisms

The extension of a binding higher-level collective agreement to another employer is possible under the conditions of Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs possesses the relevant powers to ensure agreements are extended, based on a proposal made by both contractual parties to the agreement, provided that the conditions determined by law are met. There are no voluntary mechanisms of extension.

From a total number of 22 higher-level collective agreements conducted in 2017, 6 were extended; in 2018 from a total number of 23 HLCAs 4 HLCAs were extended and in 2019 were extended 5 HLCAs. Unfortunately, the number of employees covered by these HLCAs concluded for mentioned years is not known (see the above note pertaining to collective bargaining coverage and the ČMKOS trade union headquarters).

Derogation mechanisms

Derogation mechanisms, such as opening or opt-out clauses, do not exist in Czechia.

Expiry of collective agreements

If the collective agreement expires and there is no new collective agreement concluded, employment relationship is then regulated by legislation, mostly by Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code.

Other aspects of working life addressed in collective agreements

Czech social dialogue is considered to be well established and functional, both in formal and informal way. Social partners, especially at peak-level, are proactive and discuss with the government wide range of current issues – digitalisation and automation, e-learning, teleworking, new forms of work and climate change. Social partners have been also active in designing anti-epidemic measures and economic politics which support the economy and business to stay afloat, although not all of them consider the government compensation programmes as sufficient (especially social partners from most damaged sectors, like HORECA and tourism).

Collective bargaining is, however, still very conservative; ‘new’ topics are hardly ever reflected in collective agreements at both sectoral and company levels. Evidence is provided, for example, by the implementation of European Framework agreements, Frameworks of actions and other joint documents which are outlined in the European Social Dialogue Work Programmes, concerning which the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions regularly states in its Reports on Collective Bargaining at the Higher and Company Levels that the implementation thereof through higher-level collective agreements is insufficient and calls on member unions to devote greater attention to this topic (in spite of the fact, that HLCAs have in Czechia only limited impact and don´t cover only around 20–25 % of labour force).

Industrial action and disputes

Industrial action and disputes

Legal aspects

Czech law recognises only two types of industrial action: a)strike (stávka) and b) lockout ( výluka). The lockout is de facto a counter-strike from the side of the employer in a dispute over the conclusion of a collective agreement.

In addition to these two types defined in the Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining, in practice a strike alert ( stávková pohotovost) can be used.

The term ‘blockade or occupation’ (blokáda or okupační stávka) is not set in law and therefore does not occur in practice.

a) The right to strike, as a fundamental human right, is guaranteed in Act No. 2/1993 Coll., Charter of fundamental rights and freedoms, which forms part of the Constitution of the Czech Republic. Article 27 (Section IV) of the Charter states that the right to strike is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions laid down by law; this right is not held by judges, members of the armed forces and members of security forces.

The legality of a strike is also limited by the Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining which covers strikes related to collective bargaining. This means that strikes can be divided into:

Strikes related to Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining – these strikes, their requirements and their procedure are precisely regulated by law. A strike, as understood by the act is a legal instrument to settle collective disputes concerning the negotiation and conclusion of a collective agreement. A dispute on a change to an agreement already in force is also considered a collective dispute if the possibility and extent of changes has been agreed in a collective agreement. Collective disputes are disputes which do not give rise to entitlements of individual employees. A precondition for a strike, however, is that all regulations set out by the act be observed.

Strikes outside the scope of the Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining – there is no law in the legal code to implement above mentioned Article 27, concerning strikes other than strikes addressed in the Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining. However, this does not mean, that all types of strikes other than those addressed by the above-mentioned act are prohibited – the court decides if a particular strike is legal or not.

The above-mentioned Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining also recognise solidarity strike to support employees striking for the conclusion of a collective agreement are addressed by the law.

b) A lockout as a second type of industrial action is covered under Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining (section 27). The definition of a lockout is partial or complete stoppage of work by an employer, where the employer may, as a final solution for resolving a dispute about the conclusion of a collective agreement, declare a lockout, if an agreement cannot be reached even after proceedings in the presence of a mediator and the contracting parties do not request an arbitrator to resolve the dispute. The start of a lockout, its extent, the reasons for it and a list of names of employees to whom the lockout applies must be notified by the employer to the competent trade union body at least three working days in advance. The employer is required to give the employees concerned the same period of notice. The law specifies situations in which a lockout is unlawful. In general this applies to situations where a lockout would affect the employees of medical facilities, which might endanger the health or life of the public, as well as lockouts affecting judges or state representatives.

Strikes are relatively rare in Czechia (see table below).

On the other side, strike alerts are used more often, but this type of industrial action is not defined by law.

These above-mentioned two forms are the most important and most used in practice (particularly as regards strike alert).

Strikes and strike alerts are regularly monitored by ČMKOS, the largest trade union confederation in Czechia. Data from ČMKOS cover industrial actions within ČMKOS only; from the point of view of the whole CR, aggregate numbers of industrial actions are not available.

The lockout as a form of industrial action has not been recorded for many years.

Industrial action developments 2015–2019

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Source

Working days lost per 1000 employees

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n. a.

n.a.

None.

Number of strikes (sectoral level /company level)

0/3

0/0

0/1

0/0

0/0

ČMKOS (see source below)

Number of strike alerts  (sectoral level /company level)

0/10

0/5

0/11

1/10

0/8

ČMKOS (see source below)

Note: There is no legally defined reporting service in this area. These activities by the social partners have not been centrally monitored since the mid-1990s.

Source: ČMKOS, Report on the progress of collective bargaining at a higher (sectoral) level and company level in 2019 (data for ČMKOS member only).

Dispute resolution mechanisms

Collective dispute resolution mechanisms

The procedure for resolving collective labour disputes is governed by Act No. 2/1991 Coll., On collective bargaining. The Act provides that collective disputes are disputes concerning the conclusion of a collective agreement or disputes about the fulfilment of commitments in a collective agreement (company-level or higher-level) that do not establish claims for individual employees. The parties to collective disputes are the parties to a collective agreement. Collective disputes, whether concerning the conclusion of a collective agreement or the fulfilment of commitments established by a collective agreement which do not establish claims for individual employees, are resolved in proceedings with a mediator or an arbiter. That means that, among other things, Czechia only has a two-tier concept for the resolution of collective labour disputes (where conciliation and mediation merge into one).

Individual dispute resolution mechanisms

Disputes between employers and the employees about the rights resulting from the employment relationship are usually heard and decided by courts in Czechia. Compared with the court settlement of labour disputes, the application of other procedures such as conciliation, mediation or arbitration procedure in this legal context is still of minor importance.

Use of dispute resolution mechanisms

Generally, Czechia only has a two-tier concept with respect to the resolution of collective labour disputes (in which conciliation and mediation are merged). These two possibilities are the only alternative forms of dispute resolution mechanism. No labour courts exist in Czechia.

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Collective disputes settled though mediator in terms of concluding HLCA

0

4

1

3

2

Collective disputes settled though arbiter in terms of concluding HLCA

0

0

0

0

0

Collective disputes settled though mediator in terms of concluding CLCA

11

17

16

28

17

Collective disputes settled though arbiter in terms of concluding CLCA

1

0

0

0

0

Source: ČMKOS, Report on the progress of collective bargaining at a higher (sectoral) level and company level in 2019 (data are for ČMKOS members only).

Individual employment relations

Individual employment relations

Individual employment relations are the relationship between the individual worker and their employer. This relationship is shaped by legal regulation and by the outcomes of social partner negotiations over the terms and conditions governing the employment relationship. This section looks into the start and termination of the employment relationship and entitlements and obligations in Czechia.

Start and termination of the employment relationship

Requirements regarding an employment contract

Employment is based most often on conclusion of an employment contract. The employment contract must specify the following information: the type of work that the employee is supposed to do, place of work and the starting date. The employer and employee have to reach agreement on the above mentioned details. In addition to these, the contracting parties may also agree on other aspects that they wish to include, particularly special working conditions deviating from the generally applicable legal regulation (such as conditions for home-working, job sharing etc.).

With regard to employment contracts, the Labour Code defines the contract for an indefinite period of time as a standard, but it also allows conclusion of employment contracts for a definite period of time. However, the contract for definite period of time may be concluded a maximum of three times and each period cannot exceed three years. Further similar contracts can be concluded only after legally prescribed conditions are met (this applies for seasonal workers especially) In the employment contract, parties may agree on the length of a trial period which, by law, can be no more than three months for rank-and-file employees and six months for managerial employees.

Next to the standard employment contracts, the Labour Code makes it possible to conclude agreements on work performed outside employment – agreement to “complete a job (dohoda o provedení práce)” and an agreement to “perform work (dohoda o pracovní činnosti)”, which are relatively popular in some sectors (such as construction, hotels and restaurants sectors). An agreement to complete a job can be concluded only in such a case that the range of work will not exceed 300 hours in a calendar year for the same employer. Employees working on agreements to “complete a job” only pay social and health insurance contributions if their monthly income amounts to more than CZK 10,000 (EUR 390 approx.), and that only in those months in which this income threshold is exceeded.

The agreement to perform work is characterised by the fact that it does not allow the performance of work in excess of half the set weekly working hours (usually 20 hours a week). Compliance with the agreed maximum weekly working hours is assessed for the entire period for which the agreement to perform work is concluded, but not longer than 52 weeks. The agreement to perform work is also “more stringent” with respect to social and health insurance contributions. The obligation to pay such contributions arises once earnings exceed since 1 January 2021 CZK 3,499 (EUR 115 approx.) per calendar month.

Dismissal and termination procedures

Employers or employees may terminate employment in several ways:

  • by agreement – between the employer and the employee in writing, by a certain date;
  • by notice – in writing, by the employer (indicating statutory reasons) or by the employee (without a reason indicated);
  • by moment’s cancellation – by the employee (allowed only for serious health reasons or because salary has not been paid within 15 days of the due date);
  • by cancellation within the probation period – by the employer or the employee, also without a reason indicated;
  • by a lapse of the agreed period in case of the fixed-term employment.

It is prohibited to terminate employment with an employee during the period of protection.

If notice has been given, employment shall end only after the notice period. The notice period is identical for both employers and employees and is at least two months.

An employee can hand in notice for any reason, or without a reason stated. An employer may terminate employment unilaterally only for the reasons expressly defined by the Labour Code.

These reasons are as follows:

  • the employer, or one of its branches, shuts or relocates;
  • the employee becomes redundant as a result of a decision made by the employer or the competent body to change its business or commercial objectives;
  • the employee can no longer perform as expected, because of ill health;
  • the employee does not meet the prerequisites prescribed by the statutory provisions for the performance of the agreed work, or does not meet the requirements for the proper performance of such work;
  • the employee seriously breaches some duty arising from the statutory provisions and related to the work performed by him/her, or reasons for the immediate cancellation of employment are given.

See also further information on:

Entitlements and obligations

Parental, maternity and paternity leave

An employee (mother) is entitled to 28 weeks of maternity leave in connection with a birth. She begins maternity leave at least six or at most eight weeks before the expected date of birth. In case of a multiple birth, the mother is entitled to 37 weeks of maternity leave. The minimum length of maternity leave taken in the case of birth cannot be shorter than 14 weeks and cannot be finished or interrupted before six weeks have passed since the date of birth.

Responsibility for the payment of the maternity leave allowance lies with Czech Social Security Administration (Česká správa sociálního zabezpečení, ČSSZ).

The maternity benefit (maternity leave allowance) corresponds to 70% of the claimant’s reduced daily reference amount (basis of assessment). An insured person who is the father of a child or husband of a woman who bore the child also has the right to maternity benefit, if the person has concluded a written agreement with the mother of the child that he will take over the care for the child from the mother. The agreement must include data laid down by law, and may be concluded with effect no sooner than the beginning of the seventh week after the birth.

Parental leave applies to the mother of the child after the end of her maternity leave and to the father of the child from the child’s birth. They can apply for parental leave from their employer until the child is three years old. The parental allowance can be received until the child is four years old. In recent years, the amount of the parental allowance and the draw speed have been modified several times. Since January 2020 the total amount of the allowance has added up to CZK 300,000 (EUR 11,682) and CZK 450,000 (EUR 17,523) in case of children from multiple births. Since January 2018, a parent may freely elect the monthly amount of parental allowance and thus the period of its drawing. The allowance is paid monthly and the maximum amount corresponds to the amount of maternity benefit (maximum CZK 43,470 in 2021, EUR 1,693; multiple births: CZK 65,205, EUR 2,539). In case the maximum monthly amount is chosen, the total amount of parental allowance (CZK 300,000) may be paid out already over seven months. The choice regarding the amount of parental allowance can be changed once in three months.

A parent is entitled to parental allowance provided that she or he personally carries out a full day care for the child who is the youngest in the family and aged up to 4 years of age. The condition of personal full-time care is also considered to be fulfilled in the following cases:

  • a child under the age of 2 years attends a crèche or other facility for pre-school children for a maximum of 92 hours in a month;
  • a child regularly attends a remedial care centre, crèche, kindergarten or similar facility for disabled pre-school children for a maximum of 4 hours a day;
  • a child of disabled parents attends a crèche, kindergarten or similar facility for pre-school children for no more than 4 hours a day;
  • a disabled child attends a facility for pre-school children for no more than 6 hours a day;
  • the parent arranges for care for the child by another adult while s/he is gainfully employed or studying.

Attendance in these facilities is not monitored for children over 2 years of age.

The parent’s income is not tested; the parent may carry out an occupational activity without losing their entitlement to parental allowance.

Although the legislation enables Czech men to take parental leave on the same conditions as for women, men taking parental leave represented only 1.7% of all parental leavers in 2019. Moreover, this proportion was constant between 2008 and 2019 with figures of between 1.6% and 1.9%.

Since 1 February 2018, fathers have been entitled to claim the so-called paternal postnatal care benefit. The duration of the benefit is one week, and the amount paid is derived from the maternity benefit calculation. The one week of leave can be taken any time during the first six weeks from the birth of the child.

Statutory leave arrangements

Maternity leave

Maximum duration

28 weeks – 37 weeks in case of multiple birth

Reimbursement

70% of the claimant’s reduced daily reference amount

Who pays?

Czech Social Security Administration

Legal basis

Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code; Act No. 187/2006 Coll., on Sickness Insurance

Parental leave

Maximum duration

Up to child’s third birthday (stipulated by Labour Code). Fathers are entitled to take parental leave in the same extent and under the same conditions as it is for women. Partners are allowed to switch when taking parental leave.

Reimbursement

Parental allowance in the amount of CZK 300,000 (EUR 11,682) (CZK 450,000, EUR 17,523 in case of multiple births) up to the youngest child’s fourth birthday. The draw speed (and consequently the level of the monthly allowance) may be chosen by the receiving parent.

Who pays?

Department of social affairs of the relevant Labour Office

Legal basis

Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code; Act No. 117/1995 Coll., on state social support

Paternal postnatal care

Maximum duration

Paternity leave of one week’s duration can be taken within six weeks after the birth of a child. The primary objective of the measure is to allow the father to be with the mother of the child for one week with the advantage of receiving assistance partly financed by the state while, secondly, providing the option to claim an extra week of holiday leave.

Reimbursement

Same amount as women on maternity leave, i.e. equal to 70% of the daily assessment base

Who pays?

Czech Social Security Administration

Legal basis

Act No. 187/2006, Coll. on Sickness Insurance

Sick leave

Sick leave is settled in particular by Act No. 187/2006 Coll., on sickness insurance and by Section 192 of Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code.

During the first two weeks of the temporary incapacity for work, an employer provides the employee with a compensation wage for working days in the amount of 60% of employee’s average earning. The employee is only entitled to the compensation wage for the period of the employment relationship that establishes the participation in sickness insurance.

From the fifteenth calendar day of a temporary incapacity for work, the employee is entitled to a sickness benefit from the sickness insurance scheme. The support period lasts no longer than 380 calendar days from the date of the temporary incapacity to work or quarantine order, unless stated otherwise.

The amount of sickness benefit per calendar day is 60% of the reduced daily basis of assessment until the 30th day of the temporary incapacity to work. From the 31st to the 60th calendar day of temporary incapacity to work, the rate is 66% of the daily assessment base and from the 61st calendar day of temporary incapacity to work, the rate is 72% of the daily assessment base. This gradual increase has been introduced since 1 January 2018, before it remained at the level of 60% of the reduced daily basis of assessment for the whole period of temporary incapacity to work.

The employer cannot terminate an employment relationship with an employee during his/her temporary incapacity to work, with the exception of cases where the employer's undertaking, or its part, is closed down or relocates away from places where the employee is to perform work in accordance with his/her employment contract.

Retirement age

Two fundamental processes apply to the calculation of retirement age.

  1. The first process is approximation of retirement age of men and women. At present, women still retire earlier than men, specifically depending on the number of children raised (their retirement age decreases with increasing number of children raised). The retirement age, regardless of the number of children born, will be fully equalised not earlier than 2037, when those born in 1972 will start retiring, aged 65 years.
  2. The second process is a continuous increase in the retirement age for each generation born. An unlimited increase of the retirement age was adopted by the Chamber of Deputies in 2011. The retirement age is thus postponed for each age group with the same year of birth, namely by two months when compared to the previous age group. However, both employers and trade unions were critical of the unlimited increase of the retirement age.

On 5 September 2016, the Czech government approved the capping of the retirement age at a maximum of 65 years. This measure will positively affect those born after 1965, who would otherwise have retired at a higher age.

In 2021, men retire when aged 63 years, women when aged from 59 to 63 years, according to the number of children raised.

Pay

Pay

Pay: For workers, the reward for work and main source of income; for employers, a cost of production and focus of bargaining and legislation. This section looks into minimum wage setting in the Czech Republic and guides the reader to further material on collective wage bargaining.

Development of average and median monthly wages over the last five years (2014–2019)

In the period under review, average wages have been steadily rising according to structural wage statistics. This growth was gradually accelerating between 2014 and 2018 and slightly slowed down in 2019, with year-on-year increases of 3.8% in 2015, 4.5% in 2016, 7.1% in 2017, 8.3% in 2018, and 7.9% in 2019. In 2019, the average gross monthly wage was CZK 36,336 (EUR 1,408), which represents an increase of 35.6% compared to 2014. The average gross monthly wage of men grew from CZK 29,721 (EUR 1,152) to CZK 39,699 (EUR 1,538) and that of women from CZK 23,203 (EUR 899) to CZK 32,237 (EUR 1,249) between 2014 and 2019. In the third quarter of 2020, the average gross monthly wage rose nominally by 5.1% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, in real terms by 1.7%.

Median wage grew slightly faster than the average wage in the period under review (with the exception of 2019), indicating a faster rise in the wages of lower-income workers (among other things due to increases in the minimum wage). While the median wage grew by 3.9% in 2015 compared to the previous year, this growth was already 8.7% in 2018 and 7.7% in 2019. Overall, the median wage grew by 37.6% between 2014 and 2019, rising from CZK 22,844 (EUR 885) to CZK 31,434 (EUR 1,218). In Q3 2020 the median wage reached CZK 31,183 (EUR 1,208), which is 5.1% more than in the comparable period of the previous year.

Average monthly gross wages of employees in the national economy according to NACE, annual average (full-time equivalents)

NACE section

2012

2019

2012/2019 percentage increase (in %)

CZK

EUR

CZK

EUR

A-S

Total

25 100

973

34 111

1322

35.9

A

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

19 436

753

27 278

1057

40.3

B-E

Industry, TOTAL

25 216

977

33 963

1316

34.7

B

Mining and quarrying

32 498

1259

37 204

1442

14.5

C

Manufacturing

24 572

952

33 586

1302

36.7

D

Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

42 487

1646

49 288

1910

16.0

E

Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

23 731

920

30 689

1189

29.3

F

Construction

22 902

888

29 860

1157

30.4

G

Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

23 304

903

31 777

1231

36.4

H

Transportation and storage

23 348

905

31 441

1218

34.7

I

Accommodation and food service activities

13 313

516

20 274

786

52.3

J

Information and communication

46 871

1816

58 836

2280

25.5

K

Financial and insurance activities

50 425

1954

59 050

2288

17.1

L

Real estate activities

21 145

819

29 894

1158

41.4

M

Professional, scientific and technical activities

32 857

1273

40 742

1579

24.0

N

Administrative and support service activities

17 049

661

22 344

866

13.1

O

Public administration and defence; compulsory social security

26 839

1040

38 673

1499

44.1

P

Education

24 579

952

35 295

1368

43.6

Q

Human health and social work activities

25 251

979

36 274

1406

43.7

R

Arts, entertainment and recreation

20 555

797

31 084

1205

51.2

S

Other service activities

19 592

759

25 273

979

29.0

Notes: Preliminary data for 2019. Data on average wages classified by both NACE and sex is not available.

Source: Czech Statistical Office: Czech Republic in numbers since 1989 – updated on 11 December 2020, Tab. 05.06.

Development of gross monthly median wages over the last five years (2015–2019) by sex, annual average (full-time equivalents)

 

Czechia total

Men

Women

Period

median wage (CZK / EUR)

median wage index (2012 = 100 %)

median wage (CZK / EUR)

median wage index (2012 = 100 %)

median wage (CZK / EUR)

median wage index (2012 = 100 %)

2015

23,726 / 919

107.9

25,688 / 995

108.6

21,461 / 832

107.1

2016

24,982 / 968

113.6

26,973 / 1,045

114.0

22,651 / 878

113.0

2017

26,843 / 1,040

122.0

29,006 / 1,124

122.6

24,477 / 949

122.1

2018

29,184 / 1,131

132.7

31,433 / 1,218

132.9

26,678 / 1,034

133.1

2019

31,434 / 1,218

142.9

33,763 / 1,308

142.7

28,795 / 1,116

143.7

Notes: Preliminary data for 2019. Data on median wages by NACE is not available.

Source: Czech Statistical Office: Labour Statistics: Time Series of Basic Indicators – August 2020 , Tab. 14.

Minimum wages

The minimum wage was introduced into the Czech labour system in 1991 as a statutory minimum wage and is governed by Article 111 of Act No. 262/2006 Coll. Labour Code. Its level is determined by Governmental Order No. 567/2006 Coll.

An increase in minimum wage usually results from tripartite negotiations between the main social partners and the government. However, there is no mechanism that would ensure a regular revaluation of the minimum wage and this depends on the political programmes of individual governments. Thus, minimum wages can be frozen in some periods, as was the case between 2007 and July 2013.

In the private sector the minimum wage can be increased by collective agreements. Since the collective bargaining coverage is relatively low in Czechia, Article 112 of the Labour Code and Governmental Order No. 567/2006 Coll. further determine eight levels of so-called guaranteed wage. The levels thereof are set down by the government and are differentiated on the basis of the complexity and difficulty of work. The guaranteed wage applies to those employees and employers who do not participate in wage collective bargaining and to public employees.

Governmental Order No. 567/2006 Coll. further stipulated the lower levels of both the minimum and guaranteed wages for workers with limited capacity to work until the end of 2016. However, the different levels of the minimum and guaranteed wage have been cancelled as of 1 January 2017 so that the same minimum wage levels apply to all employees at present.

Development of the minimum monthly wages for specific groups in 2015–2020

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Adult rate

CZK 9,200

CZK 9,900

CZK 11,000

CZK 12,200

CZK 13,350

CZK 14,600

Youth rate

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

Beneficiaries of disability pensions

CZK 8,000

CZK 9,300

No special rate for this group (cancelled as of 1.1.2017)

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

No special rate for this group

For more information regarding the level and development of minimum wages, please see:

Collectively agreed pay outcomes

For more detailed information on the most recent outcomes in terms of collectively agreed pay, please see:

Working time

Working time

Working time: ‘Any period during which the worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activities or duties, in accordance with national laws and/or practice’ (Directive 2003/88/EC). This section briefly summarises regulation and issues regarding working time, overtime, part-time work as well as working time flexibility in the Czech Republic.

Working time regulation

Czech labour legislation stipulates the statutory maximum normal weekly and daily working time in the Labour Code. Article 79 prescribes that the normal weekly working hours might not exceed 40 hours and stipulates shorter normal working hours for specific categories of workers with heavy working conditions. Articles 83, 85(3), 79a and 94 of the Labour Code further determine the statutory maximum normal working day, which must not exceed 12 hours (eight hours in the case of minors and night workers), except for workers in transport listed in Article 100.

Standard weekly working time may be shortened without a concurrent reduction of wage only in collective agreements or internal regulations in the private sector. In the public sector the reduction of standard weekly hours is not allowed.

For more detailed information on working time (including annual leave, statutory and collectively agreed working time), please consult:

Overtime regulation

Overtime work, which is defined by the Czech Labour Code as work that exceeds standard weekly working hours following from the predetermined schedule of working hours and beyond the pattern of shifts, is regulated by Article 93 of the Labour Code. It stipulates that ordered overtime must not exceed eight hours a week or 150 hours a year, and total overtime work (including ordered and individually agreed overtime) on average must not exceed 8 hours a week within a compensatory period of 26 successive weeks, unless a collective agreement extends this period to the maximum of 52 successive weeks. However, those overtimes for which the employee was given a leave of absence are not counted to the total number of overtime hours, neither regarded as overtime. Part-timers may not be ordered to work overtime.

Article 114 of the Labour Code says that an employee is entitled to his/her standard hourly wage supplemented by a premium of at least 25% of his/her average hourly earnings for every overtime hour (if the overtime has not been compensated by a leave of absence). However, where wage is agreed that takes into account potential overtime work, the employee is not entitled to any additional pay or compensatory time off for overtime. Such a wage may be agreed provided that overtime hours are within the scope of 150 hours in one calendar year and, in the case of managerial employees, that their overtime hours are within the limits of eight hours a week on average within the compensatory period.

Collective agreements may contain an extension of the compensatory period up to 52 successive weeks; additionally, they often include an increase in premiums for overtime work.

Part-time work

Part-time work is defined by Article 80 of the Czech Labour Code as working hours below the standard weekly working hours, for which the employee is paid a wage or salary reduced proportionally to the reduction of the standard working hours. Part-time work can be agreed only between the employer and the employee in the individual contract.

The proportion of employees working part-time is relatively low in Czechia. According to Eurostat, in 2019 part-timers aged 20 to 64 years made up 6.1% of total employment (men 2.7%, women 10.4%), which is approximately three times less than in the EU-28, on average. The reasons for this can be seen in a low demand for part-time jobs on employees’ side (most families need two full incomes to secure a decent living standard) and a low level of flexibility of employers and thus a low offer of part-time jobs on employers’ side.

Most recent data indicate that the percentage of part-time workers in total employment slightly decreased in 2020 (5.6% in Q3), most probably as a temporary consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This might be explained by the related uncertainty that led employers to terminate out-of-employment contracts, which are used in particular for (marginal) part-time jobs.

Persons employed part-time in Czechia and EU27 (% of total employment)

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total (EU27)

18.2

18.1

18

17.8

17.8

16.6

Total (Czechia)

5.2

5.6

6

6.2

6.1

5.6

Women (EU27)

30.2

30

29.8

29.5

29.4

27.6

Women (Czechia)

9.2

9.8

10.8

10.8

10.4

9.9

Men (EU27)

8

7.9

7.9

7.7

7.8

7.2

Men (Czechia)

2.1

2.2

2.3

2.5

2.7

2.2

Source: Eurostat Labour Force Survey [lfsi_pt_a] – Persons employed part-time (20 to 64 years of age) – total and by sex.

Involuntary part-time

Involuntary part-time workers can be defined as those working part time because they could not find a full-time job.

Persons employed in involuntary part-time in Czechia and EU27 (% of total part-time employment)

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total (EU27)

32.3

31

29.7

28

26.5

25

Total (Czechia)

16.5

14.3

9.4

6.7

6.5

4.5

Women (EU27)

28.8

27.7

26.4

25.2

23.9

22.5

Women (Czechia)

16.7

14.7

10.2

7.2

6.3

5

Men (EU27)

43.6

41.8

40.4

37.2

34.9

33.1

Men (Czechia)

15.7

12.7

7

5.1

7.2

2.6

Source: Eurostat Labour Force Survey [lfsa_eppgai] – involuntary part-time employment as a percentage of the total part-time employment, by sex and age (20 to 64 years of age)

The incidence of involuntary part-time work is rather low in Czechia, reaching 6.5% of total part-time employment in 2019 and it is not considered a problem that should be regulated. Especially when the overall percentage of employees working part time is very low in Czechia and the offer of part-time work from the employer’s side is rather scarce. Thus, the insufficient offer of part-time employment is perceived to be more problematic than involuntary part-time work. Looking at the figures in the table above, there is an evidence of a much lower share for both men and women working involuntary part time in Czechia, compared to the EU average. In addition, the incidence of involuntary part-time has decreased considerably since 2014 due to the significant labour shortages in the Czech labour market thank to which most employees have enough choices of full-time jobs.

Night work

Night work is defined by the Czech Labour Code as work performed during night time, i.e. between 22.00. and 06.00. and a night worker is understood as an employee working on average no less than three hours of his/her working time during night time within 24 consecutive hours at least once a week within a period of 26 consecutive weeks (articles 78(1) j) and k)).

Article 94 of the Labour Code stipulates that the length of a shift of an employee working at night may not exceed 8 hours within 24 consecutive hours and where it is not feasible for operational reasons, the average length of a shift should not exceed 8 hours within a maximum period of 26 consecutive weeks.

In the case of night workers, the employer is obliged to provide them with appropriate medical examinations, appropriate social conditions such as the possibility to have refreshments, and first aid remedies at the workplace.

Shift work

In Czech legislation, a shift means a part of weekly working hours without overtime, for which an employee is obliged to perform work for the employer according to a predetermined shift schedule (pattern). Article 78 of the Labour Code further distinguishes two-shift, three-shift and continuous patterns of shift work as special cases of shift work with employees regularly taking turns, for which the statutory working week is shorter (maximum 38.75 weekly hours for employees in the two-shift pattern and maximum 37.5 weekly hours for employees in the three-shift or continuous patterns of shift work). Collective agreements often stipulate shorter working weeks for employees performing shift work.

Weekend work

Czech legislation defines and sets only ‘non-working days’ that are understood as days on which an employee’s uninterrupted weekly rest falls during the week and public holidays. Weekend work is not specified by the Czech legislation. However, article 118 of the Labour Code guarantees a premium of at least 10% of the average earnings besides the attained wage for hours worked on Saturday and/or Sunday. In public services and administration, the premium amounts to 25% of the average salary (article 126 of the Labour Code). The specific level of the premium (beyond its minimum statutory level) may be a subject of collective bargaining in the private sector.

Rest and breaks

Rest period is defined by the Czech Labour Code as a period outside working hours. Article 88 of the Labour Code provides for a rest break after a maximum of six working hours of continuous work (after 4.5 hours in the case of juvenile workers). This break should not be shorter than 30 minutes or – if it is divided in several parts – one of the parts of the rest break should not be shorter than 15 minutes. Rest breaks are not counting towards working hours. In the case that the work cannot be interrupted, employees have to be provided with appropriate time for rest and food even without interruption of the operation or work. The time for rest is then considered as working time. This does not concern juvenile workers who have to be provided with a rest break as indicated above. Rest breaks are not provided in the beginning and in the end of the working hours. Statutory safety breaks are considered as working hours.

The minimum daily rest period is of 11 consecutive hours a day (12 hours in the case of juvenile workers), which can, however, be reduced to employees aged over 18 to the minimum of eight hours in specific situations (continuous operation, unevenly scheduled working hours, overtime work; agriculture; public services such as public catering, cultural establishments, telecommunications, postal services, and health- and social-care facilities; urgent reparations aiming at avoiding a danger; natural disasters and other extraordinary cases). However, the subsequent daily rest period has to be extended correspondingly. In the case of seasonal work in agriculture, the compensation might be provided within three weeks subsequent to the reduction (Articles 90 and 90a of the Labour Code).

Article 92 further stipulates that the minimum weekly rest period is of 35 hours and in the case of juveniles 48 hours. When it is possible with regard to the operation, the weekly rest period should be set to all employees for the same day and it should include Sunday. In specific situations listed in the context of the minimum daily rest period and at technological processes which cannot be interrupted it is possible to reduce weekly rest period of workers aged over 18 to 24 hours, but weekly rest breaks have to amount to 70 hours over two consecutive weeks. Specific allocation of weekly rest breaks might be agreed in agriculture, where it can amount to 105 hours in three weeks or 210 hours in six weeks.

Working time flexibility

A flexible working hours scheme is provided for in Article 85 of the Labour Code and defined as working hours that consist of bands of core time and flexi-time. The beginning and the end of these time bands are determined by the employer. An employee is obliged to be at his/her workplace during the determined core working hours, whereas for the flexible working hours s/he can choose the start and the end of the working time. Daily working hours should not exceed the statutory maximum working day. Where a flexible working hours scheme is used, the average weekly working hours must be complied with within a settlement period that is fixed by the employer and within no longer than 26 weeks, unless a collective agreement prolongs this period up to 52 weeks. Flexible working hours do not have to apply to all employees within a workplace; the employer can decide to which (categories of) employees flexible working hours will be offered. In addition, the Labour Code regulates working hours accounts (articles 86 and 87).

The application of flexible working hours can be agreed both in individual contracts and collective agreements. Collective agreements may also prolong the settlement period up to 52 weeks for both flexible working hours schemes and working hours accounts.

The level of working time flexibility might be evaluated based on 2019 ad hoc module of the Labour Force Survey on work organisation and working time arrangements. Its results reveal a relatively low level of working time autonomy in Czech workers: 79% of Czech employees indicated that the employer or organisation mainly decides on the start and end of their working times, compared to 68% of employees in EU-28. In addition, 49% of Czech employees reported they had to make a change to their working times as required by the tasks, clients or superiors once a month or more often, whereas the EU average amounted to 37% of employees. This suggests that Czech workers are relatively often exposed to negative forms of flexibility. However, simultaneously, they appear to have less difficulties to take one or two hours or one or two days off at short notice for personal or family matters: 29% of employees find it fairly or very difficult to take one or two hours off and for 27% of employees it is fairly or very difficult to take a day or two of leave. In the EU-28, this proportion is 37% of employees in the case of hours and 47% of employees in the case of days. Thus, it seems that the relatively rigid working time schemes are to some extent compensated by (rather informal) mechanisms that enable employees to react to immediate needs emerging in personal or family life.

For more detailed information on working time, please consult:

Health and well-being

Health and well-being

Maintaining health and well-being should be a high priority for workers and employers alike. Health is an asset closely associated with a person’s quality of life and longevity, as well as their ability to work. A healthy economy depends on a healthy workforce: organisations can experience loss of productivity through the ill-health of their workers. This section looks into psychosocial risks and health and safety in the Czech Republic.

The main legislation on OSH is made up, among others, of the following laws: Act No. 262/2006 Coll., Labour Code (Articles 101 – 108); Act No. 309/2006 Coll. on ensuring further conditions for occupational safety and health protection; Act No.174/1968 on state inspection of labour safety; Act No. 251/2005 Coll., on labour inspection.

The regulation of health and safety at work falls within the authority of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. It is monitored and checked, in particular, by its subordinate authority, the State Labour Inspectorate, and in mining industry also by the Czech Mining Office. Employees have the right to participate in the solution of occupational safety and health issues through their trade union organization and their representative for occupational safety and health. These employees’ representatives shall cooperate with the employer and individuals qualified to deal with risk prevention so that the employer can ensure safe and non-hazardous working conditions. They are also entitled to make comments when inspections are performed by the relevant authorities.

Health and safety at work

In 2017, there were 95 fatal work accidents, which is the lowest figure since this statistic has been recorded. In 2018, the number of accidents rose sharply to 123 cases, then in 2019 it fell to 95 accidents.

Accidents at work, with four days’ absence or more

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

37,036

38,780

38,440

37,530

No data

1.1

4.7

-0.9

-2.4

No data

8.9

9.1

8.9

8.5

No data

Source: Eurostat, Accidents at work by sex, age and severity (NACE Rev. 2 activity A, C-N) [hsw_mi01] and [lfsa_eegaed]

Work accidents indicators in Czechia 2015–2019

 

Number of accidents at work with incapacity for work

Working days lost

Number of accidents at work with incapacity for work per 100 insured

Average duration of one case of incapacity for work due to accident at work

2015

46,331

2,568,798

1.03

55.44

2016

47,379

2,575,220

1.04

54.35

2017

47,491

2,583,142

1.02

54.39

2018

46,223

2,570,870

0.98

55,62

2019

44,552

2,532,596

0.94

56,85

Source: Occupational Safety Research Institute (VÚBP): Pracovní úrazovost v České republice v roce 2019.

Psychosocial risks

National legislation seeks to prevent mental health risks for employees by requiring employers to inform employees as to what category their job comes under from the point of view of factors injurious to health. The detailed conditions of the categorisation of work are set out by Decree of the Ministry of Health No. 432/2003. Mental stress factors are clearly defined by this legislation (definition includes e.g. monotonous work, work in a forced pace, work in night shifts only, work in three shifts or continuous operation).

Despite the fact that psychosocial stress connected to work performance is somehow reflected by the legislation, it doesn´t bring any special advantages to the staff at risk. The law (Government regulation 567/2006 Coll.) does not include psychosocial stress among the influences that make performance of the work more difficult and thus define difficult working environment for the legal obligation to provide extra pay for work in difficult working conditions. If, however, the position falls under the high-risk categories in terms of mental strain, the employer is obliged to report this fact to the relevant body of public health protection and ensure the relevant frequency of medical examinations.

Sexual harassment and mobbing/bossing at the workplace can be considered as an extreme form of psychosocial stress. The notion of harassment was implemented in Czech legislation in 2004 in order to harmonise it with the community acquis. In accordance with Directive 2002/73/EC, harassment, sexual harassment and persecution have been defined as specific forms of discrimination. Czechia has a specific law, Act No. 198/2009 Coll. on equal treatment and legal provisions protecting against discrimination (‘Antidiscriminatory Act’) (in Czech), which elaborates discrimination and related issues in more detail and stipulates means of protection against discrimination. Violence-related legislation is pertinent to the infliction of harm and consequences set forth in the civil, administrative and criminal (penal) standards.

Legislative protection against mobbing/bossing is ensured by the Act No. 198/2009 Coll. on equal treatment and legal provisions protecting against discrimination (‘Antidiscriminatory Act’).

One of the many goals for collective bargaining at the company level in 2020 was the recommendation of the CMKOS to include in company collective agreements measures aimed at alleviating and at the same time preventing stress and overloading employees in the workplace. In 2019, some measures to eliminate work-related stress were part of 0.3% of company collective agreements in the business sphere and 1.2% of collective agreements in the sphere of public services and administration. Regarding the measures or provision of conditions for reducing cases of harassment and violence in the workplace, these were regulated in the business sphere in 1.4% of company collective agreements and in the non-business sphere in 2.5% of collective agreements.

For more detailed information on health and well-being at work, please consult:

Skills, learning and employability

Skills, learning and employability

Skills are the passport to employment; the better skilled an individual, the more employable they are. Good skills also tend to secure better-quality jobs and better earnings. This section briefly summarises the Czech Republic system for ensuring skills and employability and looks into the extent of training.

National system for ensuring skills and employability

In Czechia, the validation and recognition of skills are regulated by Act No. 179/2006 Coll. on recognition of further education results. Recognised skills are based on the National Register of Qualifications ( Národní soustava kvalifikací, NSK) which lists all complete professional and vocational qualifications that are nationally recognised and validated in Czechia. It defines necessary skills for individual vocational qualifications and describes the scope of activities that the respective qualification includes. The NSK is comparable with national registers in other European countries and relates to the National Register of Professions (Národní soustava povolání, NSP), operated by MoLSA, that provides information on the scope of activities, necessary skills and qualifications for individual professions.

The system of validation and recognition of qualifications falls within the authority of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS, MŠMT ČR) which coordinates the whole system and the NSK, approves qualifications, and awards authorisations to agencies that are subsequently entitled to organise exams and award certificates.

MEYS has an advisory body, the National Council for Qualifications ( Národní rada pro kvalifikace), that discusses the preparation and practical application of the NSK. It is composed of representatives of several ministries (including MoLSA and MEYS), social partners, education or training providers, and other subjects (such as the Labour Office of the Czech Republic). Hence, social partners are involved in ensuring skills and employability via this platform.

To ensure future employability, the need for a more intensive intersection between academia and practice has been discussed frequently at both institutional and governmental level (within tripartite body, within working groups with different stakeholders present, at governmental level, etc.). The issue is considered to be more important in light of the upcoming era of advanced digitalisation in all economic sectors. An important step to make a dual education system (a closer link between academia and business sphere) more effective was taken in October 2016 when the agreement between representatives of the main employers’ organisations the SP ČR, the HK ČR, the Confederation of Employers’ and Entrepreneurs’ Associations of the Czech Republic (KZPS) and the Czech Agrarian Chamber (Agrární komora CR) was signed. The agreement defined splitting the responsibility of employers’ organisations for different groups of vocational education disciplines taught at secondary schools.

Training

Training is primarily regulated by the MoLSA in cooperation with MEYS. The ministries determine priorities and coordinate a number of programmes that aim to develop training and skills and that are mostly funded from the European Social Fund (ESF). An example is the Promotion of Employee Vocational Training II ( Podpora odborného vzdělávání zaměstnanců II). Some programmes are administered by subsidised organisations of MoLSA and MEYS and non-governmental non-profit organisations, in particular:

National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic (Národní pedagogický institut České republiky, NPI ČR) is a subsidised organisations of MEYS that focuses on further training of teachers and pedagogical staff and development of their teaching competencies;

National Training Fund (Národní vzdělávací fond, NVF; NTF) is a non-profit organisation which aims to promote the development and restructuring of human resources in accordance with the requirements of economic and social reforms in Czechia.

Work organisation

Work organisation

Work organisation underpins economic and business development and has important consequences for productivity, innovation and working conditions. Eurofound research finds that some types of work organisation are associated with a better quality of work and employment. Therefore, developing or introducing different forms of work organisation are of particular interest because of the expected effect on productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of companies, as well as on workers’ working conditions. Ongoing research by Eurofound, based on EurWORK, the European Working Conditions Survey and the European Company Survey, monitors developments in work organisation.

More information on:

For Czechia, the European Company Survey (ECS) 2019 showed that establishments with 10 or more employees reported how they used technologies. 42% of companies reported purchasing custom-made software, 7% companies used robots, 33% used data analytics for processes improvement, 23% used data analytics for monitoring employee performance, and 30% of Czech companies used business-to-business portals or e-commerce. No other national up-to-date surveys of work organisation are available, except surveys organised by employers’ associations oriented towards the use of digital technologies. However, samples of such surveys are based on association members willing to reply.

The pace of progress with regard to the level of digitalisation was also mapped in a study by Ernst and Young entitled ‘Industry 4.0 from the perspective of Czech experience’ based on surveying 64 large and prominent industrial manufacturing companies in Czechia. A third of these firms have experience with the implementation of specific Industry 4.0 technologies and tools. Moreover, just under 60% of all the companies surveyed planned to invest in these technologies within the next three years. More than half of the businesses surveyed indicated that the biggest obstacle to the implementation of Industry 4.0 consists of a shortage of qualified personnel. The survey showed that 15% of companies had not implemented any measures, nor did they plan to do so in the future.

All stakeholders take changes in the labour market with respect to onset of advanced digital technologies as a challenge that should not be neglected.

The autonomy of Czech workers with regard to methods of work according to European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2015 is lower compared to the EU. While 69 % of workers in the EU are able to choose or change their methods of work on average, in Czechia the share of those with such ability is lower by 14 p.p.
Some aspects regarding work organisation (e.g. work outside working hours, autonomy at work, predictability of working schedule etc.) have been captured by the most recent Czech representative sample surveys on the working population entitled ‘Quality of working life’ (Kvalita pracovního života; 2011 – 2020).

For more detailed information on work organisation, please consult:

Equality and non-discrimination at work

Equality and non-discrimination at work

The principle of equal treatment requires that all people, and in the context of the workplace all workers, have the right to receive the same treatment, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of criteria such as age, disability, nationality, sex, race and religion.

Equality and non-discrimination at work are ensured in particular by Act No. 198/2009 Coll. on equal treatment and legal provisions protecting against discrimination (Antidiscriminatory Act), which implements relevant European legislation into Czech legal framework, defines different forms of unequal treatment and discrimination, and stipulates rules of equal treatment and protective legal remedies against discrimination.

Equal treatment of employees and prohibition of their discrimination in working conditions, remuneration for work, vocational training and opportunities for career advancement is further guaranteed by the Labour Code.

Additionally, equality in application of the right to employment is ensured by Act No. 435/2004 Coll. on employment, which explicitly charges the Labour Office of the Czech Republic with the implementation of measures to ensure equal treatment in access to employment, requalification, preparation for work, specialised training and other measures.

The issue of equality and non-discrimination at work falls within the authority of MoLSA. For example, gender equality is listed among the main responsibilities of the Ministry. Labour inspectorates can perform controls related to equality and discrimination at work. The Labour Office is further in charge of assuring equal access to employment for all categories of workers and jobseekers. The Government Council for Gender Equality, which operates under the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, is a permanent Government advisory body in the area of creating equal opportunities for women and men.

Where anti-discriminatory legislation is not complied with, the employee can appeal to a court or to the Public Defender of Rights (Ombudsman) who promotes the right to equal treatment and protection against discrimination.

Equal pay and gender pay gap

The basic legislative provision securing equal pay for equally performed work can be found primarily in the Labour Code (Act No. 262/2006). Article 110(1) specifies that all employees of an employer are entitled to an equal salary, wage or contractual remuneration for equal work or for work of equal value.

Equal treatment in remuneration is further provided for by Act No. 198/2009 on equal treatment and the legal provisions protecting against discrimination (‘Anti-Discriminatory Act’). Specifically, Article 5(3) obliges employers to ensure equal treatment in matters of right and access to employment, entrepreneurship and other self-employment, work and other dependent activities, including remuneration. For the purposes of this law, remuneration means all monetary payments or non-monetary benefits, recurring or one-time, that are directly or indirectly provided to the person in gainful employment.

According to Eurostat, in 2018 the gender pay gap (in an unadjusted form) was 20.1%, falling from 26.2% in 2008. Except for the period 2008–2009 when the gap widened slightly, it has remained at about 22% over the last 10 years in Czechia.

In Czechia, the figure of GPG is one of the highest within the EU countries. High level of gender pay gap reflects the relatively prolonged caring role of Czech women.

A gender pay gap analysis is regularly published by the Czech Statistical Office (Český statistický úřad, ČSÚ). However, ČSÚ uses their own definition of the gender pay gap – instead of a mean average for the wages of men and women, they use a median calculation. The ČSÚ argues that the median is a better indicator of the pay level because the arithmetic mean can be easily distorted by extreme values. ČSÚ also bases its calculations on gross monthly pay, not hourly pay. In 2019 the GPG figure calculated by ČSÚ has stagnated and oscillated between 15% and 23%.

According to the government study "2019 Report on Gender Equality", the difference in the average wage between women and men in 2019 was 18.8% to the detriment of women, the difference in median wages was 14.7%.

Continued interest in the topic of the GPG is apparent among research institutions such as the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, private institutions offering HR services Trexima (as part of the ISPP monitoring) and NGO Gender Studies (publication activities in its journal Rovné příležitosti do firem – ‘Equal opportunities’). Moreover, the Czech government has recently introduced a number of initiatives aimed at narrowing the gender pay gap. In 2016, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs launched a five-year project called ‘22% to fairness’ (22% being the average gender pay gap in Czechia). The most frequently discussed and visible part of the project consists of:

1. Systematic inspections specifically focused on screening and pay discrimination. Specially-trained State Labour Inspectorate experts are responsible for conducting salary inspections.

2. Development of a digital auditing tool for employers to detect gender pay differences in companies objectively.

3. Manual for employees on how to negotiate a wage increase.

4. Information campaign.

5. Public opinion surveys and good practice examples.

The new Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová (Social Democrats) took the initiative and declared in 2018 that she would additionally fight against gender pay gap through pro-family measures such as support to part-time jobs and child-care facilities for the youngest children enabling women to return sooner to work after maternity and parental leaves.

Quota regulations

There are no specific regulations regarding men/women quotas in Czechia.

According to Article 81(1) of the Employment Act, employers with more than 25 employees who have an employment contract are obliged to make sure at least 4% of their staff are people with disabilities. However, this obligation may also be met by buying goods or services from people with disabilities or employers with protected working places, or by transfers to the national budget.

Bibliography

Bibliography

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