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Czech Republic

Employee Rights and Protections

Explore workers' rights and legal protections in Czech Republic


In the Czech Republic, the Labour Code outlines the lawful grounds for terminating an employment contract.

Employer-Initiated Termination

Employers can terminate an employment contract by providing a minimum two-month notice period, which begins on the first day of the month following the notice delivery. The reasons for termination must be legally defined, such as redundancy, employee misconduct, or operational reasons like relocation or closure. The specific reason for dismissal must be clearly stated in the termination notice.

Employee-Initiated Termination

Employees have the right to resign at any time, with or without providing a reason. However, a minimum notice period, typically two months, is required unless otherwise agreed with the employer.

Notice Requirements

The standard notice period in the Czech Republic is two months for both employers and employees, starting on the first day of the month following the notice delivery. This period can be extended by mutual agreement. In specific situations, a shorter notice period may apply, such as during a probationary period. Employers cannot give notice during protected periods like sick leave, maternity leave, or parental leave.

Severance Pay

The entitlement to severance pay depends on the reason for termination and the employee's length of service. If termination is due to redundancy or operational reasons initiated by the employer, a severance pay of up to three months' average earnings may be applicable. Employees generally do not receive severance pay if they resign. In cases of serious employee misconduct leading to dismissal, severance pay is typically not awarded.

Additional Notes

This is a general overview, and specific details regarding termination procedures and severance pay may vary depending on the employment contract and collective bargaining agreements.


The Anti-Discrimination Act, Act No. 198/2009 Coll., outlines several protected characteristics against which discrimination is prohibited. These characteristics include sex, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, age, disability, religion or belief, political or other opinions, and membership in a trade union.

Discrimination can take various forms, such as direct discrimination, which involves treating someone less favorably due to a protected characteristic. For instance, rejecting a job application due to race. Indirect discrimination, on the other hand, refers to seemingly neutral policies that disproportionately disadvantage a protected group. An example of this would be a physical agility test that excludes people with disabilities.

Redress Mechanisms

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against have several channels for redress. Many organizations are required to establish internal complaint procedures for employees to report discrimination. The Czech Labour Office, a government agency, investigates complaints of discrimination in employment and can order corrective measures. The Public Defender of Rights, an independent body, can investigate complaints and recommend solutions. Individuals can also file lawsuits against the discriminating party, potentially seeking compensation for damages.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers in the Czech Republic have a legal obligation to provide a workplace free from discrimination. This includes creating policies that prohibit discrimination and taking steps to prevent it from occurring. Employers must ensure equal opportunities in areas like recruitment, promotion, and compensation, regardless of protected characteristics. They may also be required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities to ensure they can perform their job duties.

Additional Notes

The burden of proof in discrimination cases often falls on the employer to demonstrate that the reason for a particular action was not discriminatory. Several non-governmental organizations in the Czech Republic offer support and advice to victims of discrimination.

Working conditions

The standard workweek in the Czech Republic is capped at 40 hours, typically spread over five working days, resulting in eight-hour workdays with a lunch break (not counted as working time). Including overtime, the maximum average working hours cannot exceed 48 hours per week over a four-month period. Overtime work is permitted with limitations. Employees cannot be forced to work overtime, and any overtime worked requires their consent. Employers must pay a premium for overtime hours, typically at least 1.25 times the regular wage.

Rest Periods

For workdays exceeding six hours, a minimum rest break of at least 30 minutes is mandated by law. Employees are entitled to a minimum of two uninterrupted rest days per week, typically including Saturday or Sunday.

Ergonomic Requirements

While there aren't explicitly defined ergonomic requirements in Czech legislation, employers are obligated to conduct risk assessments to identify potential hazards in the workplace, including musculoskeletal risks posed by poor workstation setup. Employers must take necessary steps to mitigate these risks. This could involve providing ergonomic equipment, offering training on proper posture, and incorporating regular breaks for employees to move around.

Additional Notes

Collective bargaining agreements between employers and employee unions may establish different working hour arrangements or additional benefits.

Health and safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (Act No. 262/2006 Coll.) is the primary legislation governing workplace health and safety in the Czech Republic. This act imposes significant duties on employers, including risk assessment, providing a safe work environment, training and information provision, personal protective equipment (PPE) provision, and accident reporting.

Employer Obligations

Employers are required to conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards in the workplace and implement control measures to mitigate them. These assessments should consider physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial hazards. They are also responsible for providing a safe work environment and ensuring the use of safe work practices. This includes measures to prevent accidents, occupational illnesses, and work-related injuries.

Employers must provide adequate training and information to employees on health and safety risks, procedures, and the use of PPE. Where necessary, employers must provide appropriate PPE to employees and ensure its proper use and maintenance. Work-related accidents, near misses, and dangerous occurrences must be reported to the relevant authorities.

Employee Rights

Czech employees have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. This translates to several key rights, including the right to work in an environment free from foreseeable risks to their health and safety. Employees can refuse to perform work they deem unsafe, provided they have reasonable justification for their concern. They also have the right to be consulted on health and safety matters and participate in the improvement of workplace safety procedures. Employees have the right to access training and information on health and safety risks and procedures relevant to their work.

Enforcement Agencies

The primary responsibility for enforcing health and safety regulations falls on the State Occupational Safety Office (SÚPO). SÚPO conducts workplace inspections, investigates accidents, and takes necessary actions against non-compliant employers, which may include fines or even closure of the workplace.

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