Amendment to the Labour Code (Part II): delivery rules
The Labour Code stipulates documents that only have legal effect once they have been delivered to the employee’s own hands. Apart from documents concerning the establishment, change or termination of employment, these include, e.g., itemised wage statements, or notices of the removal of a manager from their managerial position. Delivering under labour law may indeed be a nightmare. In this part of the series of articles on the extensive amendment to the Labour Code, we will investigate how delivering of documents should be simplified from July of this year.
Under currently valid legislation, employers must deliver documents to their employees primarily in person, at their workplace or residence, or wherever the employees can be found, or through an electronic communication network or service. Only if this is not possible may employers deliver the documents by post; and case law implies that one attempt to deliver at the workplace may not be deemed sufficient. Under the proposed amendment, it would suffice that the employer has attempted to deliver the document at the workplace. If such an attempt fails, the employer may proceed to deliver the documents by post or choose another manner of delivery provided for in the Labour Code, such as a data box.
Under the currently valid legal regulation, employers must deliver documents to employees’ last known address. Employers may learn such addresses not just from the employee, but also, e.g., from sick notes, or even from other employees. Hence, it may be quite an administrative burden for employers to investigate which of the employee’s addresses they should consider the last known address. Under the new rules, the responsibility for notifying their employer of their correct and up-to-date address for delivering will be with the employees, who will otherwise face the risk of documents being delivered to them to an address where they do not reside, and still having the legal effects.
The amendment also unifies the deadline for collecting the document at the post office (if the addressee was not present at their address during attempted delivery) with the deadlines applied by the Czech Post. The fiction of delivery will thus take effect upon the elapse of 15 calendar days, rather than 10 working days as under current legislation.
If the employee refuses to accept the document, the mail carrier must still warn them about the consequences of such a refusal. Yet, under the new rules, it will no longer be necessary to take a written record of this, as this in practice was causing problems.
Changes will also concern the electronic delivery of documents. The amendment introduces special conditions for employers delivering to data boxes: under the new rules, it would suffice to obtain the employee’s written consent for delivering to a data box. Such consent may be granted in each specific case, or as general consent. If the employee does not log in their data box within 10 days from the delivery of the document to the data box, the document will be deemed delivered; no special confirmation of receipt will be necessary. We yet have to see how this delivery method will fare in practice.
The proposed changes to delivering documents under labour law are certainly a step in the right direction. However, delivering to employees by post or electronically will still be rather complex, even after the amendment’s effect. It seems that we will still have to recommend that our clients deliver documents to their employees preferably in person and in front of a witness, wherever possible.