Draft amendment introducing changes to assignment of workers

In June, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs submitted to the government a draft amendment to the Labour Code and the Employment Act in connection with the transposition of an amended EU directive concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services. The amendment primarily changes the minimum remuneration and working conditions of workers posted for a period longer than 12 or 18 months as well as the information and record-keeping obligations associated with such postings.

Postings are understood to be situations in which workers perform work in the territory of a member state other than the one in which they regularly work. According to the directive, postings are temporary and workers usually return back after completing their tasks. The legal regulation of postings is harmonised at the EU level; in Czech law, this is reflected in several provisions of the Labour Code and Employment Act. The ministry is planning to amend just these labour-law regulations.

The Czech Labour Code regulates the minimum working and salary conditions, which must be provided by an employer to employees posted to the Czech Republic. These already include, among other things, the duty to provide a minimum and guaranteed wage and extra-pay for overtime work. The amendment proposes to replace the term minimum wage with remuneration, which is a wider term including all other mandatory wage or salary components, i.e. mandatory extra-pay to which employees are entitled in accordance with the host country’s law (in the CR, this will involve extra-pay for work on Saturday and Sunday, on holidays, at night, etc.). According to the amendment, the employer will also have to reimburse the posted worker’s travel expenses in the amount to which employees are entitled pursuant to Czech law. This regulation will generally not apply where the minimum conditions set forth by the law of the state from which the employee was posted are more advantageous for them.

Where postings exceed 12 months, the directive imposes a duty on member states to ensure for posted workers all the applicable terms and conditions of employment applicable in the member state where the work is carried out. Following the procedure set out by the amended Employment Act, the 12-month period can be extended to up to 18 months by employers filing a motivated (substantiated) notification. The amendment also proposes that after the 12- or 18-month period elapses, the posted worker will become fully subject to Czech laws, except as regards the origination, change and termination of employment. And again, this regulation will generally not apply where the specific conditions set forth by the law of the state from which the employee was posted are more advantageous for them.

For the Employment Act, the amendment transfers all information and record-keeping obligations to the foreign employer posting their employees to the Czech Republic. According to the amendment, foreign employers will have to notify the appropriate regional branch of the Czech Labour Office about the posting and any changes in writing. This will have to be done no later than on the date the posted workers commence their work. The record-keeping obligation, so far performed by the entity receiving the posted worker, will also be transferred to the foreign employer who now will have to keep records of such persons at the place of work.

The directive’s transposition deadline will expire on 30 July 2020; the draft amendment to the Labour Code and the Employment Act is also proposed to be effective from that date. The draft is currently subject to an internal comment procedure.

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