Eight-day deadline to register/deregister employees reinstated

On 27 May 2020, a bill reducing penalties for the late payment of social security premiums and state employment policy contributions by employers in connection with the emergency measures adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic was promulgated in the Collection of Laws. As part of the bill, the legislators also passed an amending proposal prepared by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, whereby the deadline within which employers must register or deregister their employees with the Czech Social Security Administration was substantially shortened.

The current deadline is eight calendar days. Under the new rules, however, employers would have had to notify the agency of the day when employees started their employment (also constituting the beginning of their participation in the social security system) no later than on the working day following the first day of employment; the day of employment termination would have had to be notified no later than on the next working day. Had an employer failed to do so within the statutory deadline, they would have faced a penalty of up to CZK 20 000. The change was to enter into effect on 1 September 2020.

The shortening of the statutory deadline was passed in a state of legislative emergency, meaning that it did not go through the regular legislative process or comment procedure, which would have allowed for its rejection. Since the change would have caused considerable complications for employers, the professional public immediately responded with efforts to reverse the change. On 29 May, while debating a bill on a waiver of social security premiums and employment contribution payments by some employers, deputies submitted an amending motion, reversing the shortened deadline to its original length, i.e. eight calendar days.

Let us hope that thanks to this lesson learned the state of legislative emergency will in the future be used solely in situations where such an approach is indeed necessary. 

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