End of July brings revolution in posting of workers
A package of significant changes to the posting of workers from abroad entered into effect on 30 July 2020 as part of an amendment to the Labour Code. This package adapts Czech legislation to comply with an amendment to the EU Directive on the Posting of Workers. Changes are primarily aimed to equalise the working conditions of posted and local workers. The amendment may result in a significant increase in expenses for the posting of workers and, simultaneously, a higher administrative burden on employers.
Under the amendment, for personnel posted to the Czech Republic it is necessary to distinguish between short- and long-term postings. Short-term postings are generally postings shorter than 12 months; long-term postings go beyond 12 months. The short-term posting regime can be extended to up to 18 months but employers must file a written notification of such an extension with a regional labour office and specify why the posting is being extended. All this must be done within 12 months from the moment a posted worker started providing services in the CR.
Before the amendment, the Czech Labour Code regulated the minimum working and payroll conditions to which a worker posted to the CR is entitled. These minimum conditions are currently applicable only to short-term postings, while at the same time, the original list of working conditions that must be provided to posted personnel, such as minimum wage, guaranteed wage or minimum vacation length, has been extended to cover also the provision of statutory extra pay, travel expenses, and acceptable accommodation conditions if provided by the employer.
On the other hand, workers posted long-term must be provided with all working conditions prevalent in the host country, excepting the legal regulation of the origination, change and termination of an employment relationship. Any working conditions under Czech law apply to the posted worker only if these are more advantageous than those under the law of the worker’s home country, which is a rule that remains effective for both short-term and long-term postings.
To assess whether a posting is short-term or long-term, posting periods of workers replaced within the performance of the same job at the same place are added together. Under the transitory provisions, a posting commenced before the effective date of the amendment is regarded as a posting commenced on the effective date, i.e. 30 July 2020.
Within the regulation of agency employment, the amendment stipulates the duty of the user, i.e. the employer to whom the worker is temporarily assigned by an agency, to inform the agency sufficiently in advance about its intention to post the worker to another member state while providing services on an international scale (double-posting). Double-posted personnel are also regarded as posted personnel and job agencies remain their employers with all related rights and duties. The amendment also stipulates an exception from these rules applicable to workers in road transport.
The new rules aim to improve the conditions of posted workers. Nonetheless, relatively many unresolved issues will have to be dealt with by both receiving and posting employers. We therefore recommend adopting a very careful approach to postings and paying proper attention to the preparation of related documentation. The reporting duty towards labour offices should also be adhered to.
To conclude, we also draw attention to changes introduced by the amendment applicable to personnel posted from the CR to other EU countries.