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Employment of foreigners from third countries to undergo further changes

Effective 1 July 2024, the Employment Act will undergo significant changes which will affect foreigners from countries outside the European Union without free access to the labour market. Specifically, processes relating to the reporting of job vacancies and the testing of the labour market will be amended.

Labour market test

Employers planning to fill a job position with a foreigner without free access to the labour market are first required to report the vacancy to the relevant regional branch of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic. The job position then undergoes a ‘labour market test’. The aim of this procedure is to determine whether the position could be filled by a citizen of the Czech Republic or the EU or a foreigner from a non-EU country with free access to the labour market. The test usually takes between 10 and 30 days, during which applicants without free access to the labour market cannot apply for the position.

On 1 July 2023, the labour market test was abolished for jobs to be filled by blue card holders – 
i.e., highly qualified foreigners. For jobs to be filled by regular employment card holders, the labour market test has remained in force, while, in view of the current situation on the labour market, labour offices have been authorised to shorten the test to a minimum of 10 days. However, it is still not possible for foreigners without free access to the labour market to immediately apply for these jobs and submit their residence applications.

In response to the current situation, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is now further relaxing the rules for the labour market test and the vacancy notification process. As of July this year and depending on the current situation on the labour market, the labour market test may be waived for positions to be filled with employment card holders.

Register of vacancies

Other changes introduced by the amendment will affect the keeping of records of job vacancies. Labour offices will remove job vacancies from their register after six months from the date of the notification. The exception will be jobs for which a procedure for issuing a residence permit is underway at the time. In addition, labour offices will be authorised to remove from their register jobs for which the employer fails to provide the necessary cooperation to the office.

Wider scope of persons with free access to the labour market

The list of exemptions from the obligation to have a work permit or a residence permit will be changed significantly. These exemptions are listed in a provision of the Employment Act, to which a new category will now be added: nationals of countries whose listing will be determined by a governmental regulation. In effect, nationals of selected countries will thus be granted free access to the labour market, and the rules for their employment will then be essentially like those for EU citizens.

Notification of posting of workers from another EU member state to the Czech Republic

A new provision of the Employment Act will regulate the procedure for notifying the authorities of the posting of an employee of an employer established in another EU state to the Czech Republic for the purpose of providing services. The provision specifies the form and the data that the employer must report. The notification shall now be sent to the State Labour Inspectorate rather than to the Labour Office. An important novelty is the obligation to provide the labour inspectorate with documents in Czech or Slovak proving the existence of an employment relationship between the worker and their employer.