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Employers’ information obligation towards Labour Office to be fulfilled electronically only

Following an extensive amendment to the Employment Act, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has presented a new plan for digitisation, with a view to simplify its administration and improve its services. Among other things, this digitisation will fundamentally change how employers of foreigners ensure compliance with their statutory information obligation.

Under the law, employers are obliged to report the commencement, termination, and changes to the employment of foreigners. At present, this obligation is fulfilled by notification via data box, email, fax or, if necessary, by handing over a printed form to the relevant branch of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic. Subsequently, the employees of the Labour Office manually input the data into internal systems, which means a considerable administrative burden.

Under the new system, employers will have three options to comply with their reporting obligation:

  • by filling in a new web form available on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, from which the data will be automatically entered into the central database
  • by sending an information card in XML format via a data box
  • by directly integrating their system to the interface of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, i.e., by automatic transcription of data from the employer’s internal systems directly into the office's database.

The full digitisation of this administrative agenda should minimise the need for manual tasks on the part of the Labour Office.

New reporting mandatory from July

Currently, employers can use both the existing and the new channels to comply with their information obligation. From 1 July 2024, everyone will have to switch to the new reporting and use one of the three ways described above. Until then, the ministry will hopefully use the concurrence of both methods to fix the emerging technical and practical problems.

Importantly, this system does not apply to notifications of the posting of workers from abroad to the Czech Republic within the provision of services: from 1 July 2024, this agenda will be transferred to the State Labour Inspection Office, which will use its own electronic system.

The digitisation of government systems is a welcome step forward. Authorities in the Czech Republic often use outdated and inefficient systems, and only a minimum of operations has so far been automated. However, the proposed changes may require some investment on the part of employers to implement new systems, and the time for preparation is relatively short. However, currently we see a bigger problem in the incompleteness of the notification forms, which do not allow the inclusion of all the information that the employer is legally obliged to report. At the moment, it is possible to report missing information in free form, i.e., outside the standardised forms, but from 1 July this will no longer be possible. Thus, there is currently no way for employers using the option of sending a file in XML format to fully meet their obligation. Concerns have also been raised by the lack of further information on the system for reporting the posting of foreign workers, even though the date of full operation is approaching.