Harsh penalties for breach of employer’s reporting obligation
Foreign employees are relatively commonplace for many Czech employers. We know from practice that employers often neglect some of their obligations, especially for foreign workers from the EU, and are then surprised when penalised by competent authorities following an inspection. In this article, we draw attention to some of these obligations.
The employment of foreigners is mainly regulated by the Employment Act. For all employers, it stipulates a reporting obligation, i.e. a duty report the employment of a foreign worker to the relevant regional branch of the Czech Labour Office no later than on the commencement day of the employment. In addition to meeting this deadline it is necessary to provide the Labour Office with precisely defined data about the employee, the employer, and the required job position. The same applies to the termination of employment: the employer must report the termination of a foreigner’s employment to the relevant regional branch of the Labour Office no later than 10 calendar days after the termination of employment.
In this context, however, there is yet another obligation often neglected by employers, i.e., to report any changes in the reported data (e.g., change in the address for the delivery of documents, change of surname, change in the period for which the foreigner has been permitted to reside or work here). In this case, the deadline for reporting is 10 calendar days from the time when the change occurred or when the employer became aware of it.
Reporting of the commencement and termination of employment is quite simple, done via printed forms designated for this purpose and published on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ website. For reporting of changes, the situation is rather more complicated: the law does not stipulate in what form the employer should report them, there is no special form for reporting of changes, and in practice we often see that the approach applied by individual Labour Office branches is not uniform and often requires consultations on a case-by-case basis.
Obviously, the reporting obligation towards the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs is not the only one a foreigner must comply with: it is also necessary to keep in mind the reporting obligation towards the Labour Office, which, for a change, rests with the employer. Please note also that the latter applies not only to foreigners from third countries, but also to EU citizens including Slovak nationals, where this is often neglected. In the event of failure to comply with the reporting obligation, a penalty of up to CZK 100,000 may be imposed on the employer under the Employment Act.