CZECH REPUBLIC : NEW HOMEWORKING REGULATION
Upcoming amendments to the Labor Code, which could change provisions about working from home are currently facing criticism from employers, company representatives, and the Ministry of Labor, ČT24 reports.
The most significant criticism of the changes to the Labor Code includes proposed amendments governing remote work, and the additional bureaucratic burden the changes will create.
The amendments include proposals that employers must allow remote work for certain categories of employees, such as pregnant women or parents of children under the age of 15. The amendment should also establish a flat-rate contribution to the costs that employees incur while working at home.
According to muj-pravnik.cz, there are two types of remote work. "Home office" allows employees to work from home under certain conditions, such as a child's illness, for a few days a month. "Working from home," on the other hand, allows employees to work mostly from home, and come into the office for important meetings.
The current provisions in the Labor Code stipulate certain conditions that apply to employees in the "working from home" category. These employees have to schedule their working hours themselves, which means they are not entitled to additional remuneration for working overtime or on a holiday. The employer is still liable in the event of an occupational accident that happens while the employees were performing their work at home.
The Labor Ministry says it wants telecommuting to no longer be a benefit, but something available to anyone whose type of work allows it.
Vít Samek, the vice-chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, said that adjusting the current regulations "will bring more problems than benefits" since it could lead to "over-regulation" for things that "are unnecessary to be prescribed by law." Other critics say that, in addition to being too bureaucratic, the changes could also prove to be administratively demanding.
Other proposed changes to the Labor Code were that in addition to the salary, the employer should pay a flat rate for each hour of remote work started, which would be calculated based on the total average costs for utilities such as electricity, gas, and removal of municipal waste.
An increasing number of companies in the Czech Republic are offering remote work, on the grounds that employees are not just more efficient, but also happier with their work-life balance.
The draft amendment is currently in the commencing stage, meaning ministries – in addition to the Labor Ministry – and other state bodies and institutions can submit comments and notes to the draft amendment.
Labor Minister Marian Jurečka said that the criticism will be incorporated into changes to the amendment.
Jurečka previously said that the new rules could begin to take effect from the beginning of next year, in line with legislation in accordance with the EU's Work-life Balance Directive, which entered into force in 2019 and was supposed to be adopted by all member states by August 2022.