Employment contracts

Employment Contracts

(= pracovní poměr) there are two “versions” based on the number of hours you work weekly: there are full time contracts and part time contracts. Both these types give you good social security.

Full Time (plný úvazek) Employment Contract

This is the most usual type of employment contract in the Czech Republic. The salary (= plat) or wages (mzda)  is expressed as a monthly gross income, not yearly as in some countries.

People usually work 40 hours a week (8 hours/day). After a maximum of 6 hours of work, you are entitled to and also obliged to a 30-minute break for taking a rest and a meal. Those 30 minutes can be split into shorter breaks, out of which at least one must be at least 15 minutes long. The thirty minutes are not included in the working hours and you cannot enjoy them at the beginning or the end of the workday, so actually the workday is 8.5 hours a day (including the break). 

You will also usually receive 4-5 weeks of paid leave every year. First, there is usually the probationary period (=zkušební doba). It can take a maximum of 3 months, or 6 months with a managerial position. If a contract is shorter than 6 months, the probationary period can be a maximum of half the length of the employment. If the contract is for 2 months, the probationary period can be a maximum of one month. During the probationary period, both the employer and the employee may decide to stop the contract without any notice or stating any reasons. After the probationary period one cannot leave the job immediately, but has to hand in a job termination statement (=výpověď). Usually a  two-month notice period starts to run on the first day of the month following its delivery to the employer. The job termination statement / or redundancy dismissal statement from the employer also has a two-month notice period.

The employment relationship may also end by mutual agreement, on which both the employee and the employer must agree. You have to pay health insurance, social insurance and taxes from your gross salary and the employer will automatically deduct the payments  for you. Moreover, the employer pays extra health insurance and social insurance fees for you which makes this type of an employment contract a very good choice for social security (and later also retirement pension, although this differs by the country of origin). You can also take sick leave (=nemocenská) and maternity leave (mateřská). Also, if you work long enough, you are entitled to unemployment benefits if you unfortunately lose the job.

Part Time (zkrácený úvazek) Employment Contract

This contract is suitable e.g. for people caring for a young child, pregnant women or those caring for a disabled person. Unless there are serious operational reasons, the employer is obliged to comply with your request for reducing your contract from full time to part time.  For example, an employee works 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Working conditions are the same as for full-time work: the employee is entitled to a proportionate share of the paid leave (=dovolená na zotavenou) and company benefits, and the employee is entitled to maternity or sick leave, as well as unemployment benefits.

Both of the above-mentioned contracts can be concluded either for an indefinite period (= na dobu neurčitou) or for a fixed-term (= na dobu určitou). The fixed term can be agreed upon for a maximum of 3 years and can be extended a maximum of 2 times, otherwise you either have to leave or the contract must be changed into a contract for an indefinite period.

Agreements Outside Employment Contract

= Agreement on work performed outside the employment contract – “dohoda o pracích konaných mimo pracovní poměr”

These types of “work contracts” are called ‘Agreements’ (=Dohoda) because they have important limitations and, in many ways, provide less social security for the employee. However, they are very useful for jobs limited in the volume of hours, short-term or one-off jobs, or for a job that one does concurrently with the main work contract or with one’s self-employment activities. One can usually have more of such contracts at a time, but although they may seem more advantageous for the short-term, having only these types of contracts for a long stay is often not an advantage for the employee.

There are basically two types of Work Agreements and they are commonly referred to as DPP and DPČ. We shall explain here what the abbreviations stand for and, most importantly, what the main difference between them is.

Dohoda o provedení práce (DPP) (Agreement About the Execution of Work)

DPP is most often used when hiring temporary workers for a one-time limited work task. This is due to the limit of 300 work hours per one calendar year with one employer, which does not mean, however, that you cannot have several DPPs at the same time, even with the same employer. The limit is, however, that the sum of working hours within all the DPPs with one employer does not exceed 300 work hours with the employer.

The advantage of DPP is that you do not have to pay health and social insurance if the gross income (before tax) is below CZK 10,000 per month. Once the income rises over  CZK 10,001, you are immediately obliged to pay social and health insurance. The disadvantage of DPP is that if you do not have any additional income or the state does not pay for health and social insurance (eg. you are on parental leave), you are obliged to pay for the health insurance yourself. Otherwise, you will be penalised for each day of the non-payment of the health insurance. However, social insurance is only voluntary. The tax is 15%, and it is a withholding tax, so the employer pays it for you. At the time of filing your taxes, if your yearly income is very low (e.g. you are a student), you can claim the tax back.

Prior to concluding a ‘Work Agreement’ your current “main” employer – if you have one – should give you consent. It is not necessary if your Agreement is to be done in a different field than your main job.

Dohoda o provedení činnosti (DPČ) (Agreement About the Execution of Activities)

DPČ is suitable for larger-scale cooperation. The volume of work must not exceed half of the employer’s weekly working hours, eg 40 hours of the full-time, ie. DPČ is for a maximum of 20 hours / week. You are not entitled to wage compensation if the employer does not currently have any work tasks for you. Neither are you entitled to paid leave or company benefits, unless you have agreed on them explicitly in the Agreement. However, you already pay social and health insurance and income tax in this contract. If your income exceeds 3,500 CZK, you have to pay social and health insurance. Also, the employer pays extra health and social fees to the Government for you that will not be visible on your payroll.

Prior to concluding a ‘Work Agreement’ your current “main” employer – if you have one – should give you consent. It is not necessary if your Agreement is to be done in a different field than your main job.

Comparison Table (DPP x DPČ)
Institute DPP DPČ
Origin written contract written contract
Requisites type, scope, remuneration, duration of work type, scope, remuneration, duration of work
Range max 300 hours / max on average 20 hours / week
 calendar year
Health and social insurance with remuneration over CZK 10,001 / month with remuneration over CZK 3,500 / month
Termination    
By agreement Yes Yes
Notice period yes / 15 days yes / 15 days
Immediate cancellation must be agreed / only reasons according to law must be agreed / only reasons according to law
By obstacles at work can be arranged / according to law can be arranged / according to law
Comparison Table of Employment Contract and DPP/DPČ

 

  Employment contract DPP DPČ
Origin written form, but lack of written form does not mean invalidity written form, otherwise it is valid, but the employer can be fined written form, otherwise it is valid, but the employer can be fined
Mandatory

requisites

type of work, place of work, day of commencement of work type of work, scope

of work, remuneration, duration

type of work, scope

of work, remuneration, duration

Contractual nature content defined by laws and regulations the content is contractually defined the content is contractually defined
Scope of working hours max 40 hours / week max 300 hours per

calendar year

max on average

20 hours / week

Remuneration income higher than the minimum wage income higher than

minimum wage / hour

income higher than

minimum wage /hour

Health and social insurance the employer always pays with income over CZK 10,001 / month with income over CZK 3,500 / month
  • Verified

    Frank Bold Advokáti

    Legal services - employment contracts, employment disputes, labor unions, termination, collective redundancies, personal data protection.

Employee Benefits

Benefits are provided to employees by their employers and are an additional reward to their wage or salary. They are not enforceable, nor regulated by law, however, many employers offer many of them to be more attractive to potential employees. Individual employers can either provide the same benefits to all their employees or some benefits to people on all positions and different ones only to selected positions. They may also use the so-called cafeteria system in which they offer certain benefits and employees themselves can choose the ones they prefer within a pre-set limit.

Types of Benefits

Benefits can be financial or non-financial.

In the case of financial benefits, we talk about monetary benefits like the 13th or 14th salary (if applicable), or some financial reward after a longer period of time. It is important to note that if they are not included in the contract, they are only given by the employers from their own good will.

Non-financial benefits can take many specific forms – e.g. material or above-standard service. They include discounts, vouchers, services or products and they can come from many areas (health care, gastronomy, culture, sports, recreation or extra free days).

What about benefits and taxes?

When it comes to benefits and taxes, we can distinguish two types:

  • From the employer’s point of view – certain benefits may or may not be included in the costs, therefore, certain benefits are provided based on the employer’s options.
  • From the employee’s point of view – certain benefits must or don’t have to be included into the calculation of health and social insurance. This sometimes depends on the pre-set limit of benefits by law (supplementary pension insurance).
What are the most common benefits?
  • Extra holidays

The law ensures that each employee must have the minimum of 4 weeks of vacation per year. However, some companies provide one or two extra weeks of holidays. In some cases, companies began to offer unlimited leave. This type of benefit must be included in the contract.

  • Remote home office

Some employers offer the possibility of a home office for both partial or full time contracts. This can provide more flexible work hours, better working environment and different costs for the employer as well. This is slowly becoming one of the standard possibilities and it may not be a benefit in the future anymore.

  • Sick days

The possibility to get your income when you are absent from work due to health issues or in some cases for other reasons too. This must be included in the contract beforehand. Some companies also allow extension of parental leave.

  • Supplementary pension insurance and life insurance

The employer may provide supplementary pension insurance or life insurance. For employees it is tax-free if it does not exceed the amount of CZK 50,000 per year from one employer. In the case of employers, it is tax acceptable with no limit.

  • Providing food and meal vouchers

This is one of the most common types of benefits. The law makes it compulsory for employers to allow their employees to have a break for their meal, but they do not have the obligation to provide the food itself. Some employers have their own canteens, while the others may offer meal vouchers that serve as payment for food.

  • Benefits for sports, culture, recreation and company kindergarten

Such benefits include season tickets into sport centres, swimming pools or gyms. Cultural benefits are for example tickets to cinema, theatre or cultural events. Some employers may provide their own kindergarten for employees and therefore help to take care of their children.

  • Transport, education and housing

Many companies provide their own company cars for business use or sometimes even for personal use as well. If not, they may pay transport allowances. Business travel expenses are compensated by the employer according to the law. Companies may provide temporary accommodation or housing allowance. Some employers may offer language and vocational courses to their employees.

  • Other benefits

There are other benefits often provided by the companies, such as a company mobile phone or a laptop. Very often there is also a discount for products or services of the companies, sometimes they provide some of them free of charge in a limited amount.

Payment of Social and Health Contributions

Social security and health insurance are mandatory kind-of-taxes paid by employees automatically from salary and wage, while self-employed people pay social security and health insurance as part of compulsory contributions (more here). These contributions are automatically deducted from employees’ salaries and part of them is paid by the employer.

The payment of social security and health insurance is quite a significant amount, these kind-of-taxes are paid not only by the employee (11% from gross salary), but also by the employer, who pays a total of 34% of the additional salary paid to the state for each employee.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a total of 13.5% of a wage, of which one third is paid by the employee (4.5%) and the rest (9%) by the employer.

Why is it necessary to pay health insurance?

Health insurance is a kind-of-tax paid for medical care. Health insurance is paid by employees and self-employed people to their health insurance company. Basic health care is then free (more here).

The government pays health insurance for some people, such as students, mothers on maternity leave, parents receiving parental allowance, people receiving an old-age pension. The state also pays health insurance for the unemployed who are registered at the employment office. If you do not work, do not run a business and you are not even a state insured, it is always necessary to pay health insurance at a minimum rate, in this case as a so-called person without taxable income (“OBZP”).

Social Security

Social security totals 31.5% of a wage, of which 6.5% is paid by the employee, the rest by the employer (25%).

Why is it necessary to pay social security?

Within the social security, the so-called pension insurance, sickness insurance and also a contribution to the state employment policy are paid. Based on the payment of these taxes, the amount of some social benefits is then derived. On the basis of the paid pension insurance, old-age pensions are paid, on the basis of the sickness insurance, for example, sickness allowance, maternity or paternity leaves are paid.

Social security is paid only from precisely given income (from wage, from salary). If you are unemployed and do not have taxable income, then you do not have to pay pension insurance. However, this period will not count to your old-age pension.

Self-employed people are obliged to pay only pension insurance, while participation in sickness insurance is voluntary for them. However, if they do not pay sickness benefits voluntarily, then the self-employed are not entitled to, for example, maternity or sickness benefits (more here).

It is not possible to reimburse either health or social contributions payments when you decide to leave the Czech Republic! They have been just simply consumed (see below).

Pension System

Czech pension system regulates two out of the three EU pension pillars – the PAYG pension system and the supplementary pension saving option. Through this system, you contribute to the pension of those who are already retired, and at the same time you have the opportunity to save for retirement with a contribution from your employer and the state. You will learn more in the following section, which introduces all the pillars in more detail.

The I. Pillar – PAYG Pension System

The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system is based on the principle that economically active individuals (i.e. employees and self-employed people) contribute to the pension system on an ongoing basis and these payments are immediately used to pay pensions. Simply put, the money collected each month for social security is immediately paid out in pensions.

This system is very simple. On the other hand, it may happen that its income does not correspond to expenditure and deficits may arise, for example due to the increasing share of the number of pensioners in the population.

The II. Pillar – Employer Pension Scheme

The voluntary employer pension scheme, so called the second pillar of the EU pension pillars, is not included in the Czech pension insurance system.

The III. Pillar – Supplementary Pension Saving Option

The third pillar of the pension system is optional and includes funding from the employer and the state. Employees may decide to start saving for their retirement, but to be entitled to the government contribution they must retire in the Czech Republic or stay here long enough to get the benefit. The maximum contribution from the state is CZK 230 per month if your savings are CZK 1,000 per month. The tax discount can be up to CZK 3,600 per year.

The employer’s contribution is not regulated by the law, therefore, it depends on the agreement the employee personally negotiates. Employers are not obliged to pay any taxes on top of the employee’s pension fund.

State Pension (From Abroad, or the Czech Republic)

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, you may have accumulated pension rights in each of them. You’ll have to apply to the pension authority in the country where you’re living or you last worked. If you’ve never worked in the country where you’re living, your host country will forward your claim to the one you last worked in. That country is then responsible for processing your claim and bringing together records of your contributions from all the countries you worked in (more here).

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