No one wants to be unemployed, but if such a situation happens there is a social security system. The main role of the Czech social security system is to register the unemployed people and to provide them with information about available job vacancies, as well as to help them apply for unemployment benefits.
There are 3 Labour Offices (Úřad práce) in Ostrava (in the city centre, Vítkovice and Poruba), you should visit one in the area of your residence. When you become unemployed registration at the Labour Office is not obligatory, but without registration you can not apply for unemployment benefits and later, when applying for the retirement pension, it is a disadvantage that there are “blank” periods during which you were not either employed, self-employed, or registered as unemployed (you can also be in the “replacement” period, such as on maternity leave, etc.).
While unemployed, social security payments are not required but it’s mandatory to continue paying health insurance. However, in certain situations, health insurance payments are covered by the government, those situations are eg. foreigners with permanent residence, EU citizens who are eligible for unemployment benefits, EU citizens who can prove their factual residence or unemployed non-EU spouses of economically active EU citizens.
Your former employer is obliged to inform the Social Security Office and your Health Insurance Company about the termination of your job. Nevertheless we recommend to contact your Health Insurance Company yourself to discuss further steps.
Not everybody can register as a job seeker. This is possible only for EU/EEA citizens, EU family members, non-EU citizens with permanent residence, blue card holders and holders of asylum/temporary protection.
First, you need to fill in the form “Žádost o zprostředkování zaměstnání” (Application for the Employment Mediation). You can do it online and then bring a hard copy with you. Also, you need a valid ID (or passport) and proof of your residence in the Czech Republic (temporary/permanent residence or a flat lease agreement).
After the registration, the Labour Office issues a document proving that you are registered.
After the registration, the clerk will arrange follow-up meetings with you. Within this time you are obliged to actively search for a job. Once you find a job, you must announce it to the Labour office and also to your health insurance company within 8 calendar days after the new contract has been made effective.
Until you find a new job, you must attend personal visits arranged by the clerk. Failure to attend these meetings will result in deletion from the register and loss of unemployment benefits (including health insurance covered by the government).