When unemployed

When unemployed

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.

Where to apply?

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 and health insurance payments are covered by the government.  

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.

Am I eligible?

You can apply for unemployment benefit if you were working for at least 12 months within the last 24 months (and you were paying social security) if you were employed. The self-employed have different rules. If you want to know more, please contact us.

How to register at the Labour Office

First, you need to fill in the form “Žádost o zprostředkování zaměstnání” (Application for the Employment Mediation). You 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 (domicile/temporary/permanent residence in Ostrava or a flat lease agreement).

The Labour Office issues a document proving that you are registered and sends the information to your Health Insurance Company. After your first visit the clerk will arrange a meeting with you after a few months and within this time you are obliged to actively search for a job. Once you find a job you must announce this fact to the Labour Office and also to your Health Insurance Company.

Unemployment benefits

You can apply for unemployment benefits if you were economically active, ie. working for at least 12 months of the last two years (and paying social security payments). For these benefits only EU/EEA citizens and non-EU citizens with permanent residency in the Czech Republic can apply.

How to apply?

After filling in the first document (see above), please fill in the second one: “Žádost o podporu v nezaměstnanosti” (Application for Unemployment Benefits). You will need the same documents as for the first document: ID/passport, proof of residence in the Czech Republic (domicile/temporary/permanent residence or flat lease agreement), Czech bank account number, pension insurance records* (= evidenční list důchodového pojištění), employment records/credit list* (=potvrzení o zaměstnání/ zápočtový list). Termination agreement and employment records should be automatically given to you by your last employer. Please also ask your last employer for Confirmation of average income by the employer* (potvrzení zaměstnavatele o výši průměrného výdělku).

*For the self-employed this is replaced by the Confirmation of the duration of participation in the pension insurance from the Social security office (=“potvrzení o době trvání účasti na důchodovém pojištění”). Also an official document from the Trade Licence Office (Živnostenský úřad) is needed to certify that your Trade Licence has been interrupted or cancelled.

Unemployment benefits

The amount and length of the payment of the employment benefits you are entitled to depends on the reasons why your employment contract was terminated, and varies depending on your age, income and the length of employment in the previous period. For those who have received severance pay (=odstupné) in the previous job, the payment of the unemployment benefit is postponed by the appropriate number of months.

The maximum unemployment benefit in 2020 can be CZK 19,389 per month. For the self-employed, the monthly amount is calculated by the Social Insurance Office (Okresní správa sociálního zabezpečení, OSSZ) from the last assessment base for the social insurance, ie half of the profit (after deduction of expenses) in the previous year. In the first year of self-employment, however, the assessment base is taken as the minimum one, no matter what the profits achieved are; thus the unemployment benefit is actually very low. After your first visit the clerk will arrange a meeting with you after a few months and within this time you are obliged to actively search for a job. Once you find a job, you must announce it to the Employment office and also to your health insurance company within 8 calendar days after the new contract has been made effective.

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