Advantages and disadvantages of employment through an employment agency – from the employer’s point of view

Do you as an employer have a problem with finding employees or do you find employees but you know in advance that you will not always have a job for them and you do not want to give them notice right away? In both cases, you can use the services of an employment agency.

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Check who you are working with

Employment agencies provide employment – either by advising you on job opportunities or by matching you with a suitable candidate who you can then employ directly. Another form of placement is hiring labour. In this case, an employment agency will supply you with its staff and ‘loan’ them to you for a pre-determined period of time and for a set fee. The employment agency needs a permit from the employment office for all forms of brokerage. Before you start working with an agency, it is advisable to check whether it has a permit.

Tip: You can find out whether each agency has a permit on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs app.

Secondment agreement

When you choose an agency and you are interested in “hiring” its employees, you need to enter into a ” Temporary Assignment Agreement” with the agency. The agreement must always be in writing. The Labour Code sets out exactly what the agreement must contain. In particular, you need to agree on what work the “borrowed” employee will do for you, for how long, from when and in what location, and how much you will pay the agency for the employee. If you are going to work with an employment agency on a long-term basis, it is worth concluding a framework agreement on a temporary assignment, where you will have agreed on all the necessary matters in general and then you will always just agree on the specific details for a particular job (i.e. that Jana Nováková will work for you as a warehouseman from this Monday to Friday).

Tip: Planning to sign an employment contract with a new employee? Employment law can be complex and sometimes even a small deviation from it can cause big problems later on. We can help you navigate them and set up your employment documents in accordance with the law.

What if I want to shorten the “loan” of an employee?

To avoid any disputes and misunderstandings with the agency, it is also advisable to specify in the temporary assignment agreement when you can terminate the temporary assignment of the borrowed employee.

You cannot “rent” your own employee

The Labour Code has tightened the conditions for the use of agency workers. Therefore, you need to be careful about who you borrow from the agency and for how long. For example, you cannot “borrow” a worker who is employed by you at the same time or who has already been assigned to you by another agency in the same month.

Tip: There are several types of employment relationship. You can find out what types there are and how they work in our article.

the “borrowed” employee must not have worse working conditions than your regular employee

You also need to make sure that the agency worker does not have worse working and pay conditions than your comparable core employee would have. In other words, a “borrowed” employee should not be cheaper for you as an employer. On the contrary, they should always receive at least the same financial and overall working conditions as your own employees have (or would have). For this reason, the Labour Code also requires that information on the working and pay conditions of an employee who performs or would perform the same work as the seconded employee, taking into account qualifications and length of professional experience, should be directly part of the secondment agreement.

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Beware of fines from the Labour Inspectorate

Generally speaking, all the above-mentioned conditions of agency employment should be carefully monitored, as they are subject to heavy fines from the Labour Inspectorate. Thus, if the inspectorate finds out that you have hired your own employee from an employment agency, for example, and you have forgotten to specify the wage conditions of a comparable employee in the agreement on the assignment of the employee, or you have specified them, but the agency employee did not have the same conditions, it can fine you as the hiring employer up to CZK 1,000,000.

Tip: To be safe in your business, it pays to have the help of a professional. We can help you with employees, agency workers and other legal issues in your business.

So when does an agency worker pay off?

Using agency workers is not (should not be) cheaper for employers. However, it does give them some flexibility. You can “borrow” an agency worker for the time when you really need them and when you have a use for them (e.g. to bridge a gap in other workforce). If you are not happy with the agent and you have not underestimated the preparation of the secondment agreement, you will be able to terminate the relationship more easily than terminating the regular employee.

How conditions will change in 2024

This year, an amendment regulating the terms and conditions of agency work was approved and is due to come into force in January next year. The main change for employers will be that you will not be able to hire an agency worker for more than three years. If they want the worker for a longer period, they will have to sign a traditional employment contract or agreement with them. The purpose of this change is to ensure that agencies and employers do not take advantage of workers who should be in a traditional employment relationship.

Another change is the tightening of the conditions for illegal work. Now, even one-off work without a contract will be considered illegal.

As the use of agency workers comes with a number of conditions and restrictions, it is advisable to take professional advice in this area. We are ready to answer your questions, draw up or check your employee assignment agreement and prepare everything so that you do not get into a crossfire with either the employment agency or the inspectorate.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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