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What to Be Aware of when Employing Foreign Nationals in the Czech Republic

As employing foreigners is becoming increasingly common, it’s good to know what legal requirements must be met in Czechia in this respect.

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Article chapters:

E.U. citizens, foreign nationals with permanent residence in Czechia, and third-country nationals

Firstly, let’s note that not all foreigners are equal in terms of Czech law. Based on their country of origin and the permit type that they have obtained, legal regulations determine the conditions under which they are allowed to work here.

1) E.U. citizens and their families

Matters are quite simple in this case – E.U. citizens and their families (including family members of Czech citizens) are treated in the same way as Czech citizens. They don’t need a work permit and have a free access to the labour market. Only one difference exists: when you employ such a person, you must inform your local Labour Office branch about this fact in writing no later than on the first day of their new job. And in a similar fashion, you must inform the office it when the foreign national leaves their job – in this case, the period is 10 days.

2) Foreign nationals with permanent residence in Czechia

As with E.U. citizens and their families, simply report the employment (and its termination) of any foreign nationals who have permanent residence in the Czech Republic. Again, no work permit is required for this category of foreigners.

3) Third-country nationals

If you seek to employ a foreigner who’s neither an E.U. citizen nor has their permanent residence here, you’ll need to help this person obtain a work permit, which in turn will help them acquire a permanent residence permit – both are necessary. The permanent residence permit is usually issued by the immigration police upon the employer’s declaration of their intent to employ the foreign national.

The vacancy must first be reported to the Labour Office

Employers should also keep in mind that they may only employ third-country nationals without a work permit to fill a vacancy that has been registered at the Labour Office for a period of time. This regulation aims to protect the Czech labour market. The Employment Act states that it’s only possible to fill such a vacancy with a third-country national when that vacancy has been reported to the Labour Office and has existed for at least 30 days since the reporting.

And what information must the report contain? In short, the basic job description, that is, the position name itself, the location, the requirements, information about the wage, and so on.

And last but not least, the employer mustn’t have committed any misdemeanour recently, e.g., they mustn’t have been fined for illegal employment of foreigners in the last 4 months, or they mustn’t have been fined more than 50,000 CZK by the Labour Inspection Office for the violation of an industrial regulation.

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Exceptions – who doesn’t need a work permit in Czechia?

As mentioned, E.U. citizens and their families don’t, and neither do foreign nationals with permanent residence in the Czech Republic. Among further exceptions are, for instance, foreigners who’ve been granted asylum, or (providing they work no more than several days per year) artists, scientists and research workers, athletes and students under age 26.

Be aware of substantial fines

Before you employ a foreigner, do thoroughly inspect their work permit (or the documents proving that they don’t need one), and do enter into an employment contract or contract for work with them. A number of work permits exist in the Czech Republic, such as the Employee Card, which allows for both work and stay, or the blue card for workers with an exceptional or sought-after qualification. Although it’s easy to become lost in the variety of permits, we strongly advise you to take the time to orient yourself – the fines for illegal employment can reach millions of crowns, in addition to which you may have to deport the foreign national at your own expense.

Qualified Employee Programme

You might be familiar with its former name, Ukraine Regime. What’s it about? Although the Czech Republic combats illegal employment of foreign nationals, it also strives to simplify matters for employers seeking to employ foreigners. If you’re interested in qualified workers from Ukraine, you may enrol with Qualified Worker Programme, and thus speed up obtaining Employee Cards for them.

Are you lost in the jungle of the legal regulations regarding the employment of foreigners? Are you unsure about whether or how to employ them? We’ll provide counsel, examine any and all legal documents, and draft the employment contract, so that everything runs smoothly.

Are you solving a similar problem?

Dostupný advokát team of online lawyers will solve it for you.

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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.

  • 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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