Government holidays

Every employee is entitled to a minimum of four weeks’ holiday, by law. But there are also people who are not entitled to holiday, such as members of the government. What are the differences between staff and ministerial leave?

3 minutes of reading

How much leave is an employee entitled to?

There are several types of leave. The most common is annual leave, or a pro rata portion of it if you have a shorter period of service with your employer. This leave is at least four weeks per calendar year for everyone, as long as they work at least 60 days. The pro rata part of the leave is calculated in full months. Thus, for each month worked, the employee is entitled to one-twelfth of the full annual leave. So if you work for three months, for example, you are entitled to one week’s holiday. If the ratio is not based on whole days, the days of leave are rounded up.

How much holiday is the Minister of the Government entitled to?

Neither the Minister nor other senior constitutional officials are entitled to any leave. As top managers, they should be available at all times. So a minister cannot go to a Tibetan temple for a month to meditate without any signal. In such a case, the President should remove him immediately on the Prime Minister’s suggestion. After all, in practice this rule is not absolute. The government had a “holiday” this year between July 27 and August 24. No meetings were scheduled for that time and Prime Minister Sobotka himself was personally on “standby” in case something happened. The other ministers were thus absolute masters of their time during this period and could decide whether to go on a traditional holiday or to stay in office.

Can an employer order leave for an employee whenever he wants, or even cancel it at any time, depending on his needs?

The employer is the master of leave. However, they must set the leave at least 14 days in advance. There is only one exception to this rule. The employer must determine the use of the remainder of the leave by 30 June of the following calendar year at the latest if the employee has not received it in due time. If it fails to do so, the employee has the right to take the leave himself. Again, however, he or she must give at least 14 days’ notice of the date of absence. The employer may also interrupt or terminate the leave at any time and call the employee back to work. However, in this case, the employee must reimburse the costs incurred, e.g. transport back home, cancellation fees at the hotel or deposits paid to the travel agent.

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So can the Minister go on holiday whenever he wants, or does he have to be back in office when he needs to be?

Government holidays do not actually exist under the law. As stated above, ministers are not entitled to any leave. So they don’t even have to approve it, report it somewhere or ask someone to sign off on the “leave”. They take leave when they see fit, theoretically for an unlimited period. However, if necessary, they must be prepared to return to the office. Particularly, for example, when national security or other critical issues are to be addressed. Indeed, this is how the German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziére, recently interrupted his leave after the summer shooting in Munich. If the Czech Minister had not done so, the Prime Minister would undoubtedly have proposed his dismissal. According to the Constitution, the President should dismiss him immediately, within days. It is not possible for a minister to travel around the world at a time of crisis, for example, and not attend government meetings.

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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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