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Salary grades of civil servants

If you’re about to take up a job in the public sector, then you’ll have wondered how your pay is actually determined. Or maybe you’re just curious about how much teachers or doctors make. In today’s article, we’ll look at what salary scales are, who they apply to, and what allowances exist for public servants.

8 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

What are salary scales and who are they for?

Salary scales are a system that determines the basic salaries of public sector employees based on their position, qualifications and length of service. This system is based on a legislative framework that defines how salaries are to be calculated and adjusted. The legal regulation of salary scales can be found in the Civil Service Act and the Labour Code.

The salary scales are divided into different grades and steps. Each grade corresponds to a certain group of employees with similar qualifications or job duties. Within each grade, individual steps are defined to reflect length of experience.

The salary scales are intended to ensure fair and transparent remuneration for work in the public sector. At the same time, they allow employees to see the possibilities for their salary growth depending on their experience and qualifications. They are regularly updated to reflect changes in the economy, inflation and other factors affecting the value of work.

Pay scales do help ensure fairness in many fields. On the other hand, they can lead to a shortage of professionals. In the IT sector, for example, salary tables have no chance of competing with the private sector.

Civil servants and grading

If we take the term civil servant literally, then it refers only to employees in a service relationship, working directly for the State. However, civil servants are often also considered to be persons in regular employment who do not work directly for the State but are employed in the public sector (e.g. doctors in state hospitals or social workers in state organisations). Their salary scales and classification into grades and groups vary considerably. Let us therefore look at the different types of civil servants.

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Civil servant in a service relationship

The Civil Service Act defines a civil servant as a natural person who has been recruited and assigned to a civil service post or appointed to a superior post to perform one of the following activities:

  • drafting legislation and providing legal services,
  • drafting international treaties and regulations of the European Union or of another international organisation,
  • drafting concepts, strategies and programmes,
  • managing and directing the activities of other administrative authorities, organisational units of the State which are not administrative authorities or public authorities which are not administrative authorities,
  • the creation and management of public administration information systems pursuant to another law, with the exception of operational information systems,
  • the State Statistical Service,
  • the administration of the State budget chapter vis-à-vis organisational units of the State and legal persons, with the exception of the service office in which the service is performed,
  • protection of classified information,
  • ensuring the defence of the State,

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  • ensuring internal order and security,
  • defending the foreign interests of the Czech Republic and the interests of the Czech Republic arising from its membership of the European Union or another international organisation,
  • the preparation or implementation of subsidy policy,
  • the preparation or implementation of research and development policy,
  • preparation and implementation of administrative acts, including control,
  • protection of the population, crisis management and the integrated rescue system,
  • public procurement,
  • audit,
  • ensuring the organisational affairs of the service and the management of service relations and the remuneration of civil servants,
  • management of the activities referred to in points (a) to (r),
  • the preparation and drafting of expert factual documents for the activities referred to in points (a) to (d), (g), (k) to (n) and (p), with the exception of documents consisting of physical measurements, chemical analyses or the comparison and determination of technical parameters,
  • preparation for foreign service.

A civil servant is therefore a person in the service who takes the oath of office on taking up his or her duties. This includes civil servants in a service relationship, members of the armed forces (e.g. soldiers) and security forces (e.g. firefighters, police and customs). The amount of salary is determined on the basis of the difficulty of the work entrusted to them, which determines their grade, and the length of experience, which determines their grade.

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State employee in an employment relationship

These are employees working in the public sector under a contract of employment. This includes, for example:

  • Teachers in public schools and other educational institutions.
  • Health workers working in public hospitals and clinics.
  • Off-duty civil servants working in ministries and other government departments involved in the formulation and implementation of public policies, administration of public services and other administrative tasks.
  • Judges and prosecutors working in the judicial system.

Grade classification

The basic classification in grade is determined on the basis of the highest level of education attained as follows:

Salary grade Educational qualifications
1. - 2nd grade primary education or basic education
3. grade secondary education
4. grade secondary education or secondary education with an apprenticeship certificate
5. grade secondary education with a certificate of training
6. grade secondary education with leaving examination or secondary education with a certificate of education
7. - 8th grade secondary education with leaving certificate
9. grade higher vocational education or secondary education with a school-leaving certificate
10. grade university degree or higher vocational training
11. - 12th grade a university degree or a bachelor's degree
13. - 16th grade university degree in a master's programme

But the complexity of the work also plays a role. This is determined separately for each field of work (e.g. education, where teachers’ salaries fall, or health, where doctors’ and nurses’ salaries fall). You can find out how the salary grade in your field is determined in the Government Regulation on the catalogue of jobs in public services and administration. In addition to grades, there are also salary steps. These are determined by length of experience. Salary increases with increasing experience.

Supplements for civil servants

In addition to the fixed salaries, some civil servants are also entitled to various types of allowances:

  • Management allowance: this is an allowance for employees in managerial positions. It is based on the difficulty of the work and the level of management and ranges from 5 to 60 % of the salary of the highest grade in the grade to which the employee belongs. An allowance is also payable to the deputy head of the staff member.
  • Night work allowance: For night work, civil servants shall receive a supplement of 20 % of their average hourly earnings.
  • Weekend allowance: Civil servants shall also receive an allowance for weekend work at the rate of 25% of their average hourly earnings.
  • Holiday pay: For work on public holidays, a civil servant shall be entitled to a day’s compensatory leave or a supplement equal to his average hourly earnings.
  • Overtime allowance: The amount of the overtime allowance depends on the type of work, the day in question and whether the employee also receives a day of compensatory time off. Thus, the premium can be either 25 % or 50 %. However, other related allowances may be added on top of this.
  • Hardship allowance: In this case, the supplement is at least 5% of the minimum monthly wage. This is set at CZK 18 900 in 2024.
  • Special supplement: This is a supplement granted to employees performing work involving exceptional psychological stress, risk to life and health or difficult working conditions. This type of work is subsequently divided into five groups according to its difficulty, each of which has a range for the amount of the special supplement. The supplement thus ranges from CZK 500 to CZK 10 000 per month.
  • Supplement for split shift: If a civil servant has a shift split into two or more parts, he is entitled to a supplement of 30% of his average hourly earnings. A shift shall be deemed to be split if it has a minimum of two hours’ downtime between the individual parts or in aggregate.
  • Personal allowance: A personal allowance, or personal assessment, is payable to employees who perform very well or perform a greater range of tasks than other employees. The personal allowance may be up to 50 % of the salary scale of the highest step in the grade to which the staff member is assigned. In some cases, a supplement of up to 100 % of the salary scale may be granted. However, this applies only to a staff member who is an outstanding, generally recognised professional and performs work at grades 10 to 16.
  • Teachers’ allowance: Teachers are entitled to an allowance of twice their average hourly earnings if they carry out teaching activities in excess of the prescribed range. They are also entitled to a supplement if they carry out other specialised activities for which they need additional qualifications. The supplement in this case amounts to CZK 1 000 to 2 000 per month.
  • Remuneration: civil servants may also receive remuneration from their employer. These are usually given for completing extra tasks or completing a significant or demanding work task. The amount depends on the employer.

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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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