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Rights and obligations of the employer towards the employee

Are you wondering what your employer’s obligations to you are? What criteria must your working conditions meet, what do you have to be paid for, and what about holidays? And conversely, what rights does your employer have against you? The answers to these questions can be found in the following lines.

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Chapters of the article

Employer’s rights

Even though Czech legislation is more inclined to protect employees, employers also have rights and protection mechanisms. These include in particular:

The right to a job well done

This right is not officially established anywhere, but arises from the obligations you have as an employee towards your employer. This means, for example, that you must perform your duties properly, do your job to the best of your ability, comply with safety regulations, etc.

This also includes your employer’s right to control you – i.e. whether you come and go from work at the appointed time, whether you follow the work procedures, use the tools, etc. Your employer can also check your work equipment, such as your work laptop, on which they can, for example, install a special program that monitors your activity. This step is usually taken so that employees don’t spend time scrolling on Facebook instead of working. Similarly, an employer can also ban access to certain sites. On the other hand, however, the employer must not invade your privacy and read, for example, your private messages.

Tip: Are you planning to hire employees? An affordable attorney will draft a customized employment contract for you. You’ll especially appreciate it when it comes to employment conflicts or even terminations.

Holidays

By law, every employee is entitled to four weeks’ paid holiday, but your employer must allow you to take two weeks in a row. However, it is up to your employer when you get your holiday. In most cases, though, it works by you requesting leave or putting yourself on the leave roster. However, it is possible for your employer to give you leave at a time that suits them. Even without your consent. The only condition is that they must give you at least 14 days’ notice in writing.

Tip: See our earlier article on when you are entitled to holiday pay.

In addition, your employer has the right to cancel your scheduled leave or even take you off, even if you are on a sun lounger in the Canaries. In this case, however, your employer is obliged to reimburse you for the costs you have incurred as a result of the cancellation. In the case of a holiday in the Canaries, this may involve paying for the rest of your stay and return flights.

Employer’s internal rules

Your employer has the right to issue an internal regulation in the form of a working regulation. This specifies the rules for the performance of work and the general running of the workplace and must be followed by all employees. However, this regulation must not impose obligations on employees that are contrary to the Labour Code. Otherwise, it becomes invalid. The employer must notify you of the issue, amendment or termination of the internal regulation within 15 days.

Tip: Are you planning to write your employer’s work rules but don’t know how to do it? Don’t rely on templates available on the internet. These are often outdated and full of errors. Rather, rely on an experienced attorney who will prepare your work rules according to the current legislation.

Obligations of the employer

As we have already outlined, the Labour Code is primarily concerned with the protection of employees and this naturally entails a number of obligations for employers. These include:

Suitable working conditions

Employers have a duty to create working conditions for their employees that enable them to perform their work safely. This includes the duty to ensure that work is carried out in suitable temperature conditions. For occupations where this is not possible (e.g. people working outdoors), the employer must provide safety breaks for their employees and also provide protective drinks to replenish minerals.

In addition to suitable working conditions, employers must provide their employees with protective work equipment and, in some cases, work clothing and footwear. However, this applies only to those occupations where excessive wear and tear or soiling occurs, possibly for hygiene reasons.

Wages

Your employer must pay you for the work you do. In addition, the Labour Code stipulates that all employees must receive the same pay for the same work or work of equal value. Equal work means work that is comparably complex, responsible or arduous and performed under comparable conditions with comparable performance and results.

Is your employer failing to meet its obligations?

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The wage must be agreed before the work starts and must not be less than the current minimum wage. Your employer must pay you for work on public holidays and give you compensatory time off to the extent of the work done on the holiday. If you are off work on a public holiday, you are entitled to wage compensation equal to your average earnings.

If you work at night, you are entitled to an additional payment of at least 10% of your average earnings. The same rule applies if you work on Saturdays and Sundays or if you work in a difficult working environment. A difficult working environment is defined as an environment in which work is performed in an environment that is hazardous to the employee (e.g. working in a noisy, dusty environment, etc.)

Tip: Find out what other cases you are entitled to paid leave.

Obstacles on the employer’s side

If your employer cannot give you a job, you as an employee should never be the one to suffer. This can include situations where production machinery stops working, a workplace is closed for refurbishment, etc. In such cases, these are obstacles on the employer’s side and the consequences must be borne by the employer.

If the downtime is due to, for example, a machine breakdown, you are entitled to wage compensation of at least 80% of your average earnings. If it is something that is beyond the employer’s control, such as an interruption of work due to adverse weather conditions, you are entitled to wage compensation of at least 60% of your average earnings. Otherwise, you are entitled to 100% of your wages.

New employee induction and training

If you start a new job, your employer is obliged to train you. During the training period, you are also entitled to the wages you would receive for normal work. Your employer can also send you to different training courses. The employer must pay for this training. You will receive your normal wages for the time you spend in training.

Tip: Are you about to quit your job? We will protect your rights! With us, you can be sure that your notice will be valid and you will not lose anything you are entitled to under your employment contract. We will help you solve everything in just two days, conveniently and online.

Breaks at work, overtime and rest

Employers are obliged to allow their employees a half-hour break after no more than 6 hours of work. For juvenile employees, after 4.5 hours. Similarly, employers must allow their employees a continuous daily rest period of at least 11 hours in a 24-hour period. An exception is overtime, which can only be granted for serious reasons.

However, overtime must always be paid and you are entitled to an additional payment of at least 25% of your average earnings. In addition, it is also possible to agree with your employer on compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.

Tip: The length and duration of working time have fixed rules. What about the possibility of extending it by overtime or shortening it? And when during working hours are employees entitled to breaks? This is the focus of our next article.

How to choose a good employer

Choosing a good employer requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are some tips on how to evaluate a potential employer and what to look out for:

  • Evaluate the employer: First and foremost, find out the employer’s reputation and the satisfaction of current and former employees. For this you will find various portals dedicated to employer reviews. For example, you can try Atmoskop, KnowMore or Jobinsider.
  • Employee turnover: High employee turnover can be a warning sign indicating poor working conditions and employee dissatisfaction. No one stays long in a job where they are not happy.
  • Interview experience. Did the employer respect your time? Was he or she professional and prepared? The way the interview went can provide insight into how the company treats its employees.

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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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