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What does the guaranteed wage guarantee you?

Employers are obliged to pay their employees not only the minimum wage but also the guaranteed wage. We’ll explain what this means and how you can easily check your non-negotiable wage level.

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What is a guaranteed wage?

A guaranteed wage is, simply put, a state-guaranteed reward for a certain type of work. In legal terminology, the more specific term “minimum level of guaranteed wages” is used to say that specific occupations have a legislated minimum wage (or salary) and that the employer is obliged to pay this.

In practice, you will encounter eight levels of guaranteed wages, which are adequately graded according to the government regulation, based on the complexity, level of responsibility and exertion of each profession into eight job groups.

Tip: We have described the difference between the guaranteed wage and the minimum wage in a separate article.

Division of working groups

You can find out which group your occupation falls into and what your guaranteed wage is in the annex to the government regulation on the minimum wage. It contains detailed descriptions of each occupational group, including the occupational typology and the rate of the lowest guaranteed wage for the current year. There you can easily check whether your employer is paying you the minimum wage you are entitled to under the Labour Code.

Generally speaking, the first group consists mainly of unskilled manual jobs (e.g. kitchen help), the second group consists of simple manual professional jobs (e.g. petrol station attendant), the third group consists of professional manual jobs (e.g. bricklayer), the fourth group consists of professional specialised jobs (e.g. the fifth group includes system jobs (e.g. bus driver), the sixth group includes system specialised jobs (e.g. sales clerk), the seventh group includes creative system jobs (e.g. programmer) and the eighth group is dominated by creative system jobs of fundamental importance (e.g. top scientist).

Who is covered by the guaranteed salary?

The guaranteed wage applies to all employees who have signed a full-time employment contract (not just an agreement) with their employer (i.e. a traditional 40-hour week), including those with legally reduced working hours, but without a union and without a collective wage agreement.

As of 2017, employees with a limited capacity to work (disability pensioners), who were previously on a reduced rate, will also receive the same guaranteed wage.

Guaranteed pay for part-time work

The statutory short-time working hours apply to employees working underground in coal, ore and mineral extraction, in mine construction and geological survey workplaces, as well as to those who work on a two-shift, multi-shift or continuous work schedule. Their weekly working hours are reduced by law to 38.75 hours or 37.5 hours, subject to the minimum guaranteed wage guaranteed by the State.

Exceptions to the guaranteed wage

Who is not affected by the guaranteed minimum wage? If your job has a wage negotiated by a union and stated in a collective bargaining agreement, you are not guaranteed a minimum guaranteed wage and cannot enforce it. So it may be that your basic wage is lower than the legal limit, but employers usually compensate for this with an internal system of bonuses and benefits.

It may also happen that you do not work the set hours in a month for serious (e.g. health) reasons. In this case, your monthly guaranteed salary will be reduced in proportion to the time you have worked and you will see a lower amount on your payslip than the legal amount.

Groups for determining the guaranteed wage

How much is the least you can earn? The more demanding your occupation, the higher your minimum guaranteed wage. The lowest level of guaranteed pay is for employees in the first group and is equal to the minimum wage. The highest paid employees are in group eight, who have a guaranteed minimum wage equal to twice the minimum wage.

If you work as a civil servant (e.g. as a civil servant, doctor, teacher, etc.), you are paid a salary (not a wage) for the work you do and your guaranteed minimum wage is determined by your classification in one of 16 grades, which follow the eight job groups.

Tip: Did you know that failure to pay guaranteed wages is one of the most common mistakes made by employers? Check your payroll and if your average wage for each quarter does not meet the minimum and guaranteed wage, you can claim back pay from your employer – up to three years in arrears. We can help you sort it out. We’ll defend your rights and get you what you’re entitled to.

Development of the guaranteed wage

The guaranteed wage usually increases at the beginning of the year along with the increase in the minimum wage. The following table compares the evolution of the guaranteed minimum wage between 2017 and 2019, when the annual increase for each job group took place. In 2023, based on a government decision, only the first and the eighth groups received increases compared to the previous year.

The amount of the guaranteed minimum wage is shown as gross. The net guaranteed wage is less withholding social security, health insurance and advance income tax.

Work group
 
Guaranteed wage 2017
(CZK/month)
Guaranteed wage 2018
(CZK/month)
Guaranteed wage 2019
(CZK/month)
1. 11 000 12 200 13 350
2. 12 200 13 500 14 740
3. 13 400 14 900 16 280
4. 14 800 16 400 17 970
5. 16 400 18 100 19 850
6. 18 100 20 000 21 900
7. 19 900 22 100 24 180
8. 22 000 24 400 26 700

Guaranteed salary 2023

The guaranteed wage by group ranges from CZK 17,300 to CZK 34,600 per month in 2023. So if you work as a cleaner in the first group, your work should currently be paid at least CZK 17,300 (subject to all the above conditions). If you work as a financial market broker in Group 8, you should currently be paid at least CZK 34 600.

<
Work group
 
Wage class
 
Guaranteed wage 2023
(Kč/hr)
Guaranteed wage 2023
(Kč/month)
1. 1. and 2. 103,80 17 300
2. 3. and 4. 106,50 17 900
3. 5. and 6. 117,50 19 700
4. 7. and 8. 129,80 21 800
5. 9th and 10th 143,30 24 100
6. 11th and 12th 158,20 26 600
7. 13. and 14th 174,70 29 400
8th 15th and 16th 207,60 34 600

Tip: In 2024, there is a planned increase in the guaranteed wage, at least for certain cases. In December 2023, the government decided to increase the guaranteed wage by CZK 1,600 for jobs classified in categories 1, 2 and 3 as of 1 January 2024. For jobs classified in category 8, the increase will be CZK 3 200. For other job categories (4, 5, 6 and 7), the guaranteed wage will remain the same in 2024 as in the previous year.

The minimum wage is also scheduled to increase to CZK 18 900 in 2024. The increase in the minimum wage is already effective from 1 January 2024.

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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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