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What is the working time pool for?

Have you ever come across the term “working time pool”? If not, don’t look for anything complicated behind it. You can read what exactly is behind this phrase, how we record working time and what a timesheet looks like in our article.

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Theworking time pool is something like a work schedule. The Labour Code does not explicitly mention this concept, but quite simply it is simply working time. In this context, we can talk about weekly, monthly and long-term working time pools.

Weekly working time pool

In a nutshell, this is the time you are supposed to spend at work according to your employment contract. The most common (and maximum) version of the weekly working time pool is 40 hours per week, i.e. eight hours per day. The fact that you actually spend, for example, 42.5 hours at work, including rest breaks, has no effect on the working time pool. It is determined without these breaks.

There are occupations where the weekly working time is reduced to 37.5 or 38.5 hours. This applies to employees with two-shift, three-shift and continuous work schedules, or employees working in coal or ore extraction, mine construction, etc.

Are you dealing with a problem regarding the working time pool?

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Shiftwork is often of purely economic importance to employers, as a way of increasing production and profit or meeting social demand. But there are industries where there is no other option than shift work. What does this type of work bring to the employee? What to look out for and what are its advantages? This is the focus of a separate article.

Monthly working time pool

There may be some variation across months. This is mainly due to the fact that each month has a different number of days and therefore you will work a different number of hours. Also, the same month (e.g. November) can have different working time pools in different years. It depends on how the weekends and any holidays are spread out over the month.

The monthly pool is calculated by multiplying the number of working days in the month by the average number of hours per day. In the case of part-time working time, we then count not the normal eight hours, but e.g. four or six depending on the amount of time.

Various calendars, online or in print, are a handy tool that take into account the number of working days and hours.

Long-term working time pool

In some cases, tracking the working time pool on a monthly basis is not sufficient. This is particularly the case with irregular working patterns, for example, where there are seasonal fluctuations. From this long-term pool, the average weekly working time is therefore calculated simply by dividing the number of weeks covered by the long-term pool.

Tip: Working time and its distribution, including the uneven distribution of working time, is discussed in detail in our article.

Working time pool 2023 and 2024

In 2023 we have 250 working days, that means that with a 40-hour working day it is 2000 working hours, In addition there are 10 paid holidays.
In 2024 we will be in a very similar position. So we will also have 252 working days, that is, 2016 working hours. Plus 10 paid holidays.

Working time records

Individual employers have a legal obligation to keep records of working time. This includes mainly records of contracted working time, but also overtime and also specific schemes such as on-call time, night work etc.
The working time record is the basis for the provision of wages. It can be referred to in the event of any disputes.

Tip: You can read what are the most used parts of the Labour Code and how they can be useful to you in a separate article.

What is the purpose of a timesheet?

A timesheet can be one of the variants of the working time layout. It can be thought of as a virtual account that collects all the hours that must be worked during the so-called compensatory period. This may be many weeks. Thus, an employer may assign less work to an employee in some weeks (e.g. a gardener in the winter months) and then compensate for this in another period.

However, working time accounts are an option that may only be applied by some employers.
The account cannot be used with the following employers:

  • state and public employees,
  • local authorities,
  • contributory organisations,
  • state funds and
  • educational legal entities established by the Ministry of Education.

However, in any month within the compensation period, the employee is entitled to at least 80% of wages, even if he or she has not completed 80% of the average monthly working time. The employee is thus assured of a steady wage and there is nothing to prevent the employer from burdening the employee more (within the standards set by the Labour Code) in some periods and less in others.

On the other hand, even a working time account does not give the employer the right to assign work arbitrarily “ad hoc” and to tell the employee from one day to the next what to expect the next day. Even under this regime, a working time schedule (preferably in writing) must be given in advance and the employee must know it at least one week in advance and know what to expect. It is possible for an individual to deviate from the fixed timetable, but in such a case it will no longer be a normal working time account scheme.

The employer is obliged to keep a working time account as well as a wage account for the employee. The working time account shall record the weekly working time and its timetable, as well as the actual hours worked on each working day of the week. The wage account shall then show the employee’s permanent wage and the wages earned in the calendar month to which he is entitled under the terms agreed or laid down.

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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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