The most significant changes of the Labour Code coming into effect as of 1 September 2011

On 1 September 2011 the Act No. 257/2011 Coll. comes into effect modifying and amending the Act No. 311/2001 Coll. - Labour Code which should predominantly increase the flexibility in providing the employment.
The areas referred to under this Act include predominantly the dismissal, severance pay, holiday, employment contracts for definite period, probation period, labour unions and simplified process of collective dismissals due to redundancy.

The most significant changes of the Labour Code coming into effect as of 1 September 2011:

Shorter notice-period
The minimum length of notice period will be reduced to half the original length from two months to one month; under certain conditions, however, the notice period will be longer. In the event the dismissal is due to organisational reasons or dissolution of a company the length of notice period depends on the length of employment. In case of employment duration for minimum one year and less than five years the notice period will be two months; in case the length of employment is longer the notice period will be three months. For anyone dismissed owing to some other reasons applies the notice period of two months only providing the length of employment was minimum one year.

The concurrency of severance pay with notice period will cease
Any dismissal due to organisational reasons or due to workplace winding up is currently subject to obligation of paying a severance pay. Such concurrency will cease. The employee will be paid a severance pay only providing the employment has been terminated upon an agreement. In case the notice has already been received, prior to beginning such notice period to elapse an employee may ask the employer for termination of employment based on agreement. The employer is then obliged to comply with such request. The amount of severance pay will in such case correspond to the average employee’s salary and number of months of unused notice period.

The dismissal or immediate termination of employment shall not be subject to prior negotiation
In case the employer wishes to give notice to someone or terminate the employment relationship immediately, the employer will no longer be obliged to discuss this intention with employees´ representatives.

Age, itself, is the sufficient condition for a longer holiday
The employee reaching during the current year or before the age of 33 years is eligible for a holiday in duration of minimum five weeks, providing he/she has proved the length of minimum 15 years of total employment. From 1 January 2012 such proof will no longer be compulsory. The eligibility for longer holiday will be granted to all employees reaching the age of 33 years during the current year or before.

No student’s certificate needed for holiday brigade work
An integral part of an agreement on holiday brigade work is the necessity of submitting the student’s certificate. In case a student wishes to work upon finishing the high school study or prior to enrolment to the next year of university study, he/she will now have the possibility of working even without submitting the student’s certificate till the end of October of the current year.

Employment for a definite period may repeat in shorter intervals
Employment contract for a definite period will be allowed to enter for the duration of maximum three years; currently this is only two years. This will also increase the possibility for entering employment contract for a definite period on a repeated basis – for three times in a period of three years. Currently applies the restriction of two times in a period of two years. Based on some specific reasons even more frequent employment for a definite period is possible. The restrictions governing employment relations for a definite period do not apply for the agencies providing temporary employment and this regulation will not be subject to any current changes.

Protection of mothers also during a probationary period
During a probation period the employer as well as the employee may terminate the employment due to any reason or without stating a reason. An exception will apply for the pregnant women and mothers up to ninth month following the birth and nursing mothers; under these cases the employer is obliged to justify any dismissal from employment.

Possibility of extending a probation period
Currently the probation period included in employment contract may extend to maximum three months. For anyone assuming the post of a supervisor after 1 September may expect the probation period of up to six months. A new adjustment defines the possibility of determining the length of a probation period as requested by the collective agreement – such period may extend to six months for a normal employee and nine months for a supervisor posts.

Labour unions will have to demonstrate their total number of members
Some plant labour unions will be deprived of the right to represent all the employees. The labour unions with the ambition to represent all employees will have to demonstrate that they have members of at least 30 percent of persons employed by the company. In this respect it will do if the employer makes the advantage of requesting so within a period defined by law.

Collective dismissal procedure will be simplified
A collective dismissal is the act of giving notice to at least 20 employees within the period of 90 days. In smaller companies this refers to even lower number of employees. With companies employing between 20 and 100 employees a notice given to minimum 10 of them within a period of 30 days is regarded to be the collective dismissal, while with greater companies the same refers if it comes for 10 per cent of employees and with the largest companies the minimum number is 30 employees.

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