Unemployment

Working in Europe | Unemployment | Czech Republic

Under what conditions can my employer fire me / make me redundant?

If you have an employment contract ("Pracovní smlouva") then the details below apply to you. If your employer has given you a part-time working agreement ("Dohoda o provedení práce" or "Dohoda o pracovní činností") then the rules for termination are different and you do not have the same protection from dismissal. Both of these agreements can be terminated with 15 days notice for any reason. Please ask EURAXESS for advice if you are not sure what rights your contract entitles you to.

Your employer may request that you leave your job by mutual agreement. The conditions for this are similar to the situation in which you might decide yourself that you want to leave your job, however your employer is required to give a reason for the termination, and should give you a written agreement stating this reason. This is covered by section 49 of the Labour Code.

If you do not leave by mutual agreement, your employer must give you two months notice starting on the first day of the month after the notice is served. This is the same period of time as required if you give notice that you will leave your job. (An exception is if you are in the first three months of an employment contract, known as the "probation period" or "zkušební doba"). The notice must be in written form and must state a reason for the termination. The acceptable reasons are listed in section 52 of the Labour Code and include:

a) your employer's business, or part of it, closes down

b) your employer's business is relocating

c) changes to tasks, equipment, downsizing or restructuring mean that the job you did is no longer required

d) certified medical issues such as industrial disease, injury, or the risk thereof

e) if a medical examination proves that you have lost your long-term ability to perform the job

f) breaches of duty

This is a simplification of the detailed laws - if you have any questions, please consult EURAXESS or a qualified lawyer.

If you lose your job for reasons a) or c), you are entitled to severance pay equal to three times your average monthly salary. Severance pay is covered in section 67 of the Labour Code.

Periods when you are on maternity leave or sick leave cannot be counted within your notice period, and you cannot be dismissed from your job while you are on these types of leave. See section 53 of the Labor Code.

In some special cases, you can be fired with immediate effect. Possible grounds for instant dismissal are covered in division 4, section 55 - 56 of the Labour Code and inculde:

a) you are convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced for longer than one year, or you have committed a criminal offence connected to your job

b) 'gross' breach of conduct

If you are pregnant, on maternity leave, on parental leave or on sick leave, you cannot be instantly dismissed.

If your employer wishes to retract his/her dismissal, you must agree and the new decision must be issued in writing.

What happens if I lose my job?

If you lose your job, and still have permission to reside in the Czech Republic, you may decide to register for job-seeker's allowance while you are looking for a new job. Please see further information below about who is eligible for job-seeker's allowance and how to apply.

If you are from a third country and are in the Czech Republic on the basis of a "scientific permit" (long term residence permit for scientific research) then the loss of your job will usually also mean the termination of your hosting agreement. Usually, this would result in you needing to leave the Czech Republic immediately. In case you are unsure, please contact your nearest EURAXESS centre for advice.

If you have a long-term visa based on a work permit and you lose your job for organizational reasons, you may be entitled to stay for a limited amount of time (usually 60 days) to find new work - after which you must apply for a new work permit. However, if you do not find new employment, the Labour Office will inform the Foreign Police and the Foreign Police will terminate your visa/residence permit and set a date by which you must leave the Czech Republic.

What is job seeker's allowance and how can I apply for it?

Job seeker's allowance, or unemployment support is a benefit available to anyone who has been employed or performed other gainful activity for at least twelve months during the past three years, and has contributed to the public Social Security system. You are not eligible if you are already receiving an old age pension.

For the first three months this benefit amounts to 50 % of your previous income, thereafter 45 % for a further three months, and then nothing. If you take up training while looking for a new job, then you may be eligible to receive 60 % of your previous income while you are training. However, job seeker's allowance/ unemployment support is subject to a maximum limit, which is calculated as 2.5 times a "minimum subsistence amount", set by law.

If you are between 50 and 55 years old, you can draw unemployment support for 9 months (three months longer than usual), and if you are over 55 you may receive this benefit for as long as 12 months.

To register as a job-seeker and request unemployment support, you must apply to the Labour Office (Úřad práce) in the place where you have your permanent (or temporary, for foreigners) residence. You will need to present your identity card/passport and a confirmation from your previous employer. It is best to register within 3 days after your previous employment was terminated, in order to start receiving support as soon as possible.

As a registered job seeker, the state will pay your health insurance contributions for as long as you are registered, therefore you must inform your health insurance provider of your job seeker status.

While you are looking for a new job and receiving unemployment support, you have the right to extra earnings as long as these do not exceed half the minimum wage or take up more than 20 hours a week.

Further information about the regulations and procedures governing unemployment support can be found here.

An advice leaflet to help foreigners who have lost their job can also be found here.