How To Quit A Job In The Czech Republic
What is the proper way to quit a job in the Czech Republic? You can do the first steps to avoid future difficulties signing the employment contract at your new job. In compliance with Czech Labor Code, an employment contract consists of certain terms, such as the predefined type of work to be performed by an employee, place of work, starting date, details of payments, or regulations regarding contract termination. Even though the oral agreements are formally considered valid, the reality of court proceedings shows that a written contract is necessary.
We can divide the options of employment contract termination according to Labor Code of the Czech Republic into 7 main categories:
- Cancellation during trial period.
- Immediate employment contract termination.
- Fixed-term contract expires.
- Termination by an employee.
- Termination by an employer.
- Mutual Agreement.
- Special cases: termination of residency of a foreign worker, expatriation of a foreign worker; disappearance or decease of an employee.
Termination of the Employment during Trial Period
Employers use probationary periods to coach and evaluate new employees. If the employee’s job performance is not satisfactory or if the employee doesn’t find himself/herself comfortable in a new role, they both can propose an immediate termination of the employment. The notice should be given in a written form.
Neither party is obliged to state the reasons for contract termination. The trial period in the Czech Republic in 2016 mustn’t be longer than 3 months. In case of management positions, the probationary period is extended to 6 months.
An employee working on a trial period is entitled to all minimum employment rights, e.g. to be paid for work they have done, sick leave, or paid public holidays. When the trial period finishes an employee becomes a permanent member of staff. Trial periods can’t be extended.
Both an employer and an employee can terminate job contract immediately. Attorney in law Dominik Bruha reiterates that the notice has to be given in a written form with a clear statement of the grounds for contract termination.
An employee may immediately terminate the employment in the following cases:
- An employer did not pay an employee a salary within 15 days after the due date. (Note: Do not confuse the due date (den splatnosti) and the pay day (den výplaty). The due date is the last day of the month following the month you are being paid for).
- An employee can no longer perform his/her work duties without seriously endangering his/her own health and an employer has not offered him/her a suitable alternative position (on the grounds of a professional medical assessment).
An employer may immediately terminate the employment in the following cases:
- An employee was convicted of a willful offense and imprisoned for longer than 1 year.
- An employee was convicted of a willful offense committed during the course of work and imprisoned for at least 6 months.
- An employee is guilty of serious or repetitive misconduct.
Fixed-term Employment Contracts
In the Czech Republic, fixed-term employment contracts can’t be concluded for longer than 2 years. Then the employment contracts may only be unlimited.
The same rules regulate extending employment contracts or starting a new one with the same employer, unless there was an interruption longer than 6 months between the contracts.
Fixed-term contracts last till the date agreed in the employment contract. They turn into the permanent contracts when a worker continues performing and the employer agrees.
FACT: Working with no employment contract at all can turn out to be very costly – the penalties for illegal work are very high and apply to both employers and employees!
How Can I Quit a Job with a Regular Notice?
Generally saying, an employee has to give at least 2 months’ notice period after terminating his or her employment contract. The employee may give a notice to the employer on any possible ground or without stating any grounds.
However, the reason of the employment termination affects employee’s future unemployment benefits. If an employee gives a notice by his/her own decision without stating any serious grounds according to Czech Labor Code, such as illness, the employee will receive lower unemployment benefits.
Employer’s Obligations after Termination of Employment
If an employer decides to terminate the employment contract, the cancellation takes 2 months. An employer mustn’t give a notice to an employee in a so called protective period such as pregnancy, maternity or paternal leave.
An employer must give to the employee:
- An original written agreement on terminating the employment or an original of the notice, mentioning the reasons for dismissal (this is important for severance pay and unemployment benefits).
- Confirmation of employment.
- The Personal Records for Pension Insurance form.
A mutual agreement on cancelling the employment contract is a fast and elegant solution of leaving a workplace where one’s unhappy.
The contract should include:
- Date of termination.
- Grounds for termination.
- Compensation for vacancy days left.
Severance Pay in the Czech Republic
Dismissed employee is entitled to receive a severance pay in the following cases:
- If he or she was given a notice based on the organizational reasons (=redundancy).
- If he or she is immediately quitting the job, since an employer did not pay him/her a salary 15 days after the due date.
The employer is obliged to pay an employee severance on the next pay date after employment contract was terminated. If an employee is entitled to the unemployment benefits, the Labor Office will not start paying the benefits until the end of the period when severance has to be paid.
Amount of severance pay:
- One month of employee ‘s average monthly salary in case if he/she has been employed for up to 1 year.
- Two average monthly salaries in case if an employee has been employed for between 1 and 2 years.
- Three average monthly salaries in case if an employee has been employed for more than 2 years.
Any employee being dismissed may bring a legal action if they think that their dismissal is void or unfair. Cancellation of termination of an employment contract by notice, immediate termination, termination during trial period or termination by agreement may be claimed by both the employer and the worker in the court not later than during first 2 months from the date of contract termination.
In case of dismissals that are made orally, i.e. because of a failure to apply the written form or “written dismissal” signed by unauthorized person, or in case of completely vague dismissal, such dismissals won’t be considered as a legal action and therefore will not have any legal consequences in the court.
- An employee can resign with notice at any time even without stating a reason; without notice in specified circumstances.
- Minimum notice period for termination of an employment contract by the employer or employee in the Czech Republic is two months.
- An employer may terminate the employment contract with notice only on specified grounds such as ill health, poor performance, or misconduct.
- An employer may dismiss an employee without notice only if the employee has committed particularly gross misconduct or been sentenced to imprisonment; redundancy is one of the legitimate reasons for dismissal with notice.
- Foreigners in the Czech Republic can have their employment contract terminated when their Czech residency or work permit expires or is terminated, or in case of expatriation.
- Employees are entitled to a statutory severance payment (odstupné in Czech) from the employer if their employment is terminated due to notice on the grounds of “organizational changes” /redundancy in other words/ or due to an accident at work, occupational disease or threat of such a disease, or by a mutual agreement on the same grounds.
- In terms of contract termination, an employer must issue an employment statement to the leaving worker.
- Senior managers can be entitled to the special arrangements concerning their contract termination: they can be “recalled” from their positions by an employer, or resign from the position, without having their contract terminated.