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Vacation time in the Czech Republic to be counted in hours, not days, from 2021

The change has been made specifically to accommodate employees with irregular working hours
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Employees in the Czech Republic will get an allotment of around 160 vacation hours next year, instead of the usual 20 days.

The amount of time off should still be the same, but a new amendment to Czech Labor Code will calculate vacation time in hours instead of days, among some other changes. The amendment has already been signed into law by Czech President Miloš Zeman and will take effect from 2021.

The change has been made specifically to accommodate employees with irregular working hours, shifts, or time schedules, as well as part-time employees.

Instead of taking a week (five days) off next year, for example, an employee would take of the equivalent amount of time in hours. The change is unlikely to affect most employees, but those who work long or short weeks will be able to more easily calculate their time off.

In the Czech Republic, full-time employees are currently entitled to four weeks of vacation time by law, with an additional week of sick or personal days typically added to the vacation total.

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But for employees that work different hours on different days – in twelve or six-hour shifts, for example, instead of the standard eight – exactly how much work time they are taking off may not always be clear, and is not currently defined by law.

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The new amendment to the Czech Labor Code, drafted by the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, should rectify this situation.

Additionally, allotments of vacation time will be based on the number of hours an employee works. An employee who works five days per week, eight hours a day (40-hour workweek) will be entitled to 160 hours of vacation time per year, while an employee who works six hours per day, five days per week will be entitled to 120 vacation hours per year.

Under the new amendment, employees would still apply for vacation time based on days (e.g. Monday to Friday), only the calculation of time off will be done in hours. At least a half-day must be taken for vacation time unless in certain circumstances or in agreement with the employer.

The new amendment also regulates shared workplaces, where one position may be filled by multiple employees, and allows employers and part-time employees to agree on work schedules that best suit them.

An increase in compensation for relatives of people who have died due to workplace accidents or occupational diseases is also part of the new amendment. Family members are currently entitled to a one-time payment of 240,000 crowns plus funds for a memorial plaque, but the new amendment increases this figure to twenty times the current national average wage in the Czech Republic, which would now be about 720,000 crowns.

The amendment was also supposed to increase the minimum amount of vacation time in the Czech Republic from four to five weeks, but this ultimately did not make it through to its final version.

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