Under current Czech law, employees on official sick leave are not entitled to receive their salary for their first three days away from work. After that, they receive 60% of their salary for additional time missed.
The unpaid first three days of sick leave has been controversial since its inception in 2008.
“It is an unjust punishment for illness,” ČSSD’s Kateřina Valachová told iDnes.cz. “People are afraid to get sick.”
But that will change from July of next year. Yesterday, Czech members of parliament voted in favor of a bill spearheaded by ČSSD that will return sick pay to employees for those first three days.
A total of 128 of 189 Czech MPs voted in favor of the bill. From July 2019, employees will be entitled to 60% of their salary from the first day of sick leave.
“For those who don’t have reserve funds, those first three days are crucial,” remarked KSČM deputy chief Pavel Kováčik, who supported the new bill.
Still, not all MPs were in favor.
Representatives from ODS and TOP09 voted against the bill, which they claimed would become a burden on both employers and the state.
ANO’s Pavel Juříček estimated that it would result in a 4% increase in sick leave.
Employers won’t be entirely footing the bill. Social security contributions for employees will be reduced by 0.2%, and an estimated 3.5 billion CZK will be reallocated in the state’s budget.
“It’s a victory for all employees,” said KSČM MP Hana Aulická Jírovcová.
“We have done something in the interests of the citizens of the Czech Republic.”