In this article we provide an overview of the most significant changes in Czech legislation that approach in 2018. Part two of this article is focused on Labour law and other areas of law.
II. Labour Law
- A. The amendment of the Employment Act (Act No. 327/2017 Coll., by which the Act No. 435/2004 Coll., Employment Act, and the Act No. 251/2005 Coll., on Labour Inspection, are amended) became effective as of 1 January 2018.The amendment concerns namely the area of employment of disabled persons and newly defines the following:
- employer allowance for job creation for disabled persons,
- employer allowance for operating costs in connection with the employment of disabled persons,
- protected labour market and agreement on recognition of an employer as an employer on protected labour market concluded between the respective employer and the Czech Labour Office, and
- employer allowance to support the employment of disabled persons within the protected labour market.
The new legal regulation should be much more transparent than the previous one and aims to ensure that the support system of the protected labour market is not accessed by entities misusing benefits.
- Amendment of Anti-Discrimination Act
Act No. 365/2017 Coll., by which the Act No. 198/2009 Coll., on equal treatment and on the legal means of protection against discrimination and on amendment of some acts, is amended, creates as of 1 January 2018 a new right of the Public Defender of Rights to supervise whether foreign workers from EU countries are or are not discriminated in the Czech Republic due to their foreign nationality.
- Increase in Minimum Wage
Governmental decree No. 286/2017 Coll., which amends the governmental decree No. 567/2006 Coll., on minimal wages, changes as of 1st January 2018 the statutory base rate for minimum wage for a working week of 40 hours. The new minimum wage is set as CZK 73.20 per hour (instead of CZK 66), or respectively is increased from CZK 11,000 per month to CZK 12,200 per month.
- Increase in compensation of loss of income
Pursuant to the governmental decree No. 406/2017 Coll., on compensation for loss of income, the rate of average earnings decisive for calculation of compensation benefits for loss of income due to work injury or illness is increased with effective date as of 1 January 2018 by 3.5 %.
- Amendment of Packaging Act.
- Act No. 149/2017 Coll., by which the Act No. 477/2001 Coll., Packaging Act, is amended, became effective as a whole as of 1 July 2017; nevertheless, an important exception regarding lightweight plastic carrier bags became effective as of 1 January 2018.
- As of 1 January 2018, so-called lightweight plastic carrier bags may not be provided in shops free of charge, but at minimum for reimbursement of costs needed for their production. Only very lightweight plastic carrier bags (e.g., bags for bakery or meat products) are exempt from the above provision.
- The new Czech legal regulation represents a transposition of the Directive (EU) 2015/720 of European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 amending Directive 94/62/ES, as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags.
- Other changes in this area relate to packaging registration. As of 1 January 2018, the regulation No. 400/2017 Coll., amending the regulation No. 641/2014 Coll., on scope and method of keeping registration of the packaging, became effective.
- Amendment to Act on food and tobacco products
- As of 1 January 2018, an amendment to the Act on food and tobacco products (Act No. 180/2016 Coll., by which the Act No. 110/1997 Coll., on food and tobacco products is amended and on amendment and completion of some related acts) became effective. The amendment introduces a new obligation of food business operators placing food on the market in a facility larger than 400 m2 to provide food, which does not comply with the Czech or EU legislation, but is safe, free of charge to a non-profit organisation collecting and further distributing this food for free to humanitarian and charity organisations.
- New Act on Payments
- As of 13th January 2018, the Act No. 370/2017 Coll., on Payments, became effective.
- The new Act incorporates the respective EU legislation and aims to increase the security of Internet payments. The Act particularly reinforces rights of payment service users (e.g., in case of loss or of misuse of a credit card, the limit of user’s responsibility for loss from an unauthorized transaction will be reduced from the current sum of 150 euros to 50 euros).
- Further, the new legislation enables to get information from all payment accounts of a user through only one application.