Employment of Foreigners in the Czech Republic
03.10.2011 / 16:32
For actual and accurate information about employment and how to obtain the work permit visit a website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The conditions for employing foreigners in the Czech Republic are laid down in the Law on Employment according to which foreigners or persons without Czech citizenship may be employed in the territory of the Czech Republic provided that they are granted an Employment Permit and a Residence Permit.
As in the case of employment by a Czech employer, an Employment Permit is also required for a foreigner or a person without Czech citizenship, who intends to work in the territory of the Czech Republic within a labour relationship with a foreign employer who is sending him(her) to perform such work on the basis of a commercial or other agreement reached with a Czech legal or naturalised citizen.
The Labour Authority in the territory in which the employment is to be performed, makes the decisions on issuing a permit to acquire an employee from abroad and on the Employment Permit for said employee. The issuance of a permit for an employer to acquire employee(s) from abroad, as well as the issuance of an Employment Permit for a foreigner are subject to administration fees.
An exception from the above provisions is granted to citizens of the Slovak Republic who are employed in the territory of the Czech Republic based on Agreement No. 227/1993 Coll. between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on the mutual employment of citizens, and the Administrative agreement between the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, as it relates to the Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on the mutual employment of citizens.
A Czech employer must register a citizen of the Slovak Republic at the Labour Authority in the area of his(her) registered seat. A foreign employer who is sending a Slovak citizen to perform work in the territory of the Czech Republic must register said person(s) at the Labour Authority in the area where the work will be performed.
The Law allows the possibility to acquire employees from abroad on the condition that such employees may only be acquired for vacancies that have been notified by the employer to the Labour Authority and for which a Czech citizen, and in particular an applicant for the specific employment, cannot be hired. A vacancy means a newly created or vacated job for which the employer intends to hire an employee.
An employer shall submit an application for a permit to acquire employee(s) from abroad to the Labour Authority in the area where the work of the future employee(s) will be performed. With the application, the employer must submit an officially verified copy of the following documents: excerpt from the Business Index: a Business Permit or other certification of the statute of the organization, e.g. the foundation instrument of a social organization, etc.
Within the administrative process, the employer shall document and submit, as requested by Labour Authority: how (s)he has dealt with the lack of specific Czech labour force (through unsuccessful advertising and training offers, and labour market research, etc.), and submit a detailed description of the activity for which a foreigner will be hired and a description of his/her accommodations; allowing for an assessment whether such accommodations comply with sanitary regulations.
A Permit to acquire employees from abroad may be issued, provided that the employer offers the foreign employee(s) the same labour and salary conditions as are usual for Czech citizens within the same labour assignment pursuant to valid regulations, or in accordance with the relevant collective or labour agreements. In addition the foreigner must receive the compulsory social and health insurances.
For this purpose, the Labour Authority shall require that the employer submit a draft labour contract that must include, in addition to information included in the Labour Code (i.e. type of work for which the employee is hired, the place of work and the day of commencement of work):
- the expected term of employment;
- gross salary for the performed work;
- the address of accommodations and the manner of payment.
The draft labour contract must be accompanied by documents on:
- the manner of ensuring financial means for the return of the employee to his/her country of residence, following termination of the labour relation (even in case of premature termination);
- officially verified certification of provision of accommodation for the expected term of employment
When the Labour Authority issues a permit to the employer to acquire employees from abroad, each foreign employee, prior to commencing labour activities for said employer, must obtain an Employment Permit from the local Labour Authority pursuant to the place of employment and a Residence Permit for the purpose of this employment.
When the Labour Authority issues a permit to the employer to acquire employees from abroad, this employer may employforeigners only provided that these have:
- a valid Employment Permit issued by the local Labour Authority pursuant to the place of employment,
- a valid Residence Permit for the purpose of employment,
- a written and signed labour contract for a term that is in accord with the term set by the Labour Authority pertaining to the particular Employment Permit for said foreigner(s),
- and provided that the employer registers said employee(s) for payment of social and health insurance premiums.
The obligation of the employer to notify the Labour Authority within 5 calendar days of hiring an employee for a vacant job (newly created or vacated) also applies when a foreign employee is hired for said job.
A Permit to acquire employees from abroad is also requiredfor employers who already employ foreigners with relevant permits and who intend to transfer said foreigners to a different place of employment outside of the district for which a permit to acquire employees from abroad has been issued.
A permit to acquire employees from abroad is not required for foreign employers who are sending their employees to the Czech Republic (from abroad) to perform work on the basis of a commercial or other agreement concluded with a Czech legal or naturalised citizen.
An application for an Employment Permit shall be submitted by a foreigner who intends to be employed in the territory of the Czech Republic within a labour-law relationship with a Czech legal or naturalised citizen. This category also includes e.g. company associates, acting officers, members of supervisory boards, chief clerks, partners in limited partnerships etc., who, in addition to said activity, intend to be in a labour-law relationship with a commercial company founded in accordance with the Commercial Code.
And/or are in a labour-law relationship with a foreign employer who is sending him(her) to perform work in the territory of the Czech Republic on the basis of a commercial or other agreement concluded with a Czech legal or naturalised citizen.
Together with the application, the foreigner shall submit:
- a copy of the page of his(her) passport containing the basic identification information;
- officially verified copies of his(her) professional qualifications specific to the area in which (s)he will work in the territory of the Czech Republic (e.g. certificate of apprenticeship, secondary school certificate, university diploma etc.); such documents must be translated into Czech and officially verified;
- a health certificate for work in medical professions, restaurants, foodstuff industry or other areas where such a certificate is mandatory.
The foreigner shall be a participant in the administrative procedure in which (s)he may be represented by an authorized person (usually the employer) who will have the power of attorney.
The Labour Authority shall issue an Employment Permit for a vacancy reported by the employer for which the employer has obtained a permit to acquire employees from abroad. The Labour Authority shall also issue an Employment Permit for reported vacancies for which employees will be hired through voting or designation and for which the employer is not obliged to obtain a permit to acquire employees from abroad. In this case, the employer shall prove in writing that the employee is hired for such job on the basis of voting or designation.
An Employment Permit is issued for a fixed period of time, it must not exceed the period of one year. A foreigner may reapply for an Employment Permit, towards the end of said period, indefinitely.
An employment permit is not transferable and contains information expressly stated in the decision concerning
- the employer,
- the place of employment,
- type of performed work,
- term of employment.
An Employment Permit is valid only for the specific employment and location as submitted in the application of said permit. If the employment conditions set forth in this employment permit are to change before expiration of the permit, the foreigner is obliged to request the local Labour Authority to issue a new Employment Permit.
An Employment Permit is required for all labour-law relationships in accordance with the Labour Code, performed by a foreigner in the territory of the Czech Republic, i.e. employment, secondary employment, agreement on performance of work, agreement on labour activities, also if such labour-law relationships occur concurrently. If a foreigner concurrently performs several jobs in the territory of the Czech Republic, a separate Employment Permit is required for each employer and each permit must be issued by the respective local Labour Authority pursuant to the place of the given employment.
During the term of employment, a foreigner who is employed pursuant to the valid regulations of the Czech Republic is subject not only to labour-law regulations, in particular the Labour Code, but also to salary regulations, and regulations on general health insurance and social security.
Special cases of issuing Employment Permits to foreigners
With regards to the situation on the labour market, an Employment Permit shall also be issued to a foreigner who will be
- employed in a border region with a daily or weekly commute to the place of his(her) residence in the neigbourig state;
- a seasonal employee for a term of six months during a calendar year with a period of at least six months between the individual instances of employment;
- employed for the purpose of increasing his(her) abilities and qualifications in the given profession (or affiliation) for a set period of time not exceeding one year. The term of employment may be prolonged, however not for longer than is necessary for acquiring professional qualifications pursuant to the regulations valid in the Czech Republic;
- performing continuous educational activities as a pedagogical assistant or academic assistant of a university.
Without regard to the situation on the labour market, an Employment Permit can be issued to a foreigner
- designated in an international agreement binding the Czech Republic and published in the Collection of Laws;
- under 26 years of age who is performing temporally work in the framework of a school exchange.
- In the above cases, the jobs in question are not reported as vacancies, and hiring of foreigners for such jobs does not require a permit to acquire employees from abroad pursuant to article 19 of Law No. 1/1991 Coll., on employment, as amended.
An employment permit is not required for a foreigner who
- is granted the position of a refugee or has applied for refugee status;
- has a permit for permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic;
- is a relative of a member of a diplomatic mission, consulate or a relative of an employee of an international government organization with a seat in the territory of the Czech Republic provided that reciprocity is guaranteed by an international agreement concluded on behalf of the Government of the Czech Republic. In this case, the employer shall notify the local Labour Authority within 8 working days from commencement of the employment of the foreigner. This notification is important for control and statistical purposes.
- is an artist, a pedagogical assistant, an academic assistant of a university, a scientific assistant attending a scientific meeting, a pupil or student up to 26 years of age, a sports person, a person providing a supply of goods or services in the Czech Republic, a person carrying out assembly on the basis of a commercial contract or carrying out guarantee and repair works,and whose period of stay in the territory of the Czech Republic does not exceed seven consequent calendar days or a total of 30 days during a calendar year. In this case, the employer shall notify the local Labour Authority within 8 working days from commencement of the employment of the foreigner. This notification is important for control and statistical purposes.
- is employed in the territory of the Czech Republic pursuant to an international agreement binding the Czech Republic and published in the Collection of Laws;
- is a member of a rescue squad and is providing assistance on the basis of an international agreement on mutual assistance in eliminating consequences of accidents and natural disasters and in case of a humanitarian aid;
- is employed in international public transport;
- is accredited in the media;
- is a member of the military forces or is a memeber of a civil unit of the North Atlantic Treaty;
- enjoys diplomatic or consular privileges and immunities pursuant to international law.
The Law on employment does not apply to a foreigner who
- performs a labour activity on the basis of a small business authorization and is registered in the Business Index,
performs activities in the territory of the Czech Republic in the framework of mutual affiliations of university students and young university graduates provided that this is carried under the following conditions:
- the purpose of the mutual affiliation consists in education, including "life-long" education,
- the potential employment is a part of such education,
- the income of the foreigner in the territory of the Czech Republic is not derived from his(her) working performance and the conditions for providing such income are based on an agreement with the foreign organization sending the foreigner for such affiliation (usually by means of a fellowship or contribution from a fund), and not on a labour contract or any other individually concluded labour-law agreement with a legal or naturalised citizen residing in the Czech Republic.
The above conditions may be proved through a contract (usually on international cooperation in education) on the basis of which the foreigner has been sent to the Czech Republic.
Procedure in issuing Employment Permits to foreigners in the framework of commercial or other agreements
An Employment Permit is also required for a foreigner who will perform work in the territory of the Czech Republic within a labour-law relationship with a foreign employer who is sending him(her) to perform work on the basis of a commercial or other agreement concluded with a Czech legal or natural person.
The procedure of making decision on an application of a foreigner for an employment permit is similar as for a foreigner who will be employed within a labour-law relation with a Czech legal or naturalised citizen.
Furthermore, a copy of the commercial or other agreement concluded by the foreign legal or naturalised citizen and the Czech legal or naturalised citizen, and a copy of the document authorizing the foreign entity to carry out activities that are the subject matter of the commercial or other agreement shall be addendum to the application for an Employment Permit. For a group of persons, such documents shall be submitted in a single copy. The foreign employer shall submit such addenda translated into Czech and officially verified.
A foreigner employed by a foreign employer and sent to perform work in the Czech Republic shall be remunerated in accordance with the labour contract concluded with his(her) employer. The concluded labour contract, as well as health insurance and social security, shall be subject to regulations valid in the country of the employer who is fully responsible for the contents of the contract, as well as for the payment of insurance premiums.
Employment of foreigners in the framework of international agreements
Employment of foreigners on the basis of international agreements is subject to valid regulations unless such agreements stipulate otherwise.
International agreements must respect rules and regulations of both parties, and take into account the requirements of the parties for administrative procedures on mutual employment and/or allow for limits to be set for the number of employed foreigners for each calendar year.
The procedures of the Labour Authority in issuing, refusing issue and withdrawing foreigner's Employment Permit are usually laid down in the principles of the pertinent international agreements or protocols thereof.
RE-issue of an Employment Permit and Residence Permit
Prior to the expiry of the term of an Employment Permit, a foreigner may submit application to the local Labour Authority for a re-issue of the Employment Permit.
The relevant authorities of SCPP pursuant to the place of residence make the decision on the extension of Residence Permits.
Expiration of an Employment Permit - sanctions
The validity of an Employment Permit is terminated
- with expiry of the period for which it was issued,
- with termination of the employment prior to expiry of the period for which the Employment Permit was issued,
- with expiry of the period for which a Residence Permit was issued or with expiry of a Residence Permit for other reasons.
An Employment Permit shall be withdrawn from a foreigner by a decision made by the Labour Authority, if the foreigner fails to comply with the explicit conditions of the Employment Permit. A specimen form of a decision on withdrawing an Employment Permit is available in the OK system.
A foreigner who is employed without an Employment Permit may be punished pursuant to regulations valid for this area.
An employer who employs a foreigner without the pertinent permits may be punished pursuant to regulations valid in the area of employment.