A large part of the Czech population has been affected by the coronavirus situation from a social aspect. Given the changing government measures, the economic loss of businesses and tradesmen, and the general social insecurity, it’s no wonder you have a lot of questions on your minds. Our social workers answered the most common ones for you.
1) Can my employer give me notice if it has no job for me?
Your employer may dismiss you only for reasons set by law. For example, if your employer has ceased to operate or moved to another location, the employee becomes redundant or in case of serious breach of obligations related to the work performed, etc. (see Labour Code §52). However, this does not apply to the employees in probation period.
If you are dismissed due to redundancy (§52c), you are entitled to severance pay under the Labour Code. The amount depends on the length of time worked. At the same time, check that the job dismissal or the agreement to terminate will state its reason in writing.
You can find more detailed information, for example, here: https://www.mpsv.cz/prava-zamestnancu
2) In the current situation, can my employer order me to take vacation or unpaid leave?
According to the Labour Code, your employer can order you to take a leave, but unless you’ve agreed on a shorter term, it should be ordered at least 14 days in advance. The employer is not allowed to order you take an unpaid leave.
3) Should I sign a termination agreement if my employer puts pressure on me?
Definitely do not sign any termination agreement under duress and without prior consideration. The employer cannot force you to do so. In these cases, we recommend that you contact our Legal Department.
4) I have no money for rent, am I entitled to a state benefit?
If you are in a situation in which you are unable to pay the rent, some of the social benefits could help you to solve the situation. These are benefits entitled: Housing benefit (Příspěvek na bydlení) and Additional Housing Allowance (Doplatek na bydlení). These benefits are paid monthly until you are able to pay the rent yourself. If you are a foreigner from outside of the EU (and you do not have citizenship of an EU country), your residence permit to claim a benefit needs to be assessed. Your net income and housing costs are also assessed.
In the Czech Republic, social benefits are handled by Labour Offices. You apply for a benefit to the Labour Office according to your place of residence. More information on these benefits can be found here: Housing benefit (Příspěvek na bydlení) and Additional Housing Allowance (Doplatek na bydlení). Each case is individual, therefore we recommend you to contact the Social Department at ICP so you can have the exact conditions of entitlement to a specific social benefit explained to you and assistance with filling in the necessary forms.
Another option is to try to agree with your landlord the postponement of rent to a later date.
5) I do not qualify for any of the previous benefits and do not have enough money – am I still entitled to any financial assistance from the state?
If you do not qualify for any of the aforementioned benefits, there is another benefit called Extraordinary Immediate Assistance (Mimořádná okamžitá pomoc). It is intended for people in a difficult life situation, which they cannot overcome by themselves. This is a one-off benefit (with some exceptions) paid by the Labour Office based on an assessment of your individual situation. If you happened to be in such situation, for example because of the coronavirus pandemic and you need financial assistance; you can apply for this benefit and explain the specific reasons why are you applying for it and what it should be used for. The Labour Office will then review your application and decide whether the benefit should/shouldn‘t be granted. You can find more information and an exact list of life situations related to this benefit HERE or you can contact our social department.
6) What payment reliefs are there for self-employers during the emergency state?
All self-employers have a six-month holiday in paying health and social insurance. This means you don’t have to pay for them during this time. Subsequently, your 2020 bills will be reduced by 6 months in the amount of the minimum premium. For example, self-employers whose business is their main activity will save CZK 29,376 over these 6 months. More information can be found at this link: https://www.mfcr.cz/en/aktualne/tiskove-zpravy/2020/zivnostnici-usetri-na-pojistnem-37960
Another financial relief for self-employed people is the general waiver of late payment of personal and corporate income tax returns and interest of arrears no longer than July 1st 2020. This means that you will not be penalized if you do not submit it by April 1st 2020, and you submit it by July 1st 2020.
In view of the development of the current situation, the Ministry of Finance also suspends the Electronic Sales Register (EET) for a period of emergency and for the following three months. Suspension means that no taxpayer will have to record their sales and this obligation will not be checked in any way.
More information about tax relief for self-employers can be found here: https://www.mfcr.cz/en/aktualne/tiskove-zpravy/2020/ulevy-v-danove-oblasti-se-rozsiri-37943
7) I am self-employed and I take care of a child under 13 years at home. Am I entitled to nursing allowance?
YES, exceptionally, you are entitled to a nursing allowance in the form of a subsidy that is paid during the duration of the emergency state only. The exact amount is CZK 424, – / day. You can apply for the period between 12.03. -31.03.
You will fill in a simple form on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which also provides precise information on how to apply for this support (see the following link: https://www.mpo.cz/cz/podnikani/zivnostenske-podnikani/ osetrovne-pro-osvc — vyzva-i – 253750 /). You can also contact the Trade Licensing Office for further information. Attention, the application deadline is April 30th 2020!
8) I am self-employed, am I entitled to state support for lost profits?
Yes, this is the so-called compensation bonus for self-employers in the amount of CZK 25,000. It is a one-off tax bonus paid by tax authorities for the period of March 12th to April 30 th2020. It is intended for self-employed people who do their business as their main activity. Self-employers who carry out their business as a supplementary activity may also apply, but in this case there are exceptions for which the bonus is not paid.
You also are entitled to this bonus even in case you are or will be receiving a nursing allowance. You can apply for it when the final version is approved by Parliament (the deadline for approval is April 15th 2020). You must apply for this bonus no later than June 30th, 2020. More information can be found here: https://www.mfcr.cz/en/current/products/2020/mf-many-support-support -for-set-o-38055
9) I am an employee and I take care of a child under 13 years – for how long can I receive nursing allowance?
Nursing allowance is extended for the entire period of school closure. For those who applied for it before the schools closed, the payment will be extended automatically. If you have not yet applied for nursing allowance, it is still possible to do so if certain conditions have been met. You can receive nursing allowance for one child only. More information here: https://www.mpsv.cz/osetrovne
10) How can I communicate with authorities in the current situation?
The offices of state authorities have limited opening hours during the duration of the pandemic. Some of them may be completely closed. In particular, it is recommended you communicate via phone, email or post. If you cannot resolve your matter without making a personal visit, check the current opening hours on the Internet, contact the competent authority office and arrange a personal visit for a specific date.
In addition, there are boxes for forms and other important documents in front of the Labour Offices (LO). They are usually located in front of the LO building entrance or at any other visible place. Communication with LO can therefore also be solved in this way. If you are submitting social benefit forms here, your signature does not have to be officially verified. If submitting electronically, send high-quality scanned forms only. Photos of relevant documents are insufficient. More information HERE.
Most of the situations you might find yourself in, are specific and require an individual approach, therefore we recommend you to contact our social department and consult on your specific case with our social workers.
Do you have any other questions? Make an appointment for our free of charge social counselling: +420 252 543 846.