The amendment to the Labour Code incorporates EU directives on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union.
An amendment to the Labour Code entered into force on November 1, 2022, incorporating the EU directives on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union and on the balance between the work and private life of parents and persons with caring responsibilities.
This is an overview of the most important changes brought about by this amendment:
Content and essential (mandatory) requirements of employment contracts
The new essential element of the employment contract is the identification of the employer and the employee, i.e., specification of the employer in the scope of name and its seat, and specification of the employee in the scope of name, surname, date of birth and place of permanent residence (the employee's birth number is not given).
In the employment contract, the type of work and its brief description, place of work, day of starting work and wage conditions must be specified.
A significant change concerns the indication of the employee's place of work. The employer has the obligation to list in the employment contract all the places of performance of the employee's work, if there are more, and at the same time to determine which is the main one or to establish a rule that the place of performance of work is determined by the employee himself. The place of work can be a city, a part of a city or another designated place.
After the current amendment to the Labour Code, other working conditions are no longer among the mandatory elements of the employment contract. Namely pay dates, working hours, amount of vacation and length of notice period. If the mentioned data are not part of the employment contract, they will become part of the so-called information obligation of the employer. This means that the employer can change them and just inform the employee about the changes. The employer is obliged to provide information in terms of the mentioned information obligation within 7 days, respectively within 4 weeks, depending on the type of information. If these conditions are agreed directly in the employment contract, any change can be implemented after mutual agreement with the employee through an addendum to the employment contract.
In the case of already concluded employment contracts, the employer has an obligation to provide these information only at the request of the employee within a period of one month from the date of submission of the employee's request.
Ensuring predictable working conditions
To apply the principle of predictability of working conditions, the employer is obliged to provide employees with a written answer in the event of a request for flexible forms of work for persons taking care of children (e.g., home office) or for a transition to another form of employment. In the case of employees with a fixed-term employment relationship or with an employment relationship for a shorter working time, they are entitled within the specified time limits (after 6 or 12 months of the duration of the employment relationship) to request the employer to switch to an employment relationship for an indefinite period of time or to the so-called full-time, while the employer will be obliged to provide a written, reasoned answer within one month from the date of submission of the application (3 months in the case of employers with less than 50 employees).
When concluding agreements on work, the employer is obliged to provide the employee with written information about the days and time periods in which the employee will be required to perform the work and information about the period in which the employee should be informed about the performance of the work before it begins, while this period must not be shorter than 24 hours. If the employer does not fulfil this obligation, the employee is not obliged to perform the required work. On the contrary, if the employer cancels the performance of the work within a period that is shorter than the agreed period, the employee is entitled to compensation of the remuneration that he would have achieved if the work had been carried out, in the amount of at least 30% of the remuneration.
Adequacy of the probationary period
For an employee with a fixed-term employment relationship, the agreed trial period may not be longer than half of the agreed duration of the employment relationship (e.g., if someone is employed for a fixed period of 4 months, a trial period of 3 months must not be applied).
As of November 1, 2022, the father will be entitled to 28 weeks of paternity leave, a single father to 31 weeks, and a father to whom two or more children are born to 37 weeks in connection with the care of a new-born child. He can take paternity leave from the birth of the child if he is taking care of the child.
During the 2 weeks in the six-week period after the birth, the father will be able to take paternity leave at the same time as the mother. To take the other weeks of paternity leave, it is necessary for the mother to stop receiving the maternity benefit, or parental allowance.
The amendment to the Labour Code also supplements deductions from wages in connection with the provision of a financial contribution for meals to the employee by the employer. As of November 1, 2022, the employer is authorized to make a unilateral deduction from the salary even in the case of an unbilled advance payment for provided financial allowance for meal.
With the advance method of providing a financial allowance for meals, employers encountered problems in practice, especially at the end of the employment relationship, when the employee was provided with a financial allowance for meals in advance in a higher amount than he was entitled to on the day of the termination of the employment relationship and the employer did not have the opportunity to make a deduction from the salary without the employee's consent.
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