What are the weekly working hours and rest periods?
The length of the set weekly working time is 40 hours, but it can also be shorter, either by agreement or in the case of certain professions (mining). There is usually a five-day working week in the Czech Republic. Working hours must not be arranged in such a way as to endanger the health of the employee. The length of a shift must not exceed 12 hours. Employees under the age of 18 may not exceed a shift period of 8 hours and the specified weekly working hours may not exceed 40 hours per week.
The rules for determining working hours and rest periods are regulated by the Labour Code. Illegal work performed outside the employment relationship is not protected by these individual rules.
What is the situation regarding completing OSH courses?
Foreigners are subject to the rights and obligations associated with OSH, as well as to the citizens of the Czech Republic, which include training.
The mere formal signing of a document stating that an employee has been trained cannot be considered sufficient OSH training.
As an illegal employee, am I entitled to free medical treatment in case of an accident at work?
If you develop an occupational disease or an accident at work and you do not have a written employment contract, ACJ/DPP or APW/DPČ, you are still entitled to compensation for damage that occurred to you during the performance of work. Even an orally agreed employment relationship or an illegal employment relationship binds the employer with liability for accidents at work and the obligation to compensate you for the damage caused, however, it is difficult to legally seek damages.
If you have an urgent medical problem, be sure to seek medical attention regardless of other circumstances.
What about health insurance?
An EU citizen without permanent residence in the Czech Republic can be covered by Czech public health insurance both by law on the basis of employment and on the basis of EU regulations and legislation (e.g. as self-employed persons carrying out self-employment only in the Czech Republic, dependent family members of a person from the EU who carries out gainful activity in the Czech Republic or receives income replacement benefits, e.g. pension, in exceptional cases also economically inactive persons who can sufficiently prove their actual residence and centre of interests in the Czech Republic, etc.).
If you are employed by a company based in the Czech Republic, you are covered by public health insurance. Your employer must pay your health insurance premiums for you.
If you work under an agreement to complete a job (hereinafter referred to as “ACJ/DPP”), or multiple DPPs with one employer, you are considered an employee for the purposes of health insurance if your income from these agreements in a calendar month is more than CZK 10,000 and your employer is obliged to pay health insurance premiums on your behalf. The income from the DPPs earned in a calendar month with the same employer is added together. Agreements to complete a job and agreements to perform work are not cumulative.
If you work under an agreement to perform work (hereinafter referred to as “APW/DPČ”) or several DPČs with one employer, you are considered an employee for the purposes of health insurance if your income from these agreements in a calendar month amounts to at least CZK 3,500 (from 1 January 2021) and your employer is obliged to pay health insurance premiums on your behalf. The income from the DPČs earned in a calendar month with the same employer is added together. Agreements to complete a job and agreements to perform work are not cumulative.
If you reside in the Czech Republic without a valid residence permit (in cases where it is required for family members of EU citizens), you cannot participate in public health insurance.
Persons without participation in public health insurance should have arranged so-called commercial health insurance. Commercial health insurance can be arranged with one of the health insurance companies, but is usually less advantageous than public health insurance.
What should I do if I do not have health insurance and need medical treatment?
If you do not pay for health insurance and nor it is paid on your behalf by your employer, you must pay for all medical examinations and procedures. So see a doctor and tell him that you do not have health insurance. The doctor will then issue you with a proof of payment, which you will have to pay.
What should I do in case of a work accident and what am I entitled to?
You must always report an accident at work to your superior, the employer is obliged to record all reported accidents at work. With a recognized accident at work, you are entitled to compensation for lost earnings, payment of the necessary costs of treatment and pain (the amount is determined by the doctor). The same applies to the occupational disease (the doctor detects the illness that has arisen as a result of performing work).
What about urgent care?
If your health problem needs to be solved immediately, i.e. urgently, see a doctor who will treat you. In the case of urgent treatment, the doctor must not refuse you. After the treatment, they will issue you a document for payment if you do not have an agreed health insurance that covers the costs.
How do doctors check if I have valid health insurance?
After you present your medical card, the doctor verifies the validity of the card directly with the insurance company that issued the card. If it is found that the card presented by you is invalid or forged, you must pay for the examination. If you prove yourself with an insured person's health card, even though you are not an insured person at that time, you may be fined up to CZK 5,000 and you may also be subject to criminal prosecution for the crime of fraud.
Is it possible to pay for care using the repayment calendar?
Yes, it is possible to create a repayment calendar. If you are interested in creating a repayment schedule, ask your healthcare facility (usually hospitals) to issue a repayment schedule.