Updated on 8th of April, 2022
On 21.03.2022 a new law n. 66/2022 was published in the Collection of laws which enables free entry to the Czech labour market to Ukrainian citizens who fled to the Czech Republic in connection with the conflict in Ukraine.
What does free entry to the labour market mean?
Free entry to the labour market means, that Ukrainian citizens and their family members which comply with conditions further described may work in the Czech Republic without any formal restrictions, i.e. without having to obtain a work permit in advance or the employer having to submit a job position vacancy form beforehand.
The Ukrainian citizen and his family members may work in an employment relationship, as well as on the basis of some of the agreements of performing work outside the employment relationship. Of course, the standard legal conditions must be adhered to, in particular minimal and guaranteed wage, length and schedule of worktime etc.
Does the free entry to the labour market apply to all Ukrainian citizens?
No. Free entry to the labour market is granted only to those Ukrainian citizens who have fled to the Czech Republic in connection with the conflict in Ukraine and who were granted the so-called temporary protection (the previous special long-term visa). This is marked into the passport of the foreigner with a label or stamp.
Hence the free entry to the labour market doesn’t apply to Ukrainian citizens who are residing in the Czech Republic on the basis of a different residence title (and e.g. came to the Czech Republic already before the conflict in Ukraine with the exception of persons whose short-term Schengen visa that can’t be prolonged) or those who weren’t granted the temporary protection in CZ but a different country.
What is the difference between temporary protection and special visa?
Till the effectivity of the above-mentioned law the so-called special long-term visa was granted to the Ukrainian refugees. From the effectivity of the law only the so-called visa for purpose of temporary protection is granted. However, according to the information of the Ministry of Interior persons who were granted the special long-term visa before the effectivity of the law shall be automatically that is without any further steps transferred to the system of temporary protection. Thus, there is no need to do anything or apply for the temporary protection, it’s sufficient to present the previous visa label or visa stamp.
How to apply for temporary protection?
For the grant of temporary protection it’s necessary to file the submission personally at one of the District assistance centres for helping Ukraine – the list of these centres according to individual districts may be found HERE. At the District assistance centres for helping Ukraine only the following applicants may apply for temporary protection:
- Ukrainian citizens traveling to CZ after 24.02.2022.
- Family members traveling with Ukrainian citizens mentioned in the previous point regardless of their nationality.
- Ukrainian citizens who have entered and resided in CZ on the date 24.02.2022 without visas or based on a short-term Schengen visa which can’t be prolonged and its validity lapses.
It’s advised that the Ukrainian citizens who don’t comply with the above-mentioned conditions to sort out their situation individually at the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of Interior (contact points HERE).
What must be filed together with the application for temporary protection:
- Filled out form available in Czech-Ukrainian version.
- Valid passport (in case the Ukrainian citizen doesn’t have one a Ukrainian ID shall be sufficient; if the person is unable to prove his identity, he must contact the Ukrainian Embassy in Czech Republic).
- It’s recommended to have an own photo (format 45 x 35 mm).
Is free entry to the labour market somehow further restricted?
Free entry is granted by law only temporarily, currently it’s valid till 31 March 2023. In case Ukrainian citizens will want to reside and work in the Czech Republic even after this date they will have to obtain the necessary permit in due time.
Of course, it can’t be ruled out that the effectiveness of the exemption will be extended as the situation evolves.
The limitation of the validity of the law doesn’t mean that the employment contract or agreement must be concluded for a definite period. In our opinion, the contract may also be concluded for an indefinite period.
What are the obligations of the employer in relation to employing employees from Ukraine?
Firstly, the employer has an information obligation towards the competent Labour office on the day of commencement of employment of the employee (at the latest on the first day when the employee starts working), when there are changes in the reported employee’s personal data and when the employment relationship is terminated (in these two cases at the latest 10 days after the occasion occurs).
Furthermore, the employer has an obligation to keep an evidence of employees-foreigners in the extent stated by the Employment Act and the obligation of retaining copies of documents proving the eligibility of the foreigner’s stay in the Czech Republic.
Do I have to register somewhere in the Czech Republic?
Yes, the compulsory registration obligation still applies and is done at the Unit of foreigner’s residence of the Department of the Foreigner Police. The current deadline for the registration is prolonged by the crisis measure to 30 days.
In case of accommodation in hotels or other accommodation facilities this obligation should be done by the accommodator, nevertheless we do advice to check whether this obligation was met.
May I work in another EU state based on the Czech work permit?
No, every EU Member State states its own rules for the performance of work of refugees. The work permit issued in the Czech Republic applies exclusively to the performance of work in the Czech Republic.
May I go on business trips when I was granted the temporary protection?
In principle the temporary protection which as well means free entry to the labour market is only applicable in the Czech Republic, i.e. the holder of the temporary protection may not use this permit to work abroad.
Nevertheless, if the foreigner is posted within the framework of the Directive regarding posting of workers by his employer to a different entity for the purpose of performance of provision of services, the necessity to have a permit to perform work doesn’t apply to him in the Czech Republic.
A similar regulation should be also applicable within harmonisation in the whole EU. However, it’s not excluded that some EU countries have made use of the possibility to apply an exception to this rule. Therefore, we recommend that you check the local regulation before sending the holder of the temporary protection to another EU country.
Of course, holders of the temporary protection may go on business trips within the Czech Republic in principle without any limitations.
Must I perform an entrance medical examination before commencement of work?
Yes, the entrance medical examination shall be performed before commencement of performance of work. In case there is not a chance to obtain the extract from medical records an extended medical examination must be performed.
We are ready to help you with the employment of refugees from Ukraine, do not hesitate to contact us.