At some point, each start-up will reach a point where HR needs to be managed and planned more extensively. Without having proper and functioning payroll, HR management and HR procedures in place, chaos is bound to occur in a company with more people. In addition, it can spoil the previously motivating, enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere, while problems with the authorities and control bodies can also arise.
We have prepared an easy-to-follow eBook with instructions on how to correctly set up payroll, HR and personnel processes for budding entrepreneurs and start-ups at the beginning of their growth, so that they are not a drag, but a drive for development. The eBook is based on long-term experience with payroll accounting, comprehensive HR services, labour law and tax consulting.
For a better orientation, we have created a fictitious start-up company called Velký start s.r.o. for our purposes, which we will use for a practical presentation of the individual steps.
To conclude, just to reassure you – don’t worry, you don’t have to handle all the employment-related obligations yourself, many steps can be covered by external providers. So, you can have free rein to develop your business, and not spend your precious time on administration.
Download our comprehensive eBook providing a step-by-step guide on how to set up payroll and HR processes in a Czech start-up, or read more below:
The hiring process in the Czech Republic
Employers are often surprised by the number of employment obligations placed on them both before and after signing an employment contract. It is advisable to have the entire onboarding process well set up right from the first employee. Even though setting up procedures for the first employee may seem unnecessary and time-consuming, you will greatly appreciate it in the future, because once a properly set-up and functioning process will no longer need to be adjusted, on the contrary, it will save your and your team’s time.
Before signing a contract
Before the company decides to hire its first employee in the Czech Republic, it is necessary to clarify the basic parameters of the newly created job position, such as how much and what kind of work the given person has to execute, how much the start-up company can pay them and how flexible this position will be. According to these expectations, subsequently choose whether an employment contract will be entered into with the given employee or whether one of the agreements to perform work outside employment will be signed, i.e. agreement to perform work (DPČ) or agreement to complete work (DPP).
An agreement to perform work is limited to 20 hours per week on average, an agreement to complete work is limited to 300 hours per calendar year, and an employment contract can be entered into for a maximum of 40 hours per week (in some specific cases, the maximum allowed range is even lower). All these contracts/agreements can be entered into for a definite or indefinite period of time.
Example no. 1
It mainly depends on the employer’s operational needs, its planned growth and the agreement with the given employee. The main differences between an employment contract, an agreement to complete work and an agreement to perform work are summarized in the following overview:
Employment contract Agreement to complete work Agreement to perform work Maximum range of working hours 40 hours per week 300 hours per calendar year An average of 20 hours per week Social security and health insurance contributions are always paid are paid for incomes above CZK 10,000 per month are paid for incomes above CZK 3,499 per month Premium payments entitled not entitled* not entitled* Annual leave at least 4 weeks per year not entitled not entitled* Notice period at least 2 months at least 15 days at least 15 days Statutory grounds for termination on the part of the employer Yes No No Protective period Yes No No Medical examination Yes only for risky work only for risky work Distribution of working hours and the application of absences at work Yes No No Guaranteed salary Yes No No
* however, it is possible to define the entitlement in an agreement
You can find more detailed information on the basic concepts of the Czech labour law in our eBook Labour Law and Employment in the Czech Republic – 2022 Guide.
In general, agreements to perform work outside employment (DPP and DPČ) are less formal and allow more flexibility both on the part of the employee and on the part of the employer. On the other hand, an employment contract offers employees a greater sense of security and a stronger and closer relationship for both parties (especially thanks to a longer notice period and a number of mutual rights and obligations). For employers, however, there can be some negative aspects such as the obligation to pay severance pay in case of termination for organizational or health reasons, as well as obligations when an employee returns from the maternity or parental leave. However, an employment is considered a basic employer-employee relationship and is therefore the most common and most typical form of employer-employee relationship.
For a general overview of tax obligations, we recommend the 10 Facts about taxation in the Czech Republic.
Many start-up companies are certainly attracted by the prospect of cost savings when involving co-workers – entrepreneurs, i.e. self-employed (OSVČ). It is necessary to add that a relatively large number of experts with a high degree of qualification provide their services as self-employed under various contracts/agreements (contract for work, contract for the provision of services, cooperation agreement, etc.). For the self-employed, the company does not have to pay contributions toward social security and health insurance in addition to the remuneration as for employees (the self-employed are responsible for the contributions themselves and, moreover, the contributions are significantly lower than for employees), which certainly represents cost savings. In addition, the cooperation can be set up more flexibly, because it is not subject to the restrictions and minimum standards of the Labour Code.
However, it is necessary to bear in mind that when this form of cooperation is inappropriately set up, the employer exposes himself to a relatively high risk of the emergence of hidden employment, or false self-employment, which is relatively often and severely sanctioned by the control authorities, including the assessment of unpaid statutory levies and other sanctions. When setting up contractual relationships with a self-employed person, it is therefore necessary to carefully consider individual aspects of cooperation and possible risks. This type of contract is always recommended to be consulted with experts.
Finding the right candidate
Before entering into an employment contract, the employer must inform the candidate about the rights and obligations that will result from the employment. The employee, on the other hand, must provide the company with all the necessary information to enter into a valid employment contract and fulfil the obligations related to the commencement of employment:
- First name, surname, maiden name and degree,
- Date and place of birth,
- National identification number,
- Permanent address, or mailing address,
- Health insurance company,
- Bank account number (if the salary is to be paid by bank transfer),
- Information about the enforcement against the employee’s assets or insolvency proceedings have been opened against the employee.
In addition to the information listed above, the employee must hand over the following documents to the employer:
- Employment certificate from the previous employer (so-called record of employment),
- Confirmation of taxable income (if the employer will prepare a tax return),
- Proof of completed education or professional qualification (e.g. diploma, certificate, certificate of apprenticeship),
- Documents proving the legal residence and work permit in the Czech Republic (if the prospect employee is a foreigner),
- Other documents, if relevant in the given case:
- Extract from the criminal record (be careful, it should not be required on a generalized basis, but only in justified cases),
- Certificate of study,
- Confirmation of the pension awarded and receipt of pension,
- Documents for applying the child tax credit (more in article Increased tax allowance on children in the Czech Republic),
- Documents proving the legal residence and work permit in the Czech Republic (if the prospect employee is a foreigner).
At this point, we would like to draw your attention to one of the basic principles of employer-employee relationships, namely that the employer may not demand from the employee information (or documents) that are not directly related to the work performance.
Example no. 2
Preparation of the contract/agreement
The employment contract must be entered into with the employee in a language that the employee understands. This condition also applies to other work-related documents. All inspection bodies require the presentation of the Czech version of documents during inspections. When creating documents, it is therefore advisable to think about the fact that their wording must be understood by both employees and any inspection bodies of the relevant authorities. Thus, if the company plans to employ foreigners, we recommend preparing employment contracts and other work-related documents immediately in a bilingual version.
Example no. 3
Obligations after signing an employment contract in the Czech Republic
The employer keeps one original copy of the signed employment contract and gives one original copy to the employee together with the pay sheet (if the salary is not already stated in the employment contract) and the job description.
Example no. 4
However, signing an employment contract is not the only obligation of either of the parties. The employee must undergo a pre-employment medical examination before the commencement of the employment. The employer can have their own contractual provider of occupational health services or, if only category-1 work is carried out (i.e. non-risky work where an adverse effect on health can be expected only in exceptional cases), occupational health services can also be provided by a physician (i.e. usually the general practitioner) of the employee in question. For these purposes, it is advisable for the employer to create their own form which the doctor fills in after the examination.
Employees are required to undergo regular medical examinations depending on the category of work they perform. As the number of employees increases, it may become more difficult for employers to control the periodicity of medical examinations. It is possible to outsource all the administration related to medical examinations, including keeping track of dates and ensuring that examinations are completed.
For the sake of completeness, the current government has announced its intention to abolish mandatory pre-employment medical examinations for non-hazardous jobs. For the time being, however, no legislative change has been made and the above applies without exception.
Example no. 5
Immediately after signing the employment contract, we recommend that the employer creates a personal file for each new employee. Although the exact content of the file is not defined by the Labour Code, it may only contain documents related to the performance of work. The employer can keep a personal file for employees with an employment contract, an agreement to perform work and an agreement to complete work.
Example no. 6
Personal files of employees most often include:
Files can be kept in paper or electronic form. In both cases, however, it is necessary to think about the statutory archiving and shredding periods.
For the collection of personal data in the file, the employer does not need to have the employee’s consent which would be considered redundant in this case. But this only applies if it is data related to the performance of work, the processing of which is imposed by the relevant regulations on the employer. The field of GDPR, including the fulfilment of the mandatory information obligation by the employer, should be regulated in a separate internal documentation of the employer.
In order for the employee’s personal file to fulfil its function, it is necessary to keep it up-to-date, and therefore the employee is obliged to inform the employer of all relevant changes related to the performance of his or her work.
Informing the employee
No later than one month from the beginning of the commencement of the employment, the employer must inform the employee of the detailed content of the employment:
- Designation of the type and place of work
- It is recommended to state the place of work in a more general way (e.g. the name of the municipality) in the employment contract, and the specific address in the information for the employee.
- Data on the length of annual leave, or information on how it is determined
- The minimum length of leave is 4 weeks in a calendar year.
- In addition to the annual leave, employees may also be entitled to so-called sick-days (usually 2-5 days of paid leave per year when it is not necessary to provide proof of incapacity to work from a doctor).
- Details on notice periods
- The standard notice period is 2 months.
- A longer notice period can be agreed in the employment contract, while it must be the same for both parties.
- Data on weekly working hours and their distribution
- The prescribed weekly working hours are 40 hours, a special adjustment applies to special work regimes and some demanding types of work.
- It can be distributed evenly or unevenly.
- Details on the salary and method of remuneration, due dates of salary, payday, place and method of salary payment
- More on salaries see chapter Salary and Payroll Processing.
- Details on collective agreements
Example no. 7
First day at work
The previously mentioned onboarding process is a great helper to make the first working day easier. The employer familiarizes the employee with his or her workplace and job description. Familiarization with the workplace also includes a demonstration of escape exits, the location of first-aid kits and electrical power switches, and a demonstration of the first aid station including a list of important telephone numbers, which completes the first part of the training in the field of occupational health and safety and fire protection (see chapter Training).
On the first day, the employer will hand over the work and, if necessary, protective equipment to the employee so that he or she can start doing his or her job properly and his or her safety is ensured.
Example no. 8
The employer may also enter into the following agreements with an employee with regard to the work he or she will perform:
- Liability for a shortfall in things of value entrusted to an employee
- It is entered into if the employee is entrusted with cash, valuables, goods, material stocks or other values that are subject to turnover or circulation and the employee has the opportunity to dispose of them throughout the entire period of entrustment.
- The liability can be individual or joint if the things of value are handled jointly by several employees.
- Agreements on liability for loss of things entrusted to an employee
- If the employee is entrusted with things exceeding the value of CZK 50,000, the employer is entitled to hand them over to the employee only after signing such an agreement.
If one of the above agreements has been signed with the employee, the employer will file it again in the employee’s personal file.
The employer is obliged to train the employee in two key areas:
- Occupational health and safety
- It is also possible to provide the initial OSH training with the help of an external supplier or online portals.
- Trainings can be electronic or personal and must meet the content requirements of the Labour Code and other related laws.
- Further trainings of employees in the field of OHS must be provided at regular intervals. It is again possible to set training reminders in different systems.
- Fire protection
- All employees must be trained in how to behave in order to prevent fire and how to respond if a fire does occur.
- The training must be carried out when a new employee joins and then regularly at statutory intervals. It is again possible to use smart solutions and systems to check and set up regular trainings.
In addition, it may be necessary and appropriate to provide another training. This can be, for example, driver training or training in the handling of sensitive data.
As with the employment contract and other work-related documents, it also applies to the area of training that it must be carried out in a language that the employee understands. For reasons of proof, the employee must confirm participation in the training to the employer (e.g. by signing the attendance sheet, signing the training record, electronic confirmation of completion of online training, etc.).
Example no. 9
The employer must register each new employee to the district social security administration within 8 calendar days at the latest. If this is the very first employee, the employer must also be registered. The obligation to register the employer must also be carried out with the employee’s health insurance company. It is then necessary to check with each other employee’s health insurance company, and if another employee is registered with another health insurance company, the employer must also register with the other health insurance company (there are currently 7 health insurance companies operating in the Czech Republic).
Example no. 10
The employer’s registration obligations at the start of employment continue even further. It must also register itself as a taxpayer for employment undertaken at the tax office within 8 calendar days of the employment of the first employee.
Last but not least, every employer is obliged to pay insurance premiums in the case of liability for damage caused by an occupational accident or occupational disease with Kooperativa pojišťovna, a.s. (currently the only provider of this insurance which took over this activity from Česká pojišťovna, a.s.). The insurance is established by law on the date of the first employer-employee relationship, and the new employer must notify the insurance company of this fact without undue delay. The insurance premium is then paid in regular quarterly instalments, the amount of which is based on the employer’s predominant business activity and the total of the employees’ salaries.
Example no. 11
If the employees have been ordered to enforce the decision through deduction from their salaries or if insolvency proceedings have been opened against them, the employer is obliged to further inform the bailiff or the insolvency administrator about their employment.
When employing foreigners, the employer is also obliged to fulfil the following:
- To file documents proving authorization to stay and work in the Czech Republic.
- To inform the relevant Labour Office of the employment of a foreigner no later than on the commencement day of employment.
- To register the employee in its register of employees – foreigners.
- To keep copies of documents proving the existence of the employer-employee relationship at the workplace where a specific employee performs work (in written or electronic form).
The above obligations apply both to the employment of EU citizens and foreigners from third countries.
Example no. 12
- Designation of the type and place of work
The most common employee benefits in the Czech Republic
Start-up companies, just like the big players in the market, try to attract the most capable employees to join their teams. However, start-up companies often do not have enough financial resources to be able to overpay the desired employees, so they often attract applicants with various benefits.
Specific benefits, their settings, rules for their provision and use are recommended to be adjusted in the internal regulations. It is then sufficient to familiarize current and future employees with the current wording of the internal regulations regarding benefits. Any benefit can be negotiated individually with the given employee in his or her employment contract or in any other agreement with him or her. The disadvantage of this solution is that any changes regarding the given benefit or its cancellation must be approved by the employee. Therefore, it is always a more practical and administratively simpler solution to enshrine the benefit in the form of a unilateral internal regulation of the employer, all the more so if the benefit concerns a larger number of employees.
The most common benefits
The benefits of start-up and smaller companies include:
- Flexible working hours
- Distribution of working hours into fixed and optional parts is one of the most frequently sought after and also provided benefits.
- Meal vouchers, meal voucher lump sum
- This is a tax-advantaged employee meal allowance.
- Meal vouchers can also be provided to employees working from home, under an agreement to complete work or agreement to perform work.
- Use of computer and telephone for private purposes
- Use of company car for private purposes
- Contribution to private pension insurance
- Contribution to above-standard health care
- Contribution to kindergarten fees or school fees for children
Please note that the provision of benefits usually has tax consequences that must be taken into account – some benefits are tax-advantaged (e.g. the mentioned meal vouchers), some, on the contrary, represent a taxable income on the part of the employee (e.g. use of a company car for private purposes). For this reason, it is recommended to consult the benefit with tax advisors before its introduction.
You can also find an overview of other benefits along with the information about employment in the Czech Republic on our website in the article and e-book Labour Law and Employment in the Czech Republic – 2022 Guide.
One of the most frequently provided benefits, very popular with employees, is the possibility of working remotely (remote work) or from home (work from home). If the employer decides to provide this form of benefit to employees, first, it should answer several questions such as:
- Will the employees be able to work remotely / from home permanently or part-time?
- It is advisable to set rules and restrictions for working from home and, for example, establish when employees must be present at the workplace or how the working hours will be distributed.
- The employer should also keep in mind the possible compensation of costs associated with long-term work from home.
- Can employees work from abroad?
- If it is possible to work from for example a beach or from other places abroad, it is also necessary to bear in mind the possible impacts on obligations in the area of taxes and levies in connection with the performance of work abroad.
- In general, we do not recommend this procedure, as it can be administratively demanding for employers and risky in practice.
- How will the employer check compliance with the occupational health and safety rules?
- The employer is obliged to ensure compliance with the OHS rules even when the employee works from home, which is not an easy task at first sight.
The legal regulation of working remotely or from home is insufficient in the Czech Republic and the employer needs to adjust the rules. It is therefore not advisable to leave it for later to set up remote work or work from home. On the contrary, if the company’s vision is to grow further (which we assume) and to provide this benefit to future employees as well, we recommend investing time in preparing a comprehensive internal regulation with rules for working from home. It is advisable this internal regulation includes information regarding occupational health and safety, distribution of working hours, work tools and the duties of the employee when working from home.
- Flexible working hours
Working hours and breaks at work
The maximum length of working hours is regulated by the Labour Code and is 40 hours per week (less in the case of special work regimes and demanding types of work stipulated by law), but the employer and employee can also agree on shorter working hours, so that they suit them both.
The employer is obliged to keep records of working hours for each employee. Records of working hours are not the same as attendance records. The attendance record talks about how much time the employee has spent at the workplace, but nothing about how many hours they have worked. In contrast to the attendance records, the records of working hours are mandatory for the employer and is a frequent subject of checks by the control authorities.
Records of working hours serve the employer for the proper payment of salaries. The beginning and end of the worked shift, overtime work, night work and on-call work must be marked in the records of working hours.
Example no. 13
The manner or form in which the employer must record attendance is not specified anywhere. However, the records should be clear and demonstrable. It can therefore be a record in paper form, an Excel spreadsheet or records using the attendance system.
Breaks at work
As part of the distribution of working hours, the employer must also ensure that breaks for meals and rest are taken which must usually be provided in the range of at least 30 minutes after a maximum of six hours worked.
Example no. 14
In addition to meal and rest breaks, the employer must also observe other limits when distributing employees’ working hours:
- Rest between two shifts
- This is the rest between the end of one work shift and the beginning of the next, which must be at least 11 hours.
- In exceptional cases, this rest can be reduced to 8 hours. The following rest must then be extended appropriately.
- Uninterrupted rest during the week
- Each employee must have at least 35 hours of continuous rest per week for 7 consecutive days.
- This rest can be shortened to 24 hours, but only if the following rest is reasonably extended.
- If the employer’s operation allows, the uninterrupted rest of the week should fall on Sunday.
- Safety break
- Only for some types of work, where the break is included in the working hours.
- Rest between two shifts
Salary and payroll processing in the Czech Republic
The records of working hours are definitely key for the payment of salaries, but it is not enough. To process and pay out salaries, the payroll department needs the following from the employer:
- Records of working hours,
- Employment contract including amendments,
- Pay sheet, if any,
- Absence documents:
- Annual leave,
- Incapacity to work,
- Taking care of a family member,
- Appointment with a doctor,
- Unpaid leave,
- Travel orders, etc.
- Information about extraordinary pay, bonuses, individual bonuses,
- Changes in the given month (if any):
- Bank account numbers,
- Health insurance company,
- Permanent address, etc.
- Information about payroll deductions.
How to set a salary in the Czech Republic
The amount of salary tends to be somewhat less important for people heading to a start-up than the opportunity to participate in innovation, flexible work or fast career progression, but it certainly cannot be underestimated. So what are the rules for setting a salary?
The minimum salary represents the minimum amount of remuneration for the performance of work given by law. In 2022, the minimum salary is CZK 16,200 gross per month for work performance in the range of 40 hours per week. The hourly minimum wage amounts to CZK 96.40. The minimum salary must be observed not only for employees with an employment contract, but also with an agreement to complete work and an agreement to perform work.
The guaranteed salary represents the minimum salary for individual professions under the classification into a total of 8 groups under the government regulation*, which defines the amount of the guaranteed salary based on the difficulty of the work performed. The work performed within Group 1 is the least demanding, therefore the guaranteed salary is equal to the minimum salary. The guaranteed salary then gradually rises with the complexity of the work performed up to the level of CZK 32,400 gross per month for work performed in Group 8.
*Government Regulation No. 567/2006 Sb., on minimum salary, the lowest levels of guaranteed salary, definition of “extraordinary working conditions”, and the level of compensation for work in such conditions.
Example no. 15
The limits of the minimum and guaranteed salaries change regularly (usually annually), so it is important to always monitor their current amount.
Equal treatment and non-discrimination
Employees should have equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. Differences can only be justified by criteria accepted by law, e.g. different requirements for responsibility and experience, work performance, etc.
Example no. 16
In practice, it is quite common for the salary in individual regions to vary by employer with reference to the cost of living in that location. However, according to the current case-law, even local differences in remuneration must be objectively justified in accordance with the Labour Code (e.g. different need for language skills, different levels of mental stress and stress or different requirements for product knowledge).
Are you interested in the amount of your net salary and the specific amounts paid to social security and health insurance? Use our clear salary calculator.
In addition to the basic salary, the employer is obliged to provide employees with the following premium pay for work, as a percentage of the employee’s average earnings:
- Overtime (25%)
- At night (10%)
- On Saturday and Sunday (10%)
- On a national holiday (100%)
Example no. 17
How to process salaries
Payroll processing is one of the activities that companies often decide to outsource because not only because it is time-consuming. The payroll processing includes the collection of pay documents and the separate calculation of gross and net salaries, as well as many other related activities – sending an overview of the amount of contributions to social security to the district social security administration, preparing payslips for employees, preparing orders for the payment of salaries to employee accounts, paying the contributions to health insurance and social security, tax preparation, payroll accounting, calculating employer’s statutory liability insurance, duties related to incapacity to work, work-related injuries, making payroll deductions and more. Specialized payroll services and payroll processing are offered by many providers (e.g. payroll processing by Accace).
Example no. 18
HR and payroll reporting
With one or a few employees, HR reporting is usually not a topical and pressing issue. However, as the number of employees increases, better forecasting and planning is needed to always have enough of the right people in the right places. Appropriately set payroll, personnel and HR reporting provides a comprehensive overview of employee efficiency, turnover, salary costs, hours worked and much more. Thanks to well-chosen reporting, managers and HR managers can more easily and accurately plan steps leading to employee satisfaction and efficiency.
Reports usually requested by employers include payroll costs, turnover rates or annual leave not taken, including estimated payables at the end of the accounting period. Some payroll processing providers (e.g. Accace) also offer the creation of various reports that can be a very useful tool for future decision-making.
At the beginning, companies can see the creation of internal regulations and guidelines as an unnecessary burden and administration. As already mentioned above, it is worth investing in the creation of certain documents (e.g. directives for adjusting remote work or guidelines for providing meal vouchers) already with the first employee.
Employees must be made aware of any internal regulations. If the internal regulations of the foreign parent company are available to the company, they must be translated into the Czech language for use in the Czech environment, adapted to the Czech legislation and officially issued as an internal document of the Czech employer. Typically, these include ethical codes, codes of conduct, anti-corruption guidelines, etc.
As companies gradually prosper and the number of employees grows, so does the need to set up internal processes and create internal regulations. Quality internal regulations can save valuable time, because with their help it is not necessary to solve individual issues with each employee separately (for example, amendments to the employment contract due to a change in the amount of contribution to recreation or car allowance), and also ensure compliance with uniform procedures and reduce risks for employers (e.g. guidelines regulating occupational health and safety rules).
The most common internal regulations include:
- Conditions of employment,
- Pay rules,
- Work-from-home guidelines,
- Guidelines for the provision of benefits,
- Business travel guidelines,
- Organizational guidelines,
- OHS guidelines.
In general, all employer’s internal regulations should be concise, clear, comprehensible and up-to-date. These regulations reflect the needs of a specific employer who they are literally tailored to. Even their creation can be left by the company to experts in labour law, such as Accace Legal.
The e-book is focused on the basic obligations and activities associated with employing people in the Czech Republic. As a company grows, the personnel agenda grows and other areas need to be addressed – employee training, cross-border employment, sending employees abroad, recruiting more people, the need for sophisticated software, attendance system and more.
The number of people dealing with payroll and HR in the company also increases proportionally. The possibility of reducing their routine activities and giving them more space for planning and development is one of the advantages of outsourcing in the area of payroll and HR. What will you get?
- Transferring responsibility for the HR agenda to professionals,
- Quick and effective solutions to even complicated situations,
- Better overview of HR costs,
- More space for the internal HR team for development, planning and strategic tasks.
Do you want to be sure you don’t forget anything important? Use our checklist and follow it step by step, so you don’t miss anything.