Employment in the Czech Republic

The employment of foreigners in the Czech Republic is predominantly governed by Law no. 326/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Aliens in the Territory of the Czech Republic and Law no. 435/2004 Coll. on Employment.  

According to the law on the Residence of Aliens, employment is an activity, which requires the following:

Employment is also a fulfilment of tasks arising from the object of a legal person´s activity carried out by a person or a statutory body, or another body of a business company for a business company, or a member of a syndicate or a member of a statutory / another body of a syndicate, or for a syndicate.

European Union citizens (and citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) have free access to the labour market and the same rights as the Czech Republic citizens.

Family members of EU citizens (both close and distant), who are not citizens of European Union themselves, but who have applied for a residence permit in the Czech Republic, or have already gained it, also have free access to the labour market. If the application is rejected, the applicants lose the access to the labour market.

The status of third-country nationals at the labour market depends on the type of residence permit:

  • In certain instances (for example holders of permanent residence permit) third-country nationals have free access to the labour market. For more details, see special page devoted to free access to the labour market.
  • If third-country nationals do not have free access to the labour market, they must obtain an employment permit from the Labour Office. (This does not apply to employment card- or blue card holders, or cards of workers transfered to another job within the same company).
  • Employee card holders or blue card holders can only be employed on work positions listed in the Central Database of Job Vacancies designed for them. Exempted are holders of employee cards who have free access to the labour market or those, who have an employment permit from the Labour Office relating to the particular work position.

If you are staying in the Czech Republic as a third-country national without a visa, you cannot take a job in the Czech Republic. A stay without a visa is meant for other purposes, not for the purpose of earning money and therefore you cannot become an employee.

As a foreigner you have the same rights at your job, as do citizens of the Czech Republic, and you work under the Labour Act provisions. Amongst others, you have a right to:

  • Payment, salary or reward for the work done, at the same rate, which other employees receive for the same work or for the work of the same value.
  • Maximum working hours in the scope of one shift of 12 hours. At the same time, you have the right to take an uninterrupted rest between two shifts.
  • Holiday at the length of at least 4 weeks per calendar year. During the period of your holiday, you have the right to be paid a compensation for the payment, or at the rate of your average salary.
  • Break and rest time of at least 30 minutes, after a maximum of 6 hours of uninterrupted work.
  • Taking meals.
  • Compensation of pay in the cases of an impediment incurred by or on behalf of employer, as a result of which, you were unable to carry on working.
  • Maternity and parental holiday.
  • Refusal of work, which could result in damage to your health.