11.07.2024 Salary

[Czech Republic] Leave from work in connection with events for children and young people

Leave from work related to an event for children and young people is one of the obstacles to work defined in the Labour Code on the part of the employee. As of 1 January 2024, there have been some changes and since it is the holiday season when such events are most often held, let’s take a look at the currently applicable basic rules.

The employee is entitled to leave from work due to the activity:

  • leaders of camps for children and young people and their representatives for economic and health matters
  • troop leaders, counsellors, instructors and paramedical staff in camps for children and young people

The same applies to similar activities at sports camps for children and young people. Children and young people are defined as natural persons under the age of 26.

The employee is only allowed to take time off as necessary, but for no longer than 3 weeks and unless serious operational reasons of the employer prevent it. The employer may refuse such a request for serious operational reasons. It will then be up to the employer to prove these reasons in the event of a dispute.

Another important condition is that the employee has worked continuously and without pay with children or young people for at least 1 year immediately before the leave(this condition is not required for camps or sports camps for disabled children and young people). Here, according to the interpretation of the Czech Social Security Office and the explanatory memorandum to the amendment, the rules were tightened. According to the interpretation of the Czech Social SecurityOffice, work with children and young people is considered to be continuous if it is characterised by the fact that the defined activities are carried out repeatedly according to a predefined work schedule, which implies that events (club meetings, sports training, expeditions, interest groups, etc.) are held at least twice a month. Work with children and young people is not continuous if it is carried out haphazardly, on a one-off or occasional basis (therefore, work with children and young people cannot be considered to be continuous if it is merely an annual activity at a children’s camp or similar event). However, a temporary interruption of activities, e.g. during school holidays, due to illness or as a result of anti-epidemic measures, is not a breach of regularity.

According to our experience, the Czech Social Security Office used to accept the mere annual participation in a camp or similar event to fulfill the condition of previous work with children and young people. Since this year, the conditions have become stricter and  a true continuous work with children is required, and this work must take place immediately before the leave from work. It is not enough that the work with children occurred sometime in the distant past.

Wage compensation for leave from work

The granted leave from work is paid, but only for the duration of the employee’s one week. If the employee works 40 hours, he/she is entitled to 40 hours of paid leave. If the employee’s weekly hours are only 15, he or she is entitled to 15 hours of paid time off.

At the same time, the maximum amount that can be granted was changed. Previously, there was an overall limit on what could be paid in a given year, but from 2024 the limit is set at an hourly rate. It is 1/174 of the average wage in the national economy for quarters I to III. For 2024, this is CZK 243.90. Thus, leave is normally paid at the employee’s average hourly earnings, but if these earnings exceed the limit, only the amount up to the limit, i.e. CZK 243.90, is used for the calculation.

For an employee to be entitled to wage compensation, he or she must perform the above activities for a promoter that meets the following conditions:

  • the organiser is a legal person registered in the public register of legal and natural persons for at least 5 years
  • work with children and young people is a substantial part of its main activity

There has also been a tightening because until 2023 it was sufficient if work with children and young people was the main activity of the legal entity. It is now required that work with children and young people must form a substantial part of the main activity. This can be demonstrated, for example, by the registered purpose of the association. If this is not apparent from the purpose, it can be demonstrated e.g. by the statutes of the association or other documents.

Of course, if the employer wants to grant leave from work even if certain conditions are not fulfilled (e.g. continuous unpaid work with children and young people immediately 1 year before the leave) or wants to provide compensation higher (e.g. for more than one weekly work period or higher than the equivalent of CZK 243.90 per hour), it is possible. However, the employer must take into account that if the request for state reimbursement to which the employee is entitled issubmitted, the employer will only be able to seek reimbursement of the amount to which the employee would be entitled if the statutory conditions were met. In the event of non-compliance with the condition of continuous unpaid work with children and young people, the employer would thus have no right to reimbursement at all. In the event of a higher wage replacement, it would only receive a portion back from the state.

At this point, it should be recalled that if an employer decides to grant leave or compensation for pay in excess of the statutory conditions, it should comply with the rule of equal treatment and non-discrimination. Thus, if it grants leave/pay in excess of the limits to one employee, it should do so for all other employees.

The employer must submit a request for reimbursement to the Czech Social Security Office no later than 6 calendar months after the end of the calendar month in which the employee’s wage compensation was processed. Together with the application, the employer must provide all documents proving the right to reimbursement. This will include, in particular,confirmation:

  • that the employee attended an event hosted by an eligible legal entity, including the date of the event and the activity the employee performed at the event
  • that the employee has worked consistently and without pay with children or young people for at least 1 year immediately prior to the dismissal – this is normally evidenced by a certificate from the body for which the employee has worked in this way for that period, whereby for the purposes of, in order to assess compliance with the condition of continuous work with children or young people, it is necessary that the documents show what the employee’s work with children or young people specifically consisted of and how often in each calendar month in the year immediately preceding the dismissal that work took place
  • that the leave was granted on individual calendar days and for a specific number of hours on those days
  • of the specified weekly working time (weekly hours)
  • the average earnings on which the calculation of the wage compensation was based
  • that the employee was compensated by the employer for his or her wages or salary

Ivana Brancuzká Country Manager
Martin Svoboda Payroll Business Development Manager

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