Several provisions of Act I of 2012 on the Labour Code (hereinafter referred to as the Labour Code Act or the Act) have been amended or new provisions have been added with effect from 1 January 2023.
We recommend that you have your employees’ employment contracts and related information documents reviewed, or have them reviewed by a legal expert, to ensure that they comply with current legislation.
Hereinafter, we draw your attention to the most important of the amended or new provisions of the current legislation.
However, please note that this information is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. We will be happy to provide you with individual legal advice or to amend or revise your existing employment contracts on request.
Among the amended/new provisions we have highlighted the following:
1. The employer’s information obligations under § 46 (1) has been extended.
The employer is obliged to provide information on its training policy and the amount of time the employee can spend on training.
The employer is also obliged to inform the employee of the public authorities to which the employer pays the tax wedges on labour.
Some more information than before should also be provided on the legal rules on working hours and termination, but this can be done by referring to the relevant sections of the Labour Code.
In the case of new employments this information must be provided to the employee in writing, either in the employment contract or in a separate information notice, within 7 days of the start of the employment relationship at the latest. In the case of existing employment relationships, the employee may request the information until 31 March 2023, which must be provided in writing by the employer within 30 days of receipt of the request.
2. Reduced working hours for caregivers
As from 1 January 2023, employees are exempted from the obligation to be available and work for a maximum of 5 working days per year to provide personal care to a relative or a person living in the same household as the employee who needs care for serious health reasons.
The working time reduce shall be granted at the time requested by the employee, in no more than two parts. The existence of a serious health condition and the justification for the care shall be certified by the doctor treating the person in need of care.
3. Paternity leave
The father is entitled to 10 working days’ paternity leave at the latest by the end of the second month following the birth of the child (or, in the case of adoption, the finalisation of the decision authorising the adoption). It may be granted at the time requested by the worker, but in no more than two parts.
Pay: 100% of the absence allowance for the first 5 days of paternity leave and 40% of the absence allowance for the remaining 5 days.
A person who has a child born between 2 August 2022 and 31 December 2022 is also entitled to take paternity leave, but the paternity leave taken earlier must be counted in.
4. Parental leave
An employee is entitled to a total of 44 working days of parental leave up to the age of 3 years of the child. To be eligible, the employment relationship must have lasted for at least one year. It may be granted at the time requested by the employee. The employee must give the employer 15 days’ notice of the request.
Pay: 10% of the absence allowance, minus childcare allowance and childcare assistance fee.
If the employee’s child reaches the age of 3 between 2 August 2022 and 30 June 2023, parental leave must be granted no later than 30 June 2023.
5. Ex-post obligation to communicate the reasons for termination
If the employee claims within 15 days of the employer’s notice of termination that his employment relationship has been terminated because he has exercised one of the following rights, the employer must give reasons in writing for the termination he has given within 15 days of receiving the request, even if he was otherwise entitled to give the notice without giving reasons (for example, during the probationary period).
Possible reasons given by the employee:
– reduced working hours for caregivers
– paternity leave,
– parental leave,
– taking unpaid leave to care for a child, or
– an amendment to the employment contract requested by the employee before the child is 8 years old.
6. The scope of prohibitions on dismissal has been extended
In addition to the previous rules, an employer’s notice of termination is also unlawful if it is given during paternity leave, parental leave and reduced working hours of caregivers.
7. Broadening of the content of the exit papers
In the event of termination of employment, the employer must also provide the employee with a certificate stating the amount of paternity and parental leave granted to the employee by the employee’s previous employer and the employer.
8. Working time frame
When a timeframe is applied, it is necessary to publish not only the starting and ending dates of the timeframe, but also the duration of the working time during the timeframe. As a result of the new provision, it is therefore necessary to examine and provide information on the working time during the working time period on an individual basis.
9. Trial period
In the case of fixed-term employment contracts of less than one year, the maximum length of the probationary period is apportioned.
10. Cases of amendment of a binding employment contract
The obligation to inform the employee of full-time, part-time, home office and open-ended job vacancies remains unchanged. The new rule as from 1 January 2023 is that if the employee wishes to modify his/her employment contract for one of these positions, the employer must do so. The employee will have this right after the first six months of employment.
The rights of workers with children have also been extended to allow workers to request changes to their place of work, working hours and/or teleworking or part-time work up to the age of 8. The worker must give reasons for his request and indicate the requested starting date. The employer must examine the request and decide within 15 days. The employer must state the reasons for refusing the request.
11. Employee unable to perform the job for health reasons
A welcome new provision is the explicit inclusion in the law of the rule that a worker is not obliged to work and be available for work if he is unfit for the job for health reasons. The Labour Code now also explicitly includes the rule that the employee is not entitled to any absence pay during this period. A typical case if occupational doctor issues a certificate of medical fitness for work with an incapacity rating.
In such a case, contrary to what we believe to be erroneous practice in recent years, the employer is not obliged to terminate the employment relationship and the employee is not entitled to any absence allowance. It will, however, be in the common interest of the parties to terminate the employment relationship by mutual agreement, if possible, since the purpose of the employment relationship has become impossible.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.