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Basic rights and obligations of a job seeker and a job applicant

The rights and obligations of a job seeker and a job applicant are stipulated by Act No. 435/2004 Coll., on Employment, as amended (hereinafter referred to as the “Employment Act”).

Who can qualify as a job seeker

A natural person may qualify as a job seeker if

  • the person applies, in person, for job matching services at the regional branch of the Employment Office, which has administrative jurisdiction over the person’s place of residence, and
  • the person meets statutory conditions to be registered as a job seeker (download here: Žádost o zprostředkování zaměstnání – job matching application).

Place of residence is understood as:

  • in case of a Czech citizen, the address of the person’s place of permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic,
  • in case of a foreigner, who is an EU citizen or such citizen’s family member or a family member of a Czech citizen, the address of the person’s permanent or temporary residence in the territory of the Czech Republic, and if the person has no such residence, the address of the place where the person usually stays in the territory of the Czech Republic,
  • in case of a foreigner, who is not an EU citizen or such citizen’s family member or a family member of a Czech citizen, the address of the person’s place of permanent residence in the territory of the Czech Republic,
  • in case of a foreigner, who is not an EU citizen or such citizen’s family member or a family member of a Czech citizen and who is a holder of a long-term residence permit for the purpose of employment at a position requiring a high level of skills (blue card), the address indicated as the person’s place of residence in the administrative information system for foreigners.

Registration as a job seeker

A natural person may not be registered as a job seeker if the person is

  • in an employment relationship (i.e. employment, relationship based on agreement to perform work) or in a service relationship, except for the so-called non-colliding employment. Non-colliding employment is understood to constitute an activity carried out based on an employment or service relationship, provided that the monthly earnings do not exceed one-half of the minimum wage, or an activity carried out based on agreement to perform work, provided that the monthly remuneration or remuneration per month for the period, for which it pertains, does not exceed one-half of the minimum wage (the minimum wage for 2018 amounts to CZK 12,200; consequently, the earnings (remuneration) from a non-colliding employment may not exceed CZK 6,100 – as gross income),
  • a self-employed person in accordance with Section 9 of Act No. 155/1995 Coll., on Pension Insurance,
  • a partner or an executive in a limited-liability company, a limited partner in a limited partnership, a director of a company of public benefit, a manager of an organizational unit of a foreign legal entity, a member of the board of directors or administrative board, or a statutory director of a joint-stock company, a member of the supervisory board of a company, if the person, in addition to the employment relationship with the company, performs work for the company, for which the person receives remuneration from the company and the monthly or average monthly remuneration together with any earnings (remuneration), if applicable, exceeds one-half of the minimum wage,
  • a member of a cooperative, if the person, in addition to the employment relationship with the cooperative, performs work for the cooperative, for which the person receives remuneration from the cooperative and the monthly or average monthly remuneration together with any earnings (remuneration), if applicable, exceeds one-half of the minimum wage,
  • a judge, deputy or senator of the Parliament or member of the European Parliament, a member of the board of a territorial self-governing unit, if the person receives remuneration as a released member of the board, the president of the Republic, a member of the government, the president, vice-president or member of the Supreme Audit Office, the Public Defender of Rights or a deputy Public Defender of Rights, a member of the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting, a member of the Board of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, the president of the Energy Regulatory Office, or a member of the Council of the Czech Telecommunication Office, a financial arbitrator or a deputy financial arbitrator,
  • a trustee in bankruptcy, receiver, proxy holder or liquidator under a special legal act during the period when the person performs such activity,
  • a person taking care of a child or a person registered as a person eligible to provide foster care for a temporary period of time, if these persons receive a foster parent remuneration pursuant to Section 47j (1) (c) and (d) of the Act on Social and Legal Protection of Children,
  • gainfully employed abroad,
  • a natural person involved in continuous systematic preparation for future profession, except for a natural persons involved in continuous systematic preparation for future profession who, in the decisive period, acquired a pension insurance period of at least 12 months through employment or other gainful activity,
  • a natural person responsible for the business management who performs this activity against remuneration outside of an employment relationship and the person’s monthly or average monthly remuneration together with any earnings (remuneration), if applicable, exceeds one-half of the minimum wage,
  • the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Board of the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education.

Continuous systematic preparation for future profession is understood as the period of full-time education at a secondary school, conservatory, college and language school with the right of a state language exam, and the period of full-time university studies, including vacations which are a part of the school or academic year.

The continuous systematic preparation for future profession must be notified by the natural person when submitting a job matching application, or in person or in writing within 8 days after the commencement of the continuous systematic preparation for future profession.

In addition, a natural person may not be registered as a job seeker if the person

  • is recognized as temporarily unable to work;
  • receives maternity benefit in the period prior to childbirth and 6 weeks after the childbirth;
  • is disabled at third degree pursuant to Section 39 (2) (c) of Act No. 155/1995 Coll., on Pension Insurance, except for when the person is able to engage in a gainful activity under very exceptional conditions pursuant to Section 39 (4) (f) of that Act;
  • is in execution of an imprisonment sentence, in execution of security detention as a preventive measure, or is in custody;
  • fails to provide identification data to the Employment Office;
  • fails to provide his/her consent with personal data processing.

It is considered an impediment for a person to be registered and kept as a job seeker in the event that

  • the natural person terminates, without a compelling reason and at own initiative or upon agreement with the employer, his/her suitable employment found through job matching service by the regional branch of the Employment Office,
  • the employer terminates the natural person’s suitable employment found through job matching service by the regional branch of the Employment Office on the ground of a particularly gross violation of obligations arising from the legal regulations related to the work performed by the person.

In such cases, the natural person can be registered as a job seeker based on a new written application after 6 months from the date which was agreed as the starting date of the employment found through job matching service by the regional branch of the Employment Office.

Rights of a job seeker

A job seeker is entitled to

  • job matching, i.e. to seeking of a suitable job, consulting and provision of information about job opportunities;
  • unemployment benefits provided that the applicable statutory conditions are met;
  • enhanced care in job matching, if needed;
  • work rehabilitation, if the person has a disability.

In order to be considered a suitable job, the job must

a) entail an obligation to pay pension insurance contributions and state employment policy contributions,
b) cover working time corresponding to at least 80% of the prescribed weekly working hours,
c) be agreed for an indefinite period of time or for a definite period of time longer than 3 month, and
d) correspond to the health capacity of the natural person and, whenever possible, to the person’s qualification, capabilities, previous duration of employment, accommodation possibilities and transport accessibility of the job.

For a job seeker who has been registered as a job seeker for a period of more than 1 year, suitable job is also such a job, which

  • meets the conditions specified in paragraphs (a), (b) and (d), or
  • meets the conditions specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) and its working time corresponds to at least 50% of the prescribed weekly working hours.

For a job seeker who is to be placed under the scheme to carry out work of public benefit, suitable job includes also any job

  • which covers working time corresponding to no more than one-half of the prescribed weekly working hours pursuant to Section 79 of the Labour Code and which corresponds to the person’s health capacity.

Obligations of a job seeker

A job seeker is obliged to

  • provide the regional branch of the Employment Office with the necessary cooperation in job matching and follow the instructions of the latter (e.g. discuss the recommended job within the period set by the Employment Office, come to the regional branch of the Employment Office on the agreed date, provide cooperation in the development, update and evaluation of IAP in the periods set by the regional branch of the Employment Office, and comply with the conditions specified therein),
  • provide the regional branch of the Employment Office with information concerning the person’s health restrictions in the scope required to seek a suitable job, retraining and to identify an appropriate form of work rehabilitation, and to indicate whether the job seeker is a disabled person; if the job seeker claims work restrictions for health reasons, this must be certified with a medical opinion of the registering general practitioner,
  • at the request of the regional branch of the Employment Office, undergo a medical examination in order to assess the person’s health condition and issue a medical opinion, if the job seeker requests an arrangement for work rehabilitation, a benefit to be provided to create a protected job, invokes health reasons preventing him/her from complying with the obligations of a job seeker or from engaging in retraining, or as regards suitability assessment of the recommended job in terms of the person’s health capacity,
  • notify the regional branch of the Employment Office of his/her performance of a non-colliding employment, regardless of the amount of monthly earnings or remuneration, when submitting a job matching application and no later than on the starting date of this activity. At the periods set by the regional branch of the Employment Office, the job seeker must submit a document proving the amount of monthly earnings or remuneration,
  • notify, in person or in writing and no later than within 8 calendar days, the regional branch of the Employment Office of any change in the circumstances, which are relevant for being registered or kept as a job seeker and which the job seeker certified in the job matching application, as well as of the reasons why the person did not come to the regional branch of the Employment Office on the agreed date, and of any change in the place of residence while the person is registered as a job seeker,
  • comply with the regime of temporary incapacity of a job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident (stay at the place of residence indicated in the job seeker’s temporary incapacity certificate, comply with the scope and duration of the allowed time outside),
  • indicate the reasons why the person is temporarily unable to comply with the obligations of a job seeker no later than on the date when the certificate of temporary incapacity of the job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident was issued or on the effective date of treatment/examination,
  • submit the relevant certificate proving the reasons no later than within 8 calendar days after the issue of the certificate of temporary incapacity of the job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident or the certificate of treatment/examination in a health care facility.

Termination of registration as a job seeker

The regional branch of the Employment Office shall terminate a job seeker’s registration as a job seeker on the date when

  • any of the circumstances occurred which prevent the person from being registered as a job seeker or kept in the job seekers’ register, except for the following circumstances – the job seeker has been recognized as temporarily unable to work, receives maternity benefits in the period prior to childbirth and 6 weeks after the childbirth; based on the job seeker’s notification made in person or in writing,
  • the person starts an employment, based on the job seeker’s notification to be made no later than within 8 calendar days,
  • the job seeker’s written request for termination of his/her registration as a job seeker is delivered,
  • the job seeker enters in execution of an imprisonment sentence, in execution of security detention as preventive measure, on the date following after the job seeker’s death or on the date following after the job seeker was pronounced dead, the date following after 6 months from the date when the job seeker was taken into custody; as of the date when the person had been registered as a job seeker if the regional branch of the Employment Office subsequently finds out that the job seeker was not eligible to be a party of legal relationships under the Employment Act or on the date when the person became ineligible to that end,
  • the blue card was terminated or expired.

Deletion from the job seekers’ register

The regional branch of the Employment Office shall delete a job seeker from the job seekers’ register by a decision if

  • any of the circumstances occurred which prevent the person from being registered as a job seeker or kept in the job seekers’ register, except for the following circumstances – the job seeker has been recognized as temporarily unable to work, is in execution of an imprisonment sentence, in execution of security detention as preventive measure or in custody, receives maternity benefits in the period prior to childbirth and 6 weeks after the childbirth;and the job seeker has failed to comply with the notification duty within 8 calender days,
  • the job seeker, without compelling reasons, fails to inform about a non-colliding employment when submitting a job matching application and no later than on the starting date of such activity; fails to notify, in person or in writing and no later than within 8 calendar days, of the reasons why the person did not come to the regional branch of the Employment Office on the agreed date; fails to notify, in person or in writing and no later than within 8 calendar days, of any other circumstances affecting the person’s registration as a job seeker and inclusion in the job seekers’ register,
  • the job seeker fails to make notification of the reasons why he/she is temporarily unable to comply with the obligations of a job seeker, no later than on the date when the certificate of temporary incapacity of the job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident was issued or on the effective date of treatment/examination,
  • the job seeker fails to submit the relevant certificate no later than within 8 calendar days after the issue of the certificate of temporary incapacity of the job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident or the certificate of treatment/examination in a health care facility,
  • based on a medical opinion, the job seeker is not able to comply with the obligation of providing cooperation to the Employment Office in job matching,
  • the job seeker withdrew his/her consent with personal data processing,
  • the job seeker engages in illegal work.

In addition, the regional branch of the Employment Office shall delete a job seeker from the job seekers’ register by a decision if the job seeker, without a compelling reason,

  • refuses to take up a suitable job,
  • refuses to engage in the agreed retraining or fails to comply with obligations related to the retraining, refuses a retraining offer,
  • fails to provide cooperation in the development, update or evaluation of an individual action plan, or fails to comply with the conditions specified therein,
  • refuses to undergo a health examination or a psychological examination,
  • obstructs cooperation with the Employment Office.

In such cases, the job seeker can be registered again as a job seeker no sooner than after a period of 6 months following such deletion from the job seekers’ register, based on a new written job matching application.

A job seeker is considered to obstruct cooperation if the person

  • is, according to a medical opinion, able to meet his/her obligations vis-à-vis the regional branch of the Employment Office, but fails to do so,
  • fails to discuss the recommended job within the period set by the regional branch of the Employment Office,
  • fails to come to the regional branch of the Employment Office on the agreed date without a compelling reason,
  • fails to provide the regional branch of the Employment Office with information concerning his/her health restrictions in the scope required to seek a suitable job, retraining and to identify an appropriate form of work rehabilitation, and fails to indicate whether the job seeker is a disabled person, or fails to submit a medical opinion of the registering general practitioner certifying the work restrictions for health reasons,
  • fails to undergo, at request of the regional branch of the Employment Office, a medical examination in order to assess the person’s health condition and issue a medical opinion, if he/she requests an arrangement for work rehabilitation, a benefit to be provided to create a protected job, invokes health reasons preventing him/her from complying with the obligations of a job seeker or from engaging in retraining, or as regards suitability assessment of the recommended job in terms of the person’s health capacity,
  • fails to comply with the regime of temporary incapacity of a job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident,
  • takes any other action that obstructs job matching or job take-up.

Compelling reasons include reasons consisting in

  • necessary personal care for a child up to 4 years of age,
  • necessary personal care for a natural person who is, pursuant to a special legal regulation, considered to be dependent on the assistance of another natural person with dependence degree II (medium dependence), dependence degree III (heavy dependence) or dependence degree IV (total dependence), provided that such person lives with the job seeker on a permanent basis and they jointly cover the costs of their needs; these conditions are not required in case of a person which is considered a close relative for pension insurance purposes,
  • attendance of a pre-school facility by a child and compulsory school attendance by a child,
  • the place or nature of employment of the other spouse or registered partner,
  • health reasons which, according to a medical opinion, prevent the job seeker from carrying out a job or complying with the obligation of providing cooperation to the Employment Office in job matching,
  • other compelling personal reasons, such as on ethical, moral or religious basis, or reasons requiring special consideration,
  • immediate termination of employment relationship by the employee pursuant to Section 56 of the Labour Code.

The regime of temporary incapacity of a job seeker consists in the job seeker’s obligation to

  • stay at the place of residence indicated in the certificate of temporary incapacity of the job seeker to comply with the obligations of a job seeker due to illness or accident,
  • comply with the scope and duration of the allowed time outside.

Unemployment benefits

A job seeker is entitled to unemployment benefits if he/she

  • in the decisive period, acquired a pension insurance period of at least 12 months through employment or other gainful activity (hereinafter referred to as the “previous employment”) – this requirement can also be met by adding substitute periods of employment,
  • applied for unemployment benefits by submitting an application to the regional branch of the Employment Office where he/she is registered as a job seeker (download here Žádost o podporu v nezaměstnanosti – Unemployment benefit application),
  • is not an old-age pension beneficiary on the date when the unemployment benefits should be granted.

A job seeker is not entitled to unemployment benefits if he/she

  • during the last 6 months prior to being registered as a job seeker, had an employment relationship terminated by the employer on the ground of a particularly gross violation of obligations arising from the legal regulations related to the work performed by the person; the same applies if another employment relationship was terminated on similar grounds,
  • during the last 6 months prior to being registered as a job seeker, had an employment relationship terminated by the employer on the ground a particularly gross violation of other obligations of an employee pursuant to Section 301a of the Labour Code (violation of compliance with the defined regime of an insured person temporarily unable to work),
  • became entitled to a retirement benefit and such benefit is higher than the unemployment benefit. If the benefit is lower, the job seeker is entitled to unemployment benefits at the amount corresponding to the difference between the unemployment benefit and the retirement benefit,
  • is in a legal relationship arising from the performance of a non-colliding employment on the date when the unemployment benefit should be granted,
  • is in the position of any of the persons referred to in Section 25 (1) (c) to (f) and (s) on the date when the unemployment benefit should be granted; the amount of income or remuneration is not taken into account; this does not apply to a member of a housing cooperative who performs work or services for the housing cooperative outside of an employment relationship or is responsible for the business management of the housing cooperative.

The decisive period for the assessment of entitlement to unemployment benefits covers the last 2 years before the person is registered as a job seeker.

The following periods are considered to constitute a substitute period of employment:

  • preparation of a disabled person for work,
  • receipt of disability pension for third degree disability,
  • personal care for a child aged up to 4 years,
  • personal care for a natural person which is, pursuant to a special legal regulation, considered to be dependent on the assistance of another natural person with dependence degree II (medium dependence), dependence degree III (heavy dependence) or dependence degree IV (total dependence), provided that such person lives with the job seeker on a permanent basis and they jointly cover the costs of their needs; these conditions are not required in case of a person which is considered a close relative for pension insurance purposes,
  • performance of a long-term voluntary service based on a volunteering agreement with the posting organization, which obtained accreditation from the Ministry of the Interior, or performance of a public service based on a public service agreement if the scope of the service carried out exceeds, on average, at least 20 hours per calendar week,
  • personal care for a natural person below 10 years of age who is, pursuant to a special legal regulation, considered to be dependent on the assistance of another natural person with dependence degree I (light dependence),
  • duration of temporary incapacity for work or ordered quarantine of the person following the termination of gainful activity, which gave rise to the person’s participation in sickness insurance under the Sickness Insurance Act, where such person did not cause the temporary incapacity for work wilfully or where the temporary incapacity for work or ordered quarantine occurred during the period of the said gainful activity or during the protection period under the Sickness Insurance Act.

A job seeker is entitled to unemployment benefits when the stipulated conditions are met, as from the date when the written application for unemployment benefits was filed or the date following after employment termination, if the job seeker applies for unemployment benefits no later than 3 working days after the termination of such employment or activities considered to constitute substitute periods of employment.

The circumstances relevant for the granting and provision of unemployment benefits must be substantiated by the job seeker with appropriate documents.

The support period for unemployment benefits is derived from the job seeker’s age on the date when the application of unemployment benefits is filed, as follows:

  • 5 months for job seekers below 50 years of age,
  • 8 months for job seekers between 50 and 55 years of age,
  • 11 months for job seekers above 55 years of age.

Unemployment benefits are not granted to a job seeker during the period

  • when the person receives old-age pension,
  • when the person receives sickness insurance benefits (sick pay, maternity benefits, care taking benefit, compensation benefit in pregnancy and maternity),
  • of custody,
  • of duration of a legal relationship arising from the performance of an activity referred to in Section 25 (3) (non-colliding employment),
  • in which the person is in the position of any of the persons referred to in Section 25 (1) (c) to (f) and (s), the amount of income or remuneration not being taken into account; this does not apply to a member of a housing cooperative who performs work or services for the housing cooperative outside of an employment relationship or is responsible for the business management of the housing cooperative,
  • in which retraining support is provided,
  • in which the job seeker is entitled to redundancy payment, settlement or severance payment under other legal regulations. This period is determined based on the applicable multiple of the average monthly earnings or the monthly service income. An increase arising from the collective bargaining agreement or an internal regulation, if applicable, is not taken into account.

A job seeker who, during the decisive period, did not benefit from the entire support period and acquired a pension insurance period of less than 3 months through employment or other gainful activity, is entitled to unemployment benefits for the remaining part of the support period.

A job seeker who, during the decisive period, benefited from the entire support period, is entitled to unemployment benefits if, after the expiry of such support period, acquired a pension insurance period of at least 6 months through employment or other gainful activity; this period is not required if the employment or other gainful activity was terminated for health reasons or if the employment was terminated for organizational reasons or on the grounds of violation of obligations by the employer.

Amount of unemployment benefits

The unemployment benefits amount to

  • 65 % for the first two months of support period, 50 % for the next two months and 45 % for the remaining part of support period,
  • 45 % throughout the support period if the job seeker, prior to being registered as a job seeker, terminated his/her last employment without a compelling reason and at own initiative or upon agreement with the employer (this does not apply to termination of self-employed activity or to termination of several employments on the same date, of which at least one was terminated for compelling reasons).

Unemployment benefits are determined on the basis of the average net monthly earnings received by the job seeker from his/her last terminated employment or on the basis of the last assessment base per calendar month, if the job seeker was last engaged in self-employment.

In cases when

  • the period of previous employment is met by adding a substitute period of employment and that period is considered the last employment,
  • the job seeker, without his/her fault, cannot prove the amount of average net monthly earnings or assessment base,
  • it is not possible to determine the job seeker’s average net monthly earnings or assessment base,

the unemployment benefits amount to 0.15 multiple (CZK 4,315) for the first 2 months, 0.12 multiple (CZK 3,452) for the next 2 months and 0.11 multiple (CZK 3,164) for the remaining part of the support period, of the average wage in the national economy for the first three quarters of 2017.

The average wage in the national economy for the first three quarters of 2017 amounts to CZK 28,761.

The maximum amount of unemployment benefits amount to 0.58 multiple of the average wage, i.e. CZK 16,682.
The maximum retraining benefit amounts to 0.65 multiple of the average wage, i.e. CZK 18,695.

(download here the full text of Základního poučení uchazeče o zaměstnání – basic information for job seekers).

Who can qualify as a job applicant

A natural person may qualify as a job applicant if

  • the person is interested in job matching, and
  • applies, to that end, to be registered as a job applicant.

Application to be registered as a job applicant can be filed at any regional branch of the Employment Office in the territory of the Czech Republic (download here Žádost o zařazení do evidence zájemců o zaměstnání – application to be registered as a job applicant).

The regional branch of the Employment Office shall provide job matching service to find a suitable employment for the job applicant and may provide retraining.

Registration as a job applicant can be terminated at the job applicant’s request or if the job applicant fails to provide, or obstructs, the necessary cooperation with the regional branch of the Employment Office in job matching.

Date of publication: 2. 1. 2014, Last updated: 3. 2. 2018
The person responsible for complete information: odbor 41, oddělení 412. Dotazy vyřizuje: tel. 844 844 803, callcentrum(a)mpsv.cz
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