Proposed Government Scheme to Compensate Home Office Workers

The Czech government has proposed a new scheme to compensate home office workers to adjust to the changing work landscape. Beginning in January next year, employers are suggested to pay an additional 4.50 korunas per hour worked from home to offset expenses. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, this amounts to an extra 720 korunas for a standard 160-hour work month.

The proposed amount represents the potential costs incurred by employees working from home. These expenses include the consumption of electricity and gas, water fees, heating, or waste disposal. The sum is calculated based on the average consumption of an adult in an average household per hour.

The document detailing this proposal is currently under review and is unlikely to undergo significant changes as the conditions are stipulated by law. Furthermore, the Ministry needs to calculate the allowance based on revising the labor code, which introduced the definition of these compensations. The allowances are not considered part of the salary and are not taxed.

The proposed compensation is, however, not mandatory. Employers have the option to pay a higher sum or nothing at all. The agreement on the exact amount is subject to negotiation between the employer and the employee. The initial plan proposed by the Ministry of Labor was to use the allowance as a minimum amount, but several other ministries and employer unions opposed this.

Critics of mandatory home office expense payments argue that it would unfairly favor those working from home over those commuting to work. According to employers, home office workers save money because they don’t have to pay for transport or buy lunches at restaurants. In addition, they save time that would otherwise be spent commuting, which can take up to two or two hours daily for some workers.