Efforts by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA) to make it easier for employees to work from home, i.e., the so-called home office, and to ensure that employers are obliged to reimburse them for costs such as utilities, have run afoul of the Government Office, the Labour Office, and the Ministry of Finance.
In the comment procedure, the Government heavily criticized the Labor Code amendment, which is supposed to lay down rules for home offices. Thus, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will probably have to amend the proposal extensively before submitting it to the Government.
The ministry is proposing, among other things, that employers must allow home offices for selected groups of people if their work allows it. These include parents of children under the age of 15, pregnant women, or people caring for a severely disabled person for an extended period.
The amendment will also regulate working conditions, including the methods of communication between the company and the employee, the scope of work, and the reimbursement of part of the costs incurred by employees when working at home. This includes, for example, electricity consumption.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has set a lump sum of CZK 2.80 for each work hour, given the energy costs. This amounts to CZK 448 for 160 hours worked per month.
The Government Office has a problem with the age limit for children whose parents could apply for a home office and wants to lower it to eight years. It is also bothered by how the MLSA seeks to determine the reimbursement of costs for employees.
The Ministry of Finance has also called for the age of the child to be lowered to eight years. “This limit does not imply the impossibility of a home office for parents of older children,” adding that labor market mechanisms should be interfered with as little as possible.
The Ministry of Finance believes that compensation for employees working at home should be voluntary. According to the Ministry, traveling to work is far more expensive than working from home.
Other parties, such as the Ministry of Transport and the Office for State Representation in Property Matters (ÚZSVM), have also made similar comments. They also believe that compensation for costs should be voluntary and that a distinction should be made between voluntary and ordered work from home.