A significant difference is the flexibility of legal relationships based on agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship, where their legal regulation is very strict compared to the legal regulation of the employment relationship. Although this fact may seem completely fine at first glance, if we take into account that the agreements should only be a supplement to the main employment relationship, we certainly cannot forget that flexibility often entails a breach of the protection of persons, in this case the employee as weaker parties. It finds numerous applications among young people, students, pensioners or mothers on parental leave, which from a general point of view are three very sensitive groups of people who, on the other hand, would need more careful legal regulation.
DPP - "Dohoda o provedení práce"
The first of the two types of agreements made outside the employment relationship is the agreement to perform work. This is a bilateral legal transaction, on the basis of which the labor law relationship of employer and employee is created. In addition to the employment relationship, agreements are the only legal possibility to perform work in a basic employment relationship. On the basis of the agreement on the performance of work, dependent work is performed, for which the employee receives remuneration.
There is no limit to the type of work, but only work for a maximum of 300 hours per calendar year can be agreed, which is part of the provisions of Section 75 of the Labor Code. The restriction applies to the same employer, so it is not a problem to conclude an additional 300 hours with another employer, the number of agreements on the execution of work is generally not limited. It is possible to conclude several agreements with the same employer, but the hours worked will then be added together, so it is still not possible to exceed the statutory 300 hours in a calendar year. There is an opinion that an agreement on the execution of work is negotiated for a one-time task, and for a longer-term type of work, an agreement on work activities should be concluded. However, such an approach is more of a theoretical position, both types of agreements are used in work for any types of work
The agreement must have the content and formal requirements established by law, however, in the case of an agreement on the execution of work, the law is very brief. The law requires that agreements be concluded in writing, with one copy given to the employee. Furthermore, it is required by law that the period for which it is concluded be stated in the agreement. As a rule, this is a period of a calendar year, and a new agreement is concluded for each subsequent year, however, it is also possible to conclude this agreement for an indefinite period.
From a formal point of view, the law stipulates only the conclusion of the agreement in writing, and from a content point of view, the indication of the period for which the agreement is concluded. Other aspects of the agreement are left to the contractual freedom of the parties, but among the commonly and appropriately stated ones are, for example, the definition of the type of work and the negotiation of the amount of remuneration.
The remuneration must not be lower than the basic minimum wage rate, i.e. the lowest permissible amount of remuneration for work in an employment relationship, established by Government Regulation No. 567/2006 Coll.49.
It is also necessary for the employer to follow the principles of equal treatment, fair remuneration and the prohibition of discrimination when it comes to remuneration. If the amount of remuneration agreed in the agreement was lower than the above-mentioned value of the minimum hourly rate, the employer would have to pay the difference.
The control of compliance with labor law regulations is carried out by the State Office of Labor Inspection. In the event of a violation of the above-mentioned statutory requirements, employers may be fined for these offences. If the employer does not conclude the agreement in writing, he faces a fine of up to CZK 10,000,000.
DPČ - "Dohoda o pracovní činnosti"
The employment agreement is the second type of agreement and, just like the agreement on the performance of work, it is a bilateral legal transaction, on the basis of which the employment relationship of employer and employee is established, on the basis of which dependent work is performed, for which the employee receives remuneration.
This type of agreement is an institute closer to an employment relationship than the agreement mentioned above. An agreement on work activities can be concluded even if the scope of work exceeds 300 hours in a calendar year, which is not possible with an agreement on the execution of work. However, even here we find a limitation established by law, when the provision of § 76, paragraph 2 of the Labor Code stipulates that work cannot be performed to an extent that should exceed on average half of the specified weekly working hours. This limit is assessed for the entire duration of the agreement, but no longer than for a period of 52 weeks. If we are talking about a rate of 40 hours per week, then on average the agreement on work activities must not exceed 20 hours per week, but it is possible to work, for example, 40 hours one week and not at all the next.
When we make a comparison for work on a work performance agreement and a work activity agreement with regard to the possible hours worked per year, it is clear that the work activity agreement is really closer to an employment relationship, the range of possible hours worked is more than three times compared to the first agreement . However, nothing prevents, for example, the negotiation of an agreement on work activities in the event that it would be possible to negotiate an agreement on the execution of work, but due to the tax obligations, which will be discussed below, such a step is ineffective.
The legal regulation of the mandatory written form of concluding the agreement is the same for both types, i.e. also for the agreement on work activities. One copy will then also be given to the employee. In terms of content requirements, the law is slightly more specific in the case of an employment agreement, and the agreement must state not only the period for which it is concluded, but also the agreed type of work and the agreed scope of working hours. An employment agreement can also be concluded for an indefinite period.
In the case of a request regarding the agreed scope of work, it is generally true that the employer is not obliged to schedule the working hours, however this is not excluded. An example of specifying the working time schedule in the contract can be the specification of an interval, e.g. "max. 15 hours a week", when such an agreement is not invalid or indefinite, and the advantage is that it sets the exact number of hours. However, if, for example, the interval was too specific, e.g. "10 hours per week", it would be a problem in the event that the employer would not assign work corresponding to this hourly data, because the employee would have the right to work the fixed range.
As with the first agreement, it is not mandatory to state the agreed remuneration amount in the content of the contract, however in practice it is agreed that although it is not a legal obligation, the remuneration should be negotiated. This opinion is supported by the provisions of § 138 of the Labor Code. The amount of the remuneration is also reflected in the hourly rate of the minimum wage, which is established by Government Regulation No. 567/2006 Coll.56.
As for leave to conclude an agreement, this issue is currently seen as a controversial topic. The Czech Labor Code does not give employees the right to vacation upon agreement, however this right is generally enshrined in European law for employees and its wording applies to all employees regardless of the type of employment. However, the aforementioned provisions of European law have still not been transposed into Czech law, so the current legislation does not apply to employees who have not negotiated the right to vacation in a contract.
Options for termination of agreements
The legal regulation of the employment relationship does not apply to the termination of the employment relationship based on one of the agreements. The provisions of Section 77, Paragraph 4 of the Labor Code shall apply to agreements, which provide an adjustment in a situation where the parties have not agreed on a specific possibility of cancellation. In the event that the parties do not agree on specific rules in the contract, the amendment to the Labor Code indicates the possibility of cancellation in the form of an agreement of the contractual parties on the agreed date, notice given for any reason or without giving a reason with a fifteen-day notice period or in the form of immediate cancellation. In the case of immediate termination, this can only be negotiated for cases that apply to the immediate termination of employment. A written form is required for all cancellation options, otherwise notice or immediate cancellation will not be considered.
Current regulation became effective on October 1, 2015 with the amendment of the Labor Code. The earlier regulation was different for various agreements. The agreement on the performance of the work had no legal regulation, there was no possibility of canceling the agreement with immediate effect. It was canceled by the expiration of the time or the completion of the task. If the parties had not previously agreed, the employment agreement could be canceled by agreement on the agreed date, unilaterally with a fifteen-day notice period or immediate cancellation in cases where the employment relationship could be canceled immediately.
For the current regulation, it is rather interesting that before the above-mentioned amendment came into effect, for several months, the possibility of the legal representative of minors under the age of 16 to cancel agreements was also part of the legal regulation of the cancellation of agreements. However, since permission had to be sought from the court, the provision was effectively inapplicable, as it would probably be several months before the annulment would be effected, and in many cases the age of 16 would then be reached. This is also why these provisions were removed from the legislation very soon.