At its session on 16 March 2015, the Government passed a material intent of the new Act on Public Procurement. New Directives of the EU in the field of public procurement (2014/24/EU, 2014/25/EU, 2014/23/EU) introduce major changes. Their transposition, according to the authors of the material intent (the Ministry for Regional Development), creates the need for brand new Act on Public Procurement. The deadline for submitting the draft act to the Government is 30 June 2015, according to the respective resolution of the Government. The Ministry for Regional Development already sent the draft to the inter-ministerial round of comments on 23 April. Ministries have 20 days for submission of their comments. The Chamber of Deputies could review the draft act in autumn 2015. To view the material intent, click here. To read more about the preparation of the act, click here and here.
The draft amendment to the Act on Free Access to Information, Bill no. 395, had its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies on 1 April 2015. The stated intent of the Bill is to harmonize Czech legislation with the EU’s Public Sector Information Directive (2013/37/EU) on re-use of public sector information. The PSI Directive focuses on the economic aspects of re-use of information rather than on the access of citizens to information. The re-use of public sector information covers commercial and non-commercial use by users outside the public sector (businesses, NGOs, academic research). The public sector information could be accessible also via remote access, for example.
The draft amendment to the Insurance Act, Bill no. 414, had its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies on 8 April 2015 and is currently being debated in Committees of the Chamber. As of 1 January 2016 EU Directives 64/225/EHS, 73/239/EHS, 73/240/EHS, 76/580/EHS, 78/473/EHS, 84/641/EHS, 87/344/EHS, 88/357/EHS, 92/49/EHS, 98/78/ES, 2001/17/ES, 2002/83/ES and 2005/68/ES will be abolished and replaced by the Solvency II Directive, the aim of which is harmonization of the rules for the insurance and reinsurance businesses within the EU. The Solvency II Directive establishes the so-called EU Passport, which is a single licence for insurers to operate in all EU member states, given that they fulfill conditions set by the EU. The issuance of the passport-licence in the Czech Republic will fall under the competence of the Czech National Bank. The conditions for application and the process of licence issuance for entities with residence in the Czech Republic will stay more or less unchanged and the administrative burden related to the application for licence will be lower, the proponents of the draft amendment suggest. The licence will apply either to insurance or reinsurance business activities, i.e. it won’t cover both. The aim of the Directive is to minimize insolvency risks, too.
The Government passed a draft amendment to the Act on Universities, at its session on 15 April 2015. The draft amendment is currently in the Chamber of Deputies as Bill no. 464 and its intent is, among others, to regulate accreditation activities and ensure high quality of tertiary education in the Czech Republic, as well as regulate activities of branches of foreign universities operating in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic experienced a surge in the number of university students between 2000 and 2014. In 2000, there were 8 private universities, compared with 44 private universities in 2014. The number of public universities increased by 2 (from 24 to 26) and the number of state universities decreased from 4 to 2 (3 army schools merged into 1) in the last 14 years. The number of new students entering Czech universities rised by 86 percentage points in that period and the share of those having tertiary education in the Czech population aged 25 to 64 grew from 10,96% to 19,28%. The diversity of study fields is high, with around 8829 study study fields in 2700 study programs (as of 30 June 2014). Source: The Czech Ministry for Education.
At its session on 23 April 2015 the Government rejected the draft amendment to the Act on State Prosecution. The Bill no. 432 is heading to the first reading in the Chamber of Deputies. The intent of the Bill is to reform the basic organization and management structure of the State Prosecution System and thus increase its effectivity. The Bill comprises also measures that establish liability of state prosecutors for lapses or mistakes.
The Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic passed the draft amendment to the Labor Code, Bill no. 376, in the first reading on 11 February 2015. The amendment suggests that provisions governing liability of an employer for damage caused as a result of work-related accidents and occupational disease, which are currently placed among transitional provisions of the Labor Code, should become an integral part of the Labor Code (in force from 1 January 2009). Originally, the administration of the employee accident insurance should have been transferred from employers to the social security system, based on the separate Act on Employee Accident Insurance. The Act should have come into force on 1 January 2010, but the actual date has been postponed several times - recently until January 2017. The Bill is heading to the second reading in the Chamber of Deputies.
Another draft amendment to the Labor Code, Bill no. 393 is heading to the first reading in the Chamber of Deputies. The intent of the Bill is to eliminate the institute of the so-called „karencni lhuta“. The employee, who has been recognized to be temporarily unfit for work (i.e. whose temporary incapacity for work has been recognized) or whose quarantine has been ordered, is entitled during the first 14 calendar days (or during the first 21 calendar days when it is from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2013) of his temporary incapacity for work or quarantine to compensatory wage or salary. However, the employee is not entitled to compensation of wage or salary for the first three days of his/her temporary incapacity for work (the so-called karencni lhuta). The Czech Constitutiomal Court rejected the institute of “karencni lhuta“as unconstitutional in 2008, but it was re-introduced later.
9th January 2018