27th October 2016

Czech Legislation Update October 2016

The President signed amendment to the Act on Auditors and amendment to the Act on Association in Political Parties and Political Movements setting new rules for financing of political parties.

On 3 October, the text of the Paris Agreement and background information by the Prime Minister was submitted to the Czech Parliament. The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies will review the document.

From the sessions of the Senate
At its session on 19 October, Senate, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament, returned back draft amendment to the Act on the Conflict of Interest with change proposal. According to the bill, companies owned by a member of the government won’t be eligible to participate in public tenders, or profit from investment incentives, for example. MPs approved change proposal that bans members of the government from owning a television/ radio broadcasting company or print media (as is the case of the current Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš; the bill was dubbed Lex Babiš).

Also on 19 October, the Senate approved the draft amendment to the Act on selected measures against legitimisation of proceeds of crime and financing of terrorism (bill no. 396). Originally, the bill proposed publicly accessible registry of company owners. The Senate approved a registry that would not be accessible to the general public, but only to those with "eligible" interest. Read details. There has been an ongoing debate on the issue. 

The next session of the Senate, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament, will be held on 16 November.

From the sessions of the Chamber of Deputies

The draft amendment to the Construction Act (bill no. 927) had its first reading in the Chamber of Deputies on 26 October. The bill will be reviewed by the Chamber Committees. Position of the Confederation of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic is available here.

Draft amendment to the Act on Insolvency (bill no. 785) had its second reading on 18 October. Change proposals were submitted. Read more (in Czech). The Czech Association of Creditors criticizes the bill. More details.

A group of MPs is proposing exemptions from the Act on the Registry of Contracts (bill no. 699). The bill had its second reading on 18 October; change proposals were submitted. The material proposes exemption for state-owned Budějovický Budvar n.p. from the obligation to disclose (both sales and purchase) contracts.

Representatives of the Liberecky region submitted draft amendment to the Act on Online Sales Registration (EET, bill no. 846) to the Chamber of Deputies and the Government. The bill suggests that EET could apply only to VAT payers. The Government expressed disapproval. Also, the Government disagreed with another proposal aiming at exemptions from EET.

At its session on 24 August, the Government approved draft amendment to the Labor Code submitted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs; proposing changes related to chief executive employees, regulation of homeworking, teleworking, contracts for work performed outside an employment relationship, or prevention from stress at workplace, among others. More (summary by the Legislative Council of the Government). The first reading of the bill (no. 903) in the Chamber of Deputies started on 18 October.

On 24 August, the Government passed draft amendment to the Act on Employment. The purpose of the amendment is to regulate temporary employment and job agencies.The material was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies; MPs will debate it as bill no. 911.

At its session on 18 May, the Government approved draft amendment to the Act on Sickness Insurance (bill no. 821) allowing for paid paternity leave, among others. The bill had its first reading on 14 September and is being reviewed by the Chamber Committees.

The Senate’s draft amendment to the Labor Code suggests eliminating the institute of "karenční doba" related to coverage of the sickness insurance in the first three days of sickness of employees. The debate over the bill no. 744  in the Chamber of Deputies has been postponed. 

The Chamber of Deputies will debate the draft Act on State Prosecution (bill no. 789790). 

On 18 December 2015, draft amendment to the Act on Elections to the Parliament of the Czech Republic was submitted to MPs and the Government. The bill no. 676 proposes rules for correspondence vote. The Government expressed neutral view, the Chamber of Deputies will debate the bill.

On 18 October, the Government submitted to the Chamber of Deputies draft Act on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (bill no. 936). Construction works costs account for the highest (up to 80%) share of the total costs, the material says. The aim of the bill is to introduce rules, a minimum standard, from the very first phase of the process to minimize inefficiencies of electronic communications networks deployment. These rules could accelerate the process of e-government implementation. The Chamber will debate the bill.

From the sessions of the Government
At its sesssion on 5 October, the Government approved increase in the minimum wage to 11,000 CZK (from the current 9,900 CZK) form 1 January 2017, as well as other measures related to minimum wage.

Also, the Government approved draft material intent of the Act on products in construction and their use 

Also, the Government approved the National Plan for Development of Next Generation Networks, a document representing the fulfilment of the ex-ante conditionality for drawing EU funds in OP EIC’s High-Speed
Internet programme. The national plan focuses primarily on the use of public resources, simplification
of the administration connected with construction, and reduction of fees associated with easements; it
should facilitate public investment for the development of high-speed electronic communication
networks in the Czech Republic. Source.

At its session on 12 October, the Government approved CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, an EU deal with Canada).

On 12 September 2016, the Government of the Czech Republic approved a support programme called “Venture Capital” focused on start-ups. Read details.

At the session of Tripartite (Government, Employers, Labour Unions) on 17 October, the Governemt debated a list of infrastructure (transportation) projects with possible start date between 2016-2018.

Also, the Government approved updated Action Plan for Digital Market Development and formed the National Coalition for Digital Jobs. Read details (in Czech). 

The Legislative Council of the Government approved draft Act on Compensation of Damage incurred by breach of competition rules and postponed debate over draft Act on Real Estate Agents, setting rules and standards in this area. Details in Czech are available here (summary by the Legislative Council of the Government).

In August, the Legislative Council of the Government postponed the debate over the the draft amendment to the Act on the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic. The material, among others, proposes the introduction of the so-called "foreign investor card", a special type of a long-term residence permit and improved rules for employees-foreigners assigned within a corporation, for example.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic