The President signed amendment to the Act on Protection of Competition. The stated intention of the bill is alignment with the new Czech Civil Code, improved international cooperation between competition authorities, and introduction of rules for documents that contain trade or bank secrets or other confidential information, for example.
From the sessions of the Senate
The next session of the Senate, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament, will be held on 19 October.
At its session on 24 August, the Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament, the Senate, approved amendment to the Act on Auditors. Earlier, seven non-profit organizations protested against the material, saying that the proposed changes would weaken internal audit in big state- and municipality-owned companies. Read details here (in Czech).
Also on 24 August, the Senate passed amendment to the Act on Association in Political Parties and Political Movements that deals with the issue of political party financing. The stated intent of the draft act is to introduce more transparent control of financing of political parties and political movements. This includes using transparent bank accounts, setting limits for donations from physical and legal entities, providing detailed overview of incomes and expenditures within annual reports, including elections-related expenditures, and publishing annual reports on the internet. The draft act also gives political parties and movements the opportunity to set up research-oriented political institutes or think-tanks that would be eligible for state contributions. As of January 2017, an independent body seated in Brno will be in charge of oversight of political party financing. Amendments to election laws were sent back to the Chamber of Deputies with change proposals. The Chamber could vote on them in October 2016. Read details in Czech here and here.
From the sessions of the Chamber of Deputies
Draft amendment to the Act on Insolvency (bill no. 785) had its first reading on 3 June and was reviewed by the Chamber Committees. Its second reading was postponed at the session of the Chamber on 7 September. The bill should be debated at its next session.
On 14 September, the Chamber of Deputies passed draft amendment to the Act on the Conflict of Interest, bill no. 564. The Senate will debate the it on 19 October. 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). Details in Czech are available here.
A group of MPs is proposing exemptions from the Act on the Registry of Contracts (bill no. 699). The second reading of the bill started on 1 June 2016; the debate was postponed. The material proposes exemption for state-owned Budějovický Budvar n.p. from the obligation to disclose (both sales and purchase) contracts.
Representatives of 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 Chamber of Deputies will debate the bill (no. 903).
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 will be reviewed by the Chamber Committees.
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 (tripartite has been discussing whether it should be covered by the government or by employers). The debate over the bill no. 744 in the Chamber of Deputies was postponed.
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.
From the sessions of the Government
At its session on 21 September, the Government approved draft amendment to the Construction Act, defining plot (for the purpose of the application of zero VAT taxation). The bill is heading to the Chamber of Deputies.
At its session on 12 September, the Government greenlighted Program of support to venture capital.
On 24 August, the Government passed material intent of the Act on Support of Research, Development and Innovations. The aim behind the material is to create conditions to improve the quality of the country’s research and development. More (summary by the Legislative Council of the Government).
The Government passed a draft directive on areas of university education, including characteristics of profiles of graduates and a draft material on transport infrastructure, including a draft list of priorities.
The Government adopted Initiative Industry 4.0.
On 11 July, the Government passed updated National Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation. The aim of the strategy is to allocate up to CZK 70bn into the most perspective fields of research and development,and business. Another goal behind the material is promotion of cooperation between academia and the business sector.
On 22 September, the Legislative Council of the Government approved material intent of the act on construction products and their use in construction projects.
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.