This chapter describes the support for persons who lose their jobs in the Czech Republic.
All EU nationals who were most recently employed or self-employed in the Czech Republic are eligible for unemployment benefits and assistance to find work. Benefit amounts vary depending on previous income.
We will explain how the following works:
- assistance in finding work (pomoc při hledání práce);
- unemployment benefit (podpora v nezaměstnanosti);
- retraining (rekvalifikace).
In what situation can I claim?
Czech and other EU nationals whose most recent gainful activity has been in the Czech Republic and who have lost their job or are looking for work can apply for unemployment benefits and assistance to find work.
Unemployed persons returning from work abroad can apply for unemployment benefits in the Czech Republic if the Czech Republic has been their country of residence during the work abroad.
After registration at with the Regional Labour Office (Úřad práce) competent for their place of residence, jobseekers will be provided with assistance in their job search (pomoc při hledání práce) and information about available jobs in the Czech Republic.
What conditions do I need to meet?
Assistance with finding work
Jobseekers can be any EU national with residence in the Czech Republic who is not employed and not in business or self-employed. Registered jobseekers are allowed to work if their monthly income from such work does not exceed half of the minimum wage.
Jobseekers must cooperate with the Labour Office when finding work. Jobseekers must attend arranged meetings, must report all facts that are relevant for their registration and cannot refuse employment mediated by the Labour Office without serious reasons. Registration can be terminated when a jobseeker obstructs cooperation with the Labour Office.
When mediating employment, additional support is provided to job seekers if required by their state of health, age, involvement in childcare or for other serious reasons.
So-called “persons interested in a job“ constitute a different category. They can be employed without restrictions and at the same time be registered at the Labour Office and receive job search assistance. They can register at any Labour Office in the Czech Republic and participate in retraining measures. Persons interested in a job are not entitled to unemployment benefits.
Only an unemployed person who is registered as a jobseeker can apply for unemployment benefit.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, the jobseeker must have completed at least 12 months of insurance periods because of employment or another gainful activity (substitute periods of employment count as well) during the decisive period (the last 2 years prior to inclusion in the register of job seekers) (see Jargon busters). A jobseeker can only claim unemployment benefits if they do not receive an old-age pension. Another reason for not granting unemployment benefits is termination of employment for disciplinary reasons.
A person registered as a jobseeker or person registered as a person interested in a job can request retraining. A suitably focused retraining programme considers the applicant's experience, skills and age and situation in the labour market.
Registered jobseekers can also claim retraining benefits.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Assistance with finding work
The Labour Office regularly updates information on available jobs in the Czech Republic and in particular in the region in which the applicant lives and informs jobseekers. It also provides them with guidance and consulting for selecting employment.
Increased care is provided for those who are in a disadvantaged position on the labour market. The Labour Office may secure vocational rehabilitation for persons with disabilities.
The period of support for jobseekers is as follows:
- 5 months for those under 50;
- 8 months for those aged 50 to 55;
- 11 months for those over 55.
The amount of unemployment benefit and retraining benefits is set as a percentage of average net monthly earnings, in the case of self-employment, it will depend on the last assessment base and decreases gradually:
- 65% in the first 2 months;
- 50% in the next 2 months;
- 45% in the remaining term of benefit.
The benefit amount is set at 45% of the previous average earnings for the entire period if a person voluntarily (and without serious reason) leaves their previous employment or upon agreement with the employer (i.e. they were not made redundant).
Unemployment benefit provided to jobseekers is capped at 0.58% of the national average wage for the previous calendar year. This amount is received by those persons whose percentage calculation from previous earnings is higher than the set limit.
Jobseekers and persons interested in a job who cannot find work in their current area of professional focus have the right to retraining. The Labour Office pays for, recommends and facilitates retraining.
The jobseeker and persons interested in a job must agree with the Labour Office and sign a contract before starting a retraining course. They can also suggest a retraining course. The Labour Office will reimburse the costs if the course is approved.
State funds can be used to cover tuition fees and other costs associated with retraining, for instance travel costs.
Retraining support is provided to jobseekers attending a retraining course. This amount is 60% of the average monthly net income such person received at their most recent work, in the case of self-employment of the last assessment base. Cumulation with unemployment benefit is not possible.
Where and how to apply
An unemployed person has to be registered as a jobseeker to apply for unemployment and retraining benefits. Benefits should be requested at the local Labour Office competent at the place of residence of the jobseeker. The required documents must be provided at the meeting with the Labour Office contact point staff.
- Self-employed person (osoba samostatně výdělečně činná) is the term used for a person with income from business or other self-employment (private farmer, trade licence holder or artist).
- Substitute period of employment (náhradní doba zaměstnání) is the term used to describe periods completed without gainful activity that are taken into account when granting the unemployment benefit, such as for example periods of caring for a child up to four years or of receipt of full invalidity pension.
- Vocational rehabilitation (pracovní rehabilitace) is intended for persons with a disability. This involves counselling, preparation for employment and the creation of conditions that help persons with disabilities find and keep work.
Forms that may be needed
- Application to Mediate Employment (Žádost o zprostředkování zaměstnání) -in Czech;
- Jobseeker Registration Application (Žádost o zařazení do evidence zájemců o zaměstnání), in Czech;
- Unemployment benefit Application (Žádost o podporu v nezaměstnanosti), in Czech;
- Vocational rehabilitation forms (Formuláře pro pracovní rehabilitaci, in Czech)
- Other useful forms - in Czech.
Know your rights
These links do not lead to European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the European Commission:
- Rights and Duties of Jobseekers (Práva a povinnosti uchazečů o zaměstnání), in Czech;
- Basic instructions for jobseekers (Základní poučení uchazeče o zaměstnání), in Czech;
- Retraining of jobseekers and persons interested in a job (Rekvalifikace uchazeče o zaměstnání nebo zájemce o zaměstnání), in Czech.
Please make use of EU assistance services if you experience any problems in applying your rights.
Labour Office of the Czech Republic, Directorate General Úřad práce ČR, generální ředitelství
170 00 Praha 7
Tel: +420 950180111
Tel. +420 844844803
List of the Labour Office's regional and local offices (in Czech): https://www.uradprace.cz/web/cz/kontakty-2
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic (Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí ČR)
Na Poříčním právu 1/376
128 01 Prague 2
Tel. +420 221921111
Data box: sc9aavg
Advanced training database, in Czech: http://www.eu-dat.cz