Czech employers to contribute to remote workers' utilities under new proposal

Electricity and other costs incurred to an employee at home would be partially covered by their employer under a proposal that could take effect in 2023. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 27.08.2022 14:59:00 (updated on 27.08.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Working from home surged in popularity during the Covid pandemic, and for some in the Czech Republic, remote working has become the new norm. For many employees, it makes for a more attractive proposition than traveling to the office every day.

But there's a hidden side of remote working that could hit employees where it hurts: utility bills. Heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, electricity used to power a work computer, and other costs all lead to a remote worker spending more on home utilities than they would if they were going into the office.

In times of surging energy prices, that could be a costly disadvantage to working from home. But a new proposal currently making its way through Czech government is about to change that.

Under a new amendment to the Czech labor code, employers would be on the hook for a set contribution to utility costs for remote workers. According to the proposal, companies would pay each remote worker an additional amount based on a valuation from the Czech Ministry of Labor, which would be regularly updated to factor in changing energy costs.

According to Labor Minister Marian Jurečka, the new rules could begin to take effect from beginning of next year.

"We will prepare the rules for home office in an amendment to the law. I would like it to apply from January 1, 2023," Jurečka told reporters.

While energy costs are rising, the new proposal is not related to current events but rather legislation in accordance with the EU's Work-life Balance Directive, which entered into force in 2019 and was supposed to be adopted by all member states by August 2022.

Under the new proposal, which is still being discussed within the Ministry of Labor, employers would be required to pay an additional flat rate for costs related to gas, electricity, fuel, heating, water, and waste incurred to a remote worker.

The Ministry of Labor will specify these costs each January through a decree based on changes in the prices of utilities.

The new amendment also specifies that any remote work should be specified in a written contract between the employer and employee, and include the location of work and distribution of working hours.

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