ASK AN EXPERT: When am I entitled to take time off work in the Czech Republic?

We spoke with an expert in labor law about which life events entitle you to be out of the office. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.02.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 06.06.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

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The Czech Republic's robust calendar of state holidays means that whatever your vacation agreements are with your employer, you're also guaranteed a number of days that allow you to switch off and recover. But days off aren't just necessary for relaxation. Life regularly throws us joys (weddings, births), sorrows (illness, death), and other life-changing events. We asked Jiří Melkus of MELKUS KEJLA & PARTNERS in which of these circumstances should employers grant you time off.

State holidays

Mr. Melkus confirmed that there are a total of 13 state holidays in the Czech Republic and that, according to the Labor Code, employees generally don’t have to work on these days. However, there are a few exceptions when the employer may require an employee to perform work that cannot be postponed until working days. Those include urgent repairs, health-care-related work, transportation work, etc.

Should your profession fall into one of these categories, your employer may order you to do your job on non-working days no more than twice within a period of four consecutive weeks. What's important to know is that even if you must work on a state holiday, you are entitled to a substitute day off or double pay (or another arrangement if negotiated in the labor agreement). State holidays in Czechia are as follows:

New Year’s Day – January 1
Good Friday – no fixed date
Easter Monday – no fixed date
Labor Day – May 1
Liberation Day – May 8
St. Cyril and St. Methodius Day – July 5
Jan Hus Day – July 6
Czech Statehood Day – September 28
Czechoslovak Independence Day – October 28
Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day – November 17
Christmas Eve – December 24
Christmas Day – December 25
St. Stephen’s Day – December 26

Life changing events


When it comes to life-changing events like weddings (whether yours, your parent’s, or your child’s), funerals (of close relatives), or births you are also entitled to take time off.

When a child is born, both of the parents are entitled to take 14 days off (family leave). One of the parents is also entitled to take a maternal or paternal leave. The length of the maternal leave is 28 weeks, while the length of the parental is up to the first 3 years of the child’s age.

FilippoBacci Pregnancy pregnat woman iStock-866248016 Stock photo ID 866248016
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For the betrothed, a leave of absence of 2 days is granted for the wedding itself, 1 day of which shall be for attending the wedding ceremony; however, only 1 day shall be compensated for wages or salary.

For parents of the betrothed, leave with compensation is granted for 1 day to attend the child's wedding, and leave without pay shall be granted to the same extent as for the wedding of a parent.


Civic duties

Any employee is also entitled to take either a partial or whole day to attend a doctor’s appointment or when summoned to court as a witness. In case of civic duties (e.g., court date) an employee is entitled to leave from the employer to the extent necessary to perform public functions, civic duties, and other acts in the general interest if such activities cannot be performed outside of working hours.

Unfortunately, an employee is not entitled to receive any compensation for wages or salary for such a period, therefore it is in the employee's interest to make his/her absence as short as possible.

Medical appointments

When it comes to doctor's appointments you are entitled to leave work as long as you need to complete the appointment if it cannot be performed outside working hours. 

An employee is also entitled to receive compensation for wages or salary during this period. That compensation is only granted for the necessary period of time if the examination or treatment is carried out in a healthcare facility that's nearest to the employee's workplace and under contract with the health insurance company chosen by the employee.

Paid leave

Illness and vacation

If an employee is temporarily unable to work for health reasons, under certain circumstances he/she is entitled to wage compensation. Most companies also offer several sick days per year as an employee benefit.

Last but not least, all full-time employees in the Czech Republic are entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks of paid leave (vacation days) per year. While these days off are mandated by law, many employers offer flexibility when it comes to time off. Mr. Melkus adds that it's important to clarify such policies before signing a contract.

If you have any further questions regarding your employment contract, contact Melkus Kejla & Partners at

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