Due to the current events on the territory of Ukraine, the number of refugees from Ukraine has been increasing in the Czech Republic in recent days and may continue to increase. As it is expected that Ukrainian citizens will be interested in employment during their stay in the Czech Republic, this article provides you with an overview on how to get employed for Ukrainian citizens.
LEGAL SITUATION AS OF 24. 3. 2022
Arrival of Ukrainian citizens in the Czech Republic
In general, citizens of Ukraine can cross the state border of the Czech Republic without the need for a visa (visa-free entry) on the basis of their biometric passports. Citizens of Ukraine arriving on the territory of the Czech Republic under the visa-free regime or whose short-term visa expires (within 14 days) have the possibility to apply for a special long-term visa.
Refugees from Ukraine can enter the Czech Republic on a visa-free basis, which allows them to stay in the Czech Republic for 90 days. It is important that Ukrainian citizens take out travel health insurance for the duration of their visa-free stay. They are also obliged to register with the Police of the Czech Republic within 30 days (prolonged) from the date of entry. If it is not private accommodation, the registration is handled by the accommodation provider.
Furthermore, Ukrainian citizens can come here on the basis of a short-term visa or citizens who have a long-term residence in the Czech Republic can return.
Should a situation arise where a short-term visa is about to expire without the possibility of extension and departure, Ukrainian citizens may present themselves at the Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic within 14 days before the expiry of the short-term visa, where a special long-term visa will be issued. Extension of long-term stay is dealt with in the standard way.
As of 25 February 2022, the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic has abolished the obligation for citizens of Ukraine coming to the Czech Republic from Ukraine to fill in an arrival form and to have a negative PCR or vaccination certificate.
More information, questions and answers, contacts and more on special website of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
On the basis of Council Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022, the Czech Republic adopted a set of laws called Lex Ukraine, which introduces temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens with effect from 21 March 2022, currently until 31 March 2023.
The application for temporary protection will replace the special visa and its granting follows the same procedure as the application process for a special visa. Persons who have already been granted a special long-stay visa will be automatically transferred to the temporary protection scheme
To work in the Czech Republic, Ukrainian citizens must have a new special visa – temporary protection. This must be applied for in person at one of the offices of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic – see here or at a Police office.
You can apply at the Regional assistance centres for Ukraine. A list of them can be found here: https://www.mvcr.cz/clanek/seznam-krajskych-asistencnich-center-pomoci-ukrajine.aspx.
In order for your application to be successful, you must meet the conditions for temporary protection and submit the following:
- a completed application for temporary protection is available here,
- valid passport,
- photo in size 45 x 35 mm.
If you are granted temporary protection or a long-term visa, you are automatically enrolled in public health insurance, and you can apply to the Labour Office for extraordinary immediate assistance in material need in the amount of CZK 5,000 per month.
All temporary protection holders are considered as foreigners with permanent residence for employment purposes and have free access to the labour market and can enter the register of job seekers.
Reporting a vacancy to the Labour Office of the Czech Republic and the employer’s procedure
Employers interested in employing foreign nationals may report the vacancy to the regional branch of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic according to the place of work and at the same time express their interest in employing foreigners on the basis of a work permit. However, this is not strictly necessary at the moment.
Employers can apply for a vacancy using the form available here.
With regard to the employment of Ukrainian citizens with the special visa, the so-called labour market test does not apply and vacancies can be filled immediately.
Finding a job and concluding an employment contract with your employer
It is possible to find a vacancy by contacting the employer directly, through a recommendation or, for example, through the database of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic (https://www.uradprace.cz/web/cz/volna-mista-v-cr) or on the jobs.cz portal (https://www.jobs.cz/prace/?suitable-for=ukraine_refugees).
Ukrainian citizens who have been granted a special visa or temporary protection can enter the register of job seekers at the Labour Office of the Czech Republic.
Employment permit is no longer needed
After a successful application for a long-term visa or temporary protection has been granted, it is no longer necessary to apply for a work permit as of 21 March 2022, as foreigners with temporary protection are considered foreigners with permanent residence in the Czech Republic.
Employer’s procedure after acquiring an employee (information and registration)
According to the provisions of Section 87 of the Employment Act, the employer must inform the relevant regional branch of the Labour Office of the Czech Republic of this fact no later than on the day of commencement of employment in accordance with the existing rules – form here.
Every employer is obliged to keep a register of the foreigners they employ in accordance with the provisions of Section 102 of the Employment Act.
Rights and obligations of employers and employees
When employing Ukrainian citizens, employers must comply with the same rules of the Labour Code and the Employment Act as for other employees, including fair and equal treatment, safe working conditions, a written employment contract, a guaranteed minimum wage, payment of health and social insurance by the employer, paid holidays and sick leave.
The duties of employees include, again without special distinction, in particular (i) to work properly and carry out the instructions of supervisors, (ii) to comply with all work rules and (iii) not to act contrary to the interests of the employer.
Pursuant to Act No.325/1999 Coll., on Asylum, as amended, Ukrainian citizens may also apply for asylum or subsidiary protection on the grounds of a well-founded fear of serious harm if they return to their home country.
International protection proceedings can take up to 18 months. At the same time, if a foreigner duly applies for subsidiary or international protection, he/she cannot be legally employed for the first 6 months.
However, the new law suspends all international protection procedures for the duration of the validity of the special long-term visa. Such a person is then not regarded as an applicant for international protection and is not subject to the resulting restrictions.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Mgr. Jakub Málek, managing partner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kateřina Roučková, legal assistant – email@example.com
25. 03. 2022