- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Czech Government Proposes CZK 4.60 per Hour Compensation for Home Office Expenses
Starting next year, individuals working from home in the Czech Republic may be entitled to receive compensation of CZK 4.60 per hour from their employers to cover their expenses. This potential increase in compensation, up from the initially proposed rate of CZK 2.80 per hour, equivalent to roughly CZK 420 for the same amount of time, comes as part of a draft decree circulated for public input by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The decision to revise the proposed reimbursement rate was motivated by the ministry’s consideration of various expenses incurred by remote workers, including gas, electricity, solid fuels, heat supply, centralized hot water provision, water supply from water supply and waterworks, wastewater disposal, cleaning of cesspools, and municipal waste disposal. The calculations are based on the hourly consumption of an average adult in a typical household, ensuring a fair assessment of home office costs.
However, some critics argue that the proposed amount still falls short of providing adequate compensation for remote workers. Josef Středula, the chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, pointed out that many responsible employers already offer higher reimbursements for home office expenses, highlighting the need for further consideration.
These proposed reimbursement rules are a result of a recent amendment to the Labour Code, which passed through parliament. Under this amendment, employees working from home will be eligible for reimbursement from their employers for the costs of gas, electricity, or water used during working hours, starting in the new year. Importantly, this reimbursement will be tax-exempt, ensuring that employees receive the full benefit.
It’s crucial to note that these reimbursements will not be considered part of an employee’s taxable earnings. Contingent workers will also have the option to negotiate these terms with their employers, allowing for flexibility in compensation arrangements. Additionally, employees may choose to receive no reimbursement for increased home office expenses if they prefer to cover these costs independently.
Despite the amendment’s positive intent, some government ministries and employers’ associations have expressed concerns, arguing that mandatory payments could disproportionately benefit those working from home by allowing them to save on transportation and dining expenses.
As the draft decree is currently in the comment procedure stage, its finalization remains pending, and further adjustments may be made based on public input and discussions with stakeholders.
Article by Prague Forum