The Czech Republic is a vibrant, modern country situated in the centre of Europe. Over recent years it has become a main location for many international companies due to its unique combination of location, infrastructure, facilities and excellent workforce.
Over the last 10 years, the Czech Republic has also become a very attractive location for expatriates seeking to work in a foreign country especially because of the lifestyle choices available to people living here and the diverse range of working opportunities.
The purpose of this advice page is to give you some insight into the realities of life and work in the Czech Republic.
Geography and Demographics
The Czech Republic is situated in the centre of Europe, sharing borders with Germany, Austria, The Slovak Republic and Poland. Its capital city is the historic and beautiful city of Prague, Brno is its second city and is a fast growing centre for global business operations.
The population of the Czech Republic is currently around 10.5 million, making the Czech Republic the 12th most populous nation in the European Union. There are also a large number of expatriates living in the Czech Republic on a long term basis. A large amount of the foreign population of the Czech Republic is made up of Ukranian, Slovak and Vietnamese nationalities however there are large and growing communities of people from many different nationalities here as well.
Living in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is an easy country for foreign people to live in with many services being available in English language coupled with an already established expatriate community to lean on for advice. Many banks offer English language banking options, including online banking, telecommunication companies have English speaking operators and, while some things may be confusing, it is easy to find advice and help either online, through expatriate support companies or, friendly Czech colleagues. Especially in Prague and Brno, most shops are used to dealing with foreign customers and while the level of English or other languages spoken can vary, most shop assistants are happy to help you get what you need. The Czech Republic has a basically western range of shopping options including a wide range of supermarkets and shopping malls, while, local and specialist shops are still thriving.
The currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech Crown (CZK). To see the latest exchange rates for your currency use our Currency Converter on our jobs page.
Employment Laws in the Czech Republic
Czech employment laws are very comprehensive and offer equal protection and opportunities for both the employer and the employee. Like all employment laws, there are many details involved but, to help you to understand your basic rights, here are some key points:
Full time employment
In the Czech Republic, it is common for companies to employ people on a full time, unlimited duration employment contract. When offering this contract, there are certain things that must be included:
- Vacation – For full time working contracts, Czech employers must offer a minimum of 20 working days per year as vacation. This does not include public holidays. Many international companies offer more days and 25 days’ vacation per year is becoming standard in Prague and Brno.
- Leaving the company – Companies must include a probationary period of up to three months on commencement of work. During these three months, the employee can resign and only have to give a maximum of 3 days’ notice. Conversley, the employer may also terminate the employees contract offering the same 3 day notice period. After probation, employees must give a two-month notice of resignation plus the amount of days left in the current month. Employers must do the same and must also provide a valid reason for terminating the employment except in cases of gross misconduct or fundamental breaches of contract by the employee. The probationary period can be cancelled if both the employer and employee agree.
- Discrimination – Discrimination of any kind is covered in the labour code. All types of discrimination are prohibited under Czech law.
- Any full time employee – must be offered a legal working contract except in a very few exceptional cases stated in the labour code. An employment contract must include:
- Job Title
- Place/places of work (unless otherwise agreed eg. Working from home)
- Starting Date
- Contracts must be in written form and one company issued to the employee
- Normal working hours – cannot be more than 40 hours per week (this does not include overtime etc.).
Other employment laws
Fixed term contracts are also possible in the Czech Republic and the regulations change slightly in these cases:
- Part time work – is also possible and again, regulations vary from standard.
- Unemployment – In case the worst happens, foreign residents in the Czech Republic can receive unemployment benefit as long as they have worked and paid income tax for at least 12 months.
The Czech Labour code is extensive and the above information should be used as a guideline only. A definitive list of Czech employment law is available online at the Czech Ministry of Work and Social Affairs website.
Life in Prague
Living in Prague can be a great experience for people as there really is something for everyone here. Whether you are interested in culture, sports, history or music, Prague can deliver.
Prague has a population of a just below 1.3 million people, making the capital large enough to provide for all tastes and needs but small enough to make travelling around it easy and cheap. Prague has a temperate climate with cold winters and warm summers. In January, average temperatures range from 1° (average high) to -4° (average low), in July, the average temperature is from 25° (average high) to 14° (average low).
Culture, History and Music
Prague has a long and colourful cultural history and there are many things to explore. Opera and theatre, both professional and amateur are at an international standard, there are many musuems, Prague castle (the largest castle complex in Europe) and both modern and classical art galleries.
All popular sports can be played in Prague and there are also amateur expatriate teams and leagues for many sports including football, cricket, rugby and even Australian rules football and Gaelic football! Prague is also a good base for winter sports as there are many ski resorts in the Czech Republic.
Prague has modern facilities for fitness and health centres, squash, tennis and other games.
For sport watchers, Professional football and Ice hockey are the most popular live events and both are very affordable to go to. If you’d like to watch international sports in the company of other supporters, there are many expatriate bars which screen all major sports.
Eating out and partying is both easily affordable and popular and there are a huge range of restaurant options offering both Czech and international cuisines, there are also many music clubs, nightclubs and bars to choose from.
Prague has an excellent and cheap public transport system which means that you can get to wherever you want, easily, quickly and cheaply. Prague has a metro (underground), tram and bus network which covers both central and outer Prague.
Life in Brno
Brno is the Czech Republic’s second city and has a fast growing expatriate community. Brno is an important university town with a population of around 750,000. It’s combination of nightlife, facilities and opportunities to explore Central Europe make it a very attractive location for relocation.
Living in Brno
Living in Brno is definitely value for money. Prices are generally cheaper than in Prague and there are many ways to spend your time. Cultural activities in Brno receive a very large annual investment and Brno has many festivals and events throughout the year. It also has a good range of architecture from neo-classical to modern. For theatre goers, Brno has the oldest working theatre in central Europe and opera, ballet and drama programs are performed throughout the year.
Modern sport facilities are easily accessible in Brno and are well priced. Brno has some long-standing sporting traditions, including their Ice Hockey and football teams, also Brno has a long history of motorsport. Brno has an international motor-circuit which hosts many events including a round of the international moto-GP.
Brno at night is a little more laid back than Prague but, you can still find many clubs, bars and restaurants to cater to your needs.
Notes on sources
The information provided here is intended for guideline purposes and is not a definitive guide or guarantee, as prices, exchange rates, and information vary. Source information regarding foreign residents in the Czech Republic was provided by the Department for Asylum and Migration Policy; Ministry of the Interior of the CR, dated 11/2011. Source information regarding prices was gained from market research across a number of supermarkets, real estate agents etc. during 3/2012.
Information regarding the Czech Republic, Prague and Brno is a compilation of various sources and while, to the best of our efforts and knowledge we understand this information to be true, it cannot be 100% verified as correct in every occasion. We periodically update our information to keep it as current as possible but, as we rely on gaining content from external sources, Dorset Recruitment s.r.o. cannot be considered liable for any errors or omissions.
We hope you find this information of interest and we of course encourage you to conduct your own research into the Czech Republic as well. Should you have any questions or require any additional help, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help!