OSH info copies of employment contracts and agreement in the workplace as a legal obligation
The obligation to have at the workplace of the employees copies of documents proving the existence of an employment relationship establishes the provisions of § 136 of Act No. 435/2004 Coll., on employment, as amended. With taking effect from 1.1. 2015 it was clarified and supplemented.
For infringement under § 136 of the Employment Act, the Labor inspection bodies are authorized by Act no. 251/2005 Coll., on labor inspection, as amended, to impose a fine on the employer of up to 500.000 CZK.
It is an administrative duty, about the existence of which some employers still do not know and which often causes considerable resentment due to certain practical difficulties which are often associated with the realization of this obligation.
The provision of § 136 of Act no. 435/2004 Coll., on employment, as amended (hereinafter the “Employment Act”) was introduced into this Act with effect from 5. 1. 2012, while with effect from 1. 1. 2015 further clarified and supplemented. The purpose of this provision of the Act is to streamline the control of employers, particularly those controls aimed at combating illegal employment. The effort of the legislator is to prevent situations where the employers subsequently make and date back labor contracts or agreements on work performed outside employment (i.e. agreements to complete a job and agreement to perform work), which in fact weren’t closed before the control, respectively, they didn’t have a written copy.
Primarily it should be emphasized that a person who is obliged to ensure the storing of copies of relevant documents in the workplace or workplaces is the employer. In no case the obligation could be transferred on the employee. Therefore, the employer cannot get rid of this obligation by for example instructing his employees to always have copies of the contracts and agreements with them.
Documents proving the existence of labor relations are, as noted above, employment contracts, agreements to complete a job and agreement to perform work. A workplace is understood as not only the headquarters or business place of the employer, but also any other place or premises in which the employer operates through its employees (construction sites, transport means of employers providing transportation services etc.).
The provisions of § 136 of the Employment Act doesn’t expressly stipulates form, respectively the way how to store relevant documents proving the existence of labor relations in the workplace. In this case, the labor inspection bodies for the purpose of carried out inspections created a methodology by which the employer should normally provide copies of relevant documents in paper form. Only in special circumstances (a large number of workplaces with few employees, the special nature of the employer’s activity) it is possible to submit copies of documents in electronic form, e.g. on a CD or USB drive. It should be noted that as a copy of the document is meant a simple uncertified copy.
The copies of the documents, either in paper or electronic form, should be in the workplace or in its immediate vicinity stored in the way that they are during an inspection available for inspection personnel, not for example in a locked drawer, from which no one has the key, or with the accountant at the other end of the city. It always depends on the specific circumstances, while the fulfillment of obligations is assessed by inspection personnel officers on the place of the inspection.
Of the obligations under § 136 of the Employment Act are excluded those employees against whom the employer has fulfilled the obligation to notify the District Social Security Administration their entry into employment, which provided them participation in health insurance. This exemption will therefore relate primarily to employees in labor relation, but according to the amount of achieved income also to some employees working under contracts for work performed outside employment.
In order to verify whether the employees are logged on health insurance, the labor inspection bodies, i.e. State Labor Inspection Office and regional labor inspectorates have right to obtain from Czech Social Security Administration in a manner allowing remote access the data kept in the registry of insured persons, especially data on the origin and termination of insurance benefits. Therefore, the inspectors are generally able to verify this fact immediately after the commencement of the inspection.