After the administrative shock caused by the wave of Ukrainian refugees who chose to seek protection in the Czech Republic, the national government unified its legislation, as did most European Union countries, to be in compliance with EU legislation.
With effect from 21 March 2022, the Czech Republic adopted three special acts, the so-called “Lex Ukraine”, related to the war in Ukraine, which should help Ukrainian citizens (among others) to easily obtain temporary protection in the Czech Republic, enter the Czech labour market, receive special humanitarian (financial) aid and help their children to be part of the education system.
Ukrainian citizens, their close relatives and certain categories of third countries nationals (simply “Ukrainian citizens”) should be able to request the Czech Republic authorities for temporary protection, which should allow them to reside in the Czech Republic up to 31 March 2023, obtain public health insurance, and to start working for employers in the Czech Republic, etc. As the Czech Republic has a very low rate of unemployment, Czech employers welcome this opportunity for Ukrainian citizens to work for them without further obstacles, as in the past, the possibility to obtain the respective work permits was quite difficult. In this respect, however, there is no clear guidance yet, regarding how the Czech Republic will handle the employment relationships of Ukrainian citizens once the temporary protection comes to an end.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
- Temporary protection is open to certain categories of Ukrainian citizens.
- Once temporary protection is granted, Ukrainian citizens have (among others) free access to the Czech labour market and public health insurance.
- Employers should not forget to notify the Czech Labour Office of the employment of Ukrainian citizens on the first day of their work.
- The Czech Republic has not yet dealt with the question of what will happen with the employment relationships once the temporary protection is over.