Starting next year, individuals working from home may be entitled to receive compensation of CZK 4.60 per hour from their employers to cover their expenses. This would add up to approximately CZK 690 for an average monthly workload of 150 hours.
This information is outlined in the draft decree, which has been circulated for public input by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Initially, the proposed rate was CZK 2.80 per hour, equivalent to roughly CZK 420 for the same amount of time.
The ministry justified this compensation amount by factoring in various expenses, 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 basis for these calculations is the hourly consumption of an average adult in a typical household.
However, Josef Středula, the chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, believes that the ministry’s proposed amount falls short of being adequate. He pointed out that many reputable employers already offer higher reimbursements for home office expenses.
The reimbursement rules for home office expenses were recently established through an amendment to the Labour Code, which successfully 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. The specific hourly reimbursement rate, which would be tax-exempt, will be determined by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
It’s worth noting that these reimbursements will not be considered part of an employee’s taxable earnings. This arrangement will also apply to contingent workers, who can negotiate these terms with their employers. Additionally, there is an option for employees to receive no reimbursement for increased home office expenses.
Some government ministries and employers’ associations opposed this amendment, arguing that mandatory payments would disproportionately benefit those working from home by allowing them to save on transportation and dining expenses.
According to data from the Labour Ministry, employees in private companies worked an average of 147.5 hours per month in the first quarter of this year, while those in the state and public sector averaged 151.2 hours.
The draft decree is currently in the comment procedure stage, and its finalization is pending.