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Czech Supreme Court: employers are not required to offer a replacement job to laid-off employees

Following a recent ruling by the Czech Supreme Court, employers will no longer be required to offer another job to employees who are dismissed on grounds of redundancy, not even if a suitable job is open at the same place of employment. This practice was approved by the Supreme Court in order to unify civil and commercial judicial practice and should be followed by all courts charged with settling labour disputes.

The lawsuit in question, which was filed in Prague by an employee against its employer (KŠB was the employer’s legal counsel) due to the employer’s failure to comply with the duty to offer a replacement job, was therefore returned to the district court with jurisdiction over the case. Complying with the binding legal opinion expressed by the Supreme Court, the district court dismissed the employee’s lawsuit.

The dismissed employee’s major grounds for the lawsuit was that the employer had another vacant job requiring a similar level of experience and skill at the moment the employee was dismissed. Both the district court for Prague 10 and the Municipal Court in Prague ruled in favour of the plaintiff, but the Supreme Court dismissed both judgments following the employer’s appeal.

The Supreme Court held that labour laws effective since 1 January 2007 did not include the duty to offer a replacement job (in the form defined in Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code, as amended). This means that employers may dismiss employees on the grounds of the Labour Code’s Section 52(c) even if they are still able to employ them at the agreed place of employment and can offer another job which is equal or similar to the original job.

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