New Obligations of Employers in Respect of Occupational Health & Safety and the Disabled Employee State Benefit

Amendments to the Occupational Health & Safety Act and the Act on Inspection of Work are to become effective in the course of the coming months; both of them were approved by the President at the beginning of March and are aimed at increasing the occupational safety at various workplaces, specifically construction sites where work-related injuries are rather frequent.Newly, the employers the range obligations is widened in that the they have to ensure each workplace has to be supervised by a OHS specialist appointed to prevent professional hazard and co-ordinate the safety and health protection of the employees at work. Generally, however, this obligation only applies for employers employing more than 25 employees as with smaller firms the tasks connected with the OHS may be fulfilled by the employers themselves (provided they are qualified to do so). The coordinator is required, among other specifications, to be educated in a technical field at a secondary level at least. Also, the employer is expected to arrange for necessary co-operation in the areas of work related medical services and fire prevention.

Also, the amendments bring changes in the disabled employee state benefit, which is to be increased in accordance with the Employment Act by CZK 800 to CZK 8,800 monthly. Possible state contribution to the costs connected with employment of such persons will rise from CZK 2,000 to CZK 2,700, too. It may only be claimed on the condition that the number of disabled personnel makes up more than 50% of the company employees.