Czech Republic: Legal Outlook 2020

21 Jan 2020

Print version: Legal Outlook 2020

TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The Digital Service Rights Act was adopted in December 2019. This Act, nicknamed the “Digital Constitution”, shall become a key element of the Czech eGovernment and an important factor in the roll-out of cloud computing services by public authorities. It gives individuals and businesses the right to communicate electronically with the public authorities. The Act shall also contribute to limiting repeated provision of information by individuals and businesses to the public authorities. Having been approved at the end of 2019, the Digital Constitution is yet to prove its impact in the upcoming decade.


The amended Electronic Communications Act should come into force in April 2020. The aim of the amendment is to further regulate certain contractual terms between mobile operators and individuals, such as lower cap on maximum contractual penalties or shorter deadlines for phone number transfers between operators, and provide free independent tool to compare electronic communications services.


The Czech Republic is also bound to implement the EU Directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code by the end of 2020. Further amendments to the Electronic Communications Act are thus expected in the course of 2020.


The EU Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services shall support introducing appropriate transparency, fairness and effective redress possibilities for business users of online intermediation services. Providers of online intermediation services (such as, for instance, online booking platforms or search engines) shall draft transparent terms and conditions, set out the main parameters determining ranking or set up an internal system for handling the complaints of business users. The Regulation shall apply from 12 July 2020. Associated amendment of the Electronic Communications Act is to be adopted by then.


By September 2020, the Czech Republic shall implement the EU Directive amending Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The Czech Government intends to propose new “Video Sharing Platform Services Act” and amend several existing acts relating to broadcasting and on-demand media services. The new Directive imposes further obligations on media service operators in order to ensure protection of children from harmful content, restricts advertising, and prescribes a mandatory share of European works in catalogs of video on-demand platforms.


The heavily discussed EU Directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market shall be implemented into Czech law by June 2021. Preparatory legislative works are currently underway, the draft amendment to the Copyright Act and the Civil Code is foreseen to be submitted to the Government in September 2020. The Directive is expected to, inter alia, strengthen the position of media publishers and limit the use of copyrighted content without appropriate license.


The EU Regulation on unmanned aircraft systems (which typically include drones) and implementing regulation shall apply from 1 July 2020. It lays down rules for the production of drones, regulates their availability on the EU market, introduces compulsory registration of drone operators and sets the minimum age of the remote pilot to 16 years.


EPRIVACY REGULATION

The PIERSTONE eprivacy tracker brings a complex approach to the topic of privacy in the digital environment presented by Pierstone team. Particular attention is paid to the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation and the GDPR.

Further developments in the ePrivacy agenda are anticipated in 2020. For more details, follow www.eprivacy.law.


LABOUR LAW

Compulsory electronic issuance of decisions on employee’s temporary incapacity for work (the so-called “eNeschopenka”) was launched on 1 January 2020. The related communication between employer and the Czech Social Security Administration should also be carried out electronically.


As of 2020, the minimum wage has been increased by CZK 1,250 to CZK 14,600 (corresponding to an hourly rate of CZK 87,30). Most changes proposed in the draft of the socalled “major amendment to the Labour Code” are set to come into effect in 2020 (in two stages – on 1 and 30 July) with some of the changes set to become effective in January 2021. The most important news of the current draft is the introduction of the concept of a shared job position, distinguishing between short-term and long-term workers posting and adjustment of rules relating to the leave of absence. An extension of paid leave from 4 to 5 weeks for private sector is still subject to debate in the Parliament.


CORPORATE

A draft amendment to the Business Corporations Act is currently awaiting reading of amendments proposed by the Senate in the Chamber of Deputies and is likely to come into effect during 2020. The most notable changes brought by the recent draft are the possibility to distribute profit at any time of the year (even repeatedly), obligation to deposit documents in the official document registry under penalty of liquidation, right of first offer for shareholders of limited liability companies or certain practical changes relating to joint stock companies.


REAL ESTATE

Legislative process on the adoption of new Building Act continues in 2020. At the end of 2019, the draft Building Act went through interdepartmental comment procedure. The current proposal shall bring important changes, including introduction of a single permit procedure for construction, accelerated permitting procedure (within period of 60 days or automated affirmative decision), unified approval procedure of a building to be used (small buildings without approval) or introduction of planning contracts, giving the more control over regulating construction conditions).

 

The information herein does not constitute legal advice and is not to be relied upon without consulting a counsel.)