Here we will present you what an employment contract can look like, and the so-called agreements under which you can also work (employment agreement and work performance agreement). We will also describe the fundamental rights and obligations of employees - it is essential that you know what you are entitled to as an employee.


A written employment contract or agreement is essential for legal employment and must be signed by you and your employer before you start working!


The minimum standard for an employment contract

An employment contract must always be in writing.

You will sign it with your future employer, and you will receive one signed original.

You must have it in your hand before you start to be considered legally employed.

To be valid under the law, the contract only needs to include the type of work, the date you start work, and the place of work. However, you also need to know other information to start work, such as whether you have a fixed probationary period, how long your contract (agreement) is for, how much you will earn, information about holidays, sick leave or notice periods, etc. 


Much of this information is contained directly in the law – the Labour Code. This regulates in detail the employment relationship – the relationship between the employee and the employer. The employment relationship starts when the employment contract is concluded and begins on your first day at work. The Labour Code provides the following basic information.


Employment relationship for a fixed or indefinite period

Most employers will first state in the employment contract the date until which the contract is concluded. In this case, you have a fixed-term employment relationship until that date. The employer can then extend the contract again. The Labour Code stipulates that he can extend your fixed-term contract a maximum of two times and you can work for him for a total of three years without interruption. If you continue to work for the employer without interruption, you automatically have an open-ended contract. However, this does not apply to pensioners, seasonal work, and agency work.


Probationary period

Both you and your employer have the right to a probationary period, which cannot exceed 3 months (or 6 months for managers). If you agree to a probationary period, it must be stated in your contract of employment. During the probationary period, you can quit your job without explanation, just as your employer can terminate your employment. 


A notice of termination during the notice period must be delivered in writing.


Full-time or part-time work

You can work full-time or part-time. Full-time is considered 40 hours per week, two-shift is 38.75 hours per week, and three-shift and continuous is 37.5 hours per week. If you arrange part-time hours, the number of hours you work should be stated in your contract of employment.




If you work full-time, you are entitled by law to at least 160 hours (20 days) of paid holiday per calendar year. Your employer may also give you more holiday or other benefits such as sick days (days to recover without having to go to the doctor). You are entitled to a holiday after you have worked the first month. For half of your vacation entitlement (80 hours), your employer can assign a date when you must take your holiday. If you are working part-time, your holiday is reduced proportionately. 

Working overtime


Overtime is extra work over and above the set weekly hours that your employer may exceptionally order or additionally approve. Your employer can only order it if there are serious operational reasons, or if you and your employer can agree on it. Overtime must not exceed 8 hours per week and a total of 150 hours per calendar year. Pregnant employees and minors (15 to 18 years old) cannot work overtime, and those caring for a child under 1 year old must agree to overtime. 

Sick leave and caring for a family member


If you are ill and therefore unable to come to work, see your GP (general practitioner) and you will be entitled to sick pay (partial wage replacement while you are ill).

You also have the right to stay at home with a child under 10 if they are ill and apply for sick pay (partial wage replacement). 

Tip: For more information, see Sick pay and nursing a family member.


Termination notice and the notice period


The termination notice must always be given in a written form and given to the other party. The notice period is two months and starts on the first day of the upcoming month after you give (or were given) notice.


Important: Your employer cannot fire you just like that. The law only sets out a few reasons why they can give you a termination notice - for example, if you have failed to perform your duties or breached your obligations, became redundant because of an organizational change, or if you have lost your fitness to work. On the other hand, you, as an employee, can quit for any reason. 


Termination Agreement


Employers know that if you are doing your job well, they have relatively few legitimate reasons to fire you. Therefore, they may try and rely on your ignorance. They may require you to sign a termination agreement in which you yourself agree to terminate your employment. If you don't want to quit your job, don't sign the agreement!


Important: Never leave your job without properly terminating the employment relationship (e.g. by notice or agreement).