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Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Czechia

9.Teachers and education staff

9.2Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 28 February 2024

The conditions of service for employees in children's groups (dětské skupiny), teachers, and other education and non-education staff at schools and special purpose establishments are set out in the Labour Code and other generally binding national labour regulations.

The specification of service conditions of the education staff at schools and school facilities (nursery school, basic school, upper secondary school, tertiary professional school – mateřská škola, základní škola, střední škola, vyšší odborná škola) is the responsibility of the school head. If there are trade unions at the workplace, the working conditions are the subject of negotiation. All these local specifications, however, must still respect the framework set by the generally binding legal regulations.

Some questions concerning education staff's working conditions (see the following sections) are dealt with differently from other categories of employees and even by agreement with trade unions it is not possible to deviate from these rules. For instance, fixed-term contracts, and specific working hours (weekly scope of direct pedagogical activity at schools and school facilities run by the ministry, region, community or group of communities). Limits in the specification of working conditions in collective bargaining thus stem today primarily from economic rather than legal restrictions.

Schools and school facilities are legal entities and are responsible for labour relations, as they are the teachers' employers. The school heads in public schools decide on labour law issues relating to their employees.

 

Specific legislative framework – childcare staff in children's groups

The conditions of service of childcare staff in children's groups are generally similar to those of other occupational categories under the Labour Code. The below-mentioned Government Regulation on the Minimum Wage also applies. The Act on Children's Group (from 1 October 2021) introduces compulsory in-service training for childcare staff in children's groups. If they are employed in children's groups set up by public bodies, the below-mentioned Government Regulation on Pay Terms and the Government Regulation on the Work Catalogue apply.

 

Specific legislative framework – education staff at schools

Teachers and academic staff's conditions of service are generally similar to that of other occupational categories under the Labour Code. The basic pay regulations for public service employees are included. The details of the pay scale system and other pay terms in the case of public schools teachers are set by the Government Regulation on Pay Terms of Employees in Public Services and Administration and Government Regulation Defining on Work Catalogue of Employees in Public Service and Administration.

The Labour Code also includes the general regulations of pay valid also for the remuneration of teachers of private and denominational schools. It is followed by the Government Regulation on the Minimum Wage, on the Minimum Levels of Guaranteed Wage.

The definition of education staff and their list are included in the Act on Education Staff. In terms of the working conditions, there is an especially important part of the definition which states that the education staff are always the employees of a legal entity which performs the activities of a school and school facility (i.e. a school), and that education staff perform activities which are carried out in care or education according to the Education Act (direct pedagogical activities). The same act specifies the requirements for the performance of all categories of education staff (i.e., not only teachers) and includes specifications for professional qualifications. The Act on Education Staff also provides for some deviations from the Labour Code regarding fixed-term contracts and working hours.

Another relevant legislative document is the Government Regulation on Determination of Direct Educational; Special Needs; and Educational and Psychological Activities of Education Staff, which is intended for public schools.

The Decree which Settles Work Rules for the Staff of Schools and School Facilities Established by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; Region; Municipality or Voluntary Union of Municipalities provides details on the duties of both employees and employers with respect to employment, work load, holidays and leave for self-study, and supervision of pupils.

Teachers have the right to appeal to unions in questions of labour relations if these operate at the school. According to the Labour Code, the employer is obliged to consult on working conditions with the trade union. The employer is legally obliged in some cases to ask the trade unions for the approval of a decision which influences the working conditions of employees. In schools with no trade unions, the Labour Code imposes a commitment on employers to consult, in specified cases, working conditions with all staff.

If labour disputes arise between the employees and employers, an employee of a group of employees can contact the school's responsible body. For upper secondary schools, this is usually the region (regional administration); for the nursery school and the basic school it is the municipality (municipal administration). Complaints or petitions are exercised in accordance with local self-government (set on the basis of the Act on Municipalities, the Act on Regions and the Act on the Capital City of Prague)..

Since 2014, there is a school ombudsman at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The school ombudsman focuses on mediating and solving a variety of complaints and disputes, particularly about socio-pathological and mutual relationships among education workers, collaboration between teachers, school management, students' representatives and founders. The school ombudsman works mainly at schools and school facilities and organises discussions on above topics and shows examples of good school practice.

A further body to deal with labour law issues is the labour inspectorate (under the Act on Inspection of Work). However, the labour inspection is not competent to solve labour law disputes. They may be dealt with by a registered mediator after mutual agreement of the parties (under the Act on Mediation). A similar mechanism applies to disputes on collective agreement (under the Act on Collective Bargaining). The court represents the last instance and in most cases is the only body that can solve the dispute.

Planning policy

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

Planning in the area of early childhood care is primarily a matter for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. It does not have a direct impact on the number of professionals providing the care, but has supported the creation and development of children's groups through the project Support for the Implementation of Children's Groups, funded by the ESF and the state budget. The amendment to the Act on Children's Group effective from 1 October 2021 introduced a state contribution for the operation of children's groups (since 2022), as well as the maximum amount of reimbursement by the parent of a child under 3 years of age. Compulsory in-service training for childcare staff of 8 hours per year has also been introduced. Municipalities or contributory organisations of municipalities, which are frequent statutory authorities of children's groups, and thus also employers of children's group employees, also participate in the availability of care.

 

Education staff at schools

There is no specific planning policy focused on long-term monitoring of the number and structure of education staff in terms of supply and demand in the Czech Republic. However, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports implements its policy through the long-term Strategy 2030+ and its implementation activities. Statistical indicators on the numbers of pupils and teachers, including their age composition, at all educational levels are continuously monitored (data are publicly available, e.g. in the Education System Monitoring Framework). A department of the State Statistical Service of the Ministry of Education, namely the Section for Informatics, Statistics and Analyses, is responsible for the performance of the State Statistical Service of the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education may also conduct ad hoc surveys (most recently there was a survey in May 2019, and another one is planned for 2023). A feasibility study on the planned register of employees (particularly teaching staff) is currently under preparation, which should, among other things, provide a timely and comprehensive view of this issue.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and individual regions have tried to plan the development of the education system at a more general level by publishing the strategic document The Long-Term Objective of Educational Development and Development of Education System; individual regions do so by their own long-term plans. However, the primary goal of long-term plans is not to plan the number of teachers, pupils and students, or monitor supply and demand in the teaching profession. It is a basic strategic document, a unifying tool for the formation of the education system and the main element for communication between the centre (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) and individual regions, in which the intentions, goals and criteria of educational policy are determined. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and regions are required by the Education Act to issue the long-term plans and keep them up-to-date.

In recent years, the Czech education system has been facing a regional shortage of teachers in primary and secondary schools, especially in some subjects (particularly mathematics, physics and informatics). This is partly due to insufficient numbers of entering students in pedagogical and other teacher-training faculties, as well as to teacher departures, i.e. teachers leaving after a few years to e.g. to the business sector. In response to this unfavourable situation, the Ministry of Education is trying to strengthen the prestige of the teaching profession and increase interest in the study of teaching, through projects and calls for proposals. One of them is the Ministry of Education's subsidy call "Teachers Matter" announced in 2022 and 2023. The call is aimed at strengthening the prestige of the teaching profession and increasing interest in the teaching profession, as well as popularising the study of teaching and increasing the attractiveness of teacher training. Project activities may focus, for example, on the motivation of future teachers (including a specific focus on men as potential and current students of faculties of education and future teachers), presentation of the teaching profession, including competitions and similar events. The target group of the project is those interested in the teaching profession, students of teaching and the general public. The total allocation of the call is CZK 5 million / EUR 211,506 (CZK/EUR = 23.64, 8 June 2023).

Another form of support by the state is the provision of a special financial contribution to pedagogical faculties and other faculties educating teachers in the form of "social demand" contribution.

The increasing of the quality of teachers’ training as well as increasing numbers of graduates entering employment are the main objectives of the Reform of teachers’ training in Czechia. One of the goals is to create a Competence framework for graduates of teaching degrees, which provides a clear description of competences that should be acquired by graduates of degree programmes that lead to the teaching qualification. The Reform sets six specific goals until 2024, which will be subsequently evaluated and followed by the formulation of further goals. In formulating the Reform, the Ministry of Education cooperates with faculties that train teachers, other teachers’ educators (especially upper secondary vocational schools of pedagogy and tertiary professional schools of pedagogy) as well as non-profit organisations. The common approach was confirmed by the signing of the Memorandum on 29 September 2021.

The area of planning policy also includes other steps taken by the Ministry of Education to ensure sustainability and efficiency of the education system. These are measures and activities of the Strategy 2030+ and the Long-term Plan for Education and Development of the Education System of the Czech Republic, which include, for example, the Strategy for Further Development of the Network of Schools and Educational Institutions - i.e. conditions for establishing, closing and merging schools and educational institutions.

Entry to the profession

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

Childcare staff in a children's group (dětská skupina) have to meet these requirements of the Act on Children's Group:

  • without criminal record (individuals are considered to be unblemished if they were not effectively sentenced for an intentional criminal act or for a criminal act committed with gross negligence during the childcare or activities comparable with it, or for a criminal act its commitment can influence the capacity to care for a child)
  • qualification
  • good state of health for work and care for children (the assessment is valid for 2 years)
  • attainment of 18 years of age and full legal capacity

 

Education staff at schools

Teachers are appointed through an open recruitment procedure. A contract of service is always concluded between a teacher and, on behalf of the school, a school head with respect to the rules set by the Labour Code. The schools' responsible bodies (that is most frequently municipalities and regions) cannot influence the recruitment of new teachers or the structure of education staff. They have only indirect competency in this field which is the authority to select, appoint, evaluate or dismiss a school head.

The prerequisites and requirements for the performance of functions by education staff are specified in the Act on Education Staff. An educational worker can be a person who:

  • is fully sui juris
  • is qualified for direct educational activity he/she performs
  • has no criminal record (proved by submitting a statement from the Register of Criminal Records)
  • is in a good state of health (undergoes an entrance medical check-up)
  • proves knowledge of the Czech language (not required from persons who have completed training required to perform the work of teaching staff in the Czech language, or at least passed the Maturita examination (maturitní zkouška) in the Czech language or an examination that corresponds to the common content of the Maturita examination in the Czech language and literature according to the Education Act; and from teachers of a foreign language or conversation for whom the foreign language is their native language or who have reached a level of proficiency of a native speaker; or from teachers who teach a subject in a foreign language or teach in schools with other than the Czech language of instruction). The required level of proficiency in the Czech language is set by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The minimal required level is B2 for psychologists, SEN teachers, childcare workers among others, while C1 is required from teachers in nursery schools, primary schools, lower secondary schools, and teachers of general subject education at upper secondary schools.

If a teacher does not have an appropriate qualification, he/she can perform direct educational activity:

  • if he/she was 50 at least on the date 1 January 2005 and has at least 15 years of practice at the particular type of school;
  • if he/she was 55 at least on the date of 1 January 2015 and if he/she provided the direct teaching at the particular type of school during 20 years;
  • if at the time of the creation of basic labour-law relationship the higher education institutions did not provide an accredited Master's programme of the relevant field of study (applies to vocational subjects).

A school can provide education for a necessary time and extent by education staff who do not meet the prerequisite of appropriate qualification when it demonstrably cannot provide these activities by a qualified worker. Under these circumstances, the school head continues to be responsible for the professional and educational level of the instruction at the school.

 

Induction

The Labour Code requires employers to provide school leavers (up to 2 years after completing the school) with work experience and to ensure adequate practical experience to gain practical skills needed for the job. The employer is further obliged to instruct or initiate the employee who moves to a new workplace or a new type of work due to the decision of the employer if this is necessary.

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

The Act on Children's Group does not directly oblige the provider to introduce childcare staff into practice, but within the framework of standards for quality of care, the provider has the obligation to care for employees: to clearly define their rights and obligations within individual activities and to provide them with support, especially in the form of evaluation, reflection, feedback, and supervision. This applies to an increased extent also to new childcare staff.

 

Education staff at schools

From 1 January 2024, the position of a mentoring teacher is specified in order to increase the quality of future teachers’ practical training as well as liaison teacher training with schools.

A mentoring teacher must fulfil the requirements for conducting teaching activity, including professional qualification, and must have at least five years of experience in direct educational activity. The presupposition for employing a mentoring teacher is the cooperation between the school and educational institutions for future teachers, which includes secondary VET schools, tertiary professional schools, as well as higher education institutions.

The system of support of mentoring teachers and teachers’ practical training is currently piloted by trial checks; from 2026 it should be financed based on special norm embedded in the Education Act.

From 1 January 2024, an induction period for new teachers comes into practice. It refers to the period from the beginning of the first employment of a teacher until the end of two years of employment at an institution that operates as a school. Induction period applies only to teachers who enter the profession of a teacher, it does not apply to those who enter a new workplace (i. e. transfer to a different school).

Induction period may be extended for the period of time when there were all-day obstacles at work that caused that the teacher could not carry out educational activity, if these obstacles have lasted for longer than four months. Legal body operating as school supports the new teacher for the duration of the induction period, which primarily means designating a mentoring teacher. The provision of induction period is financially secured by special funding received by schools according to the Education Act. This funding is primarily to be used for the evaluation of mentoring teachers or their further education, especially in the area of mentoring and skills for managing adults, alternatively other skills specific to the induction period. To secure the provision of induction period, there is also a methodological support offered by the Ministry of Education and the National Pedagogical Institute.

Headteacher must determine a mentoring teacher who supports the new teacher for the duration of the induction period. A mentoring teacher primarily offers methodological guidance to the new teacher, regularly and continuously evaluates the new teacher’s direct pedagogical activity and related activities, and introduces the operation of the school and its documentation. There are no special requirements for the position of the mentoring teacher, however, candidates should be experienced teachers who possess appropriate mentoring competencies in working with adults.

The induction process is monitored through inspections of the Czech School Inspectorate. A systematic support to teachers with less than three years of practice is one of the criteria for evaluation of conditions, course and results of education. According to the Annual Report of the Czech School Inspectorate for 2021/22 (i.e. before the assignment of a mentoring teacher was established as a mandatory requirement), a mentor (introducing teacher) was assigned in about 80 % of nursery schools (mateřská škola), 78 % of basic schools (základní škola), and 83 % of upper secondary schools (střední škola). Other frequent forms of support for newly qualified teachers are consultations with the school head (79 % in basic schools and 77 % in secondary schools), consultations with the same subject teachers (67 % in basic schools and 86 % in secondary schools) and/or inspections and sittings in on classes (58 % in basic schools and 65 % in secondary schools).

From 1 January 2024, the position of a class teacher is specified in the legislation. Class teachers in basic schools and upper secondary schools, class teachers in conservatoires or Basic Art Schools, and leaders of study groups at professional tertiary schools conduct activities related to direct pedagogical activity in classrooms, which are centred around encouraging healthy and functioning relationships between students, creating safe and stimulating environment for students’ development and education in cooperation with their legal custodians and schools’ employees, and other organizational and administrative activities.

Professional status

 

Status of childcare staff in children's groups

Childcare staff working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) can be employees of state, public of private organisations. They are employed in a normal labour-law relation. Although they have the appropriate qualifications, they are not considered to be teachers, or health professionals, or social service professionals, as they do not provide either education or health care or social services. Specific regulations applicable for the previously mentioned jobs do not apply for these professions (with the exception of the requirements for qualification). Since 2022, the Government Regulation Defining on Work Catalogue of Employees in Public Service and Administration has newly defined the profession of "childcare worker in a children's group", divided into four levels according to the complexity, responsibility and effort of work. The specific scope of work is determined by the employer.

 

Status of education staff

The employment of education staff is regulated by the general labour legislation, primarily the Labour Code.

The education staff in schools run by municipalities, voluntary unions of municipalities, regions (public schools) or by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (state schools) are public service employees who are employed under an employment relationship, which has mainly taken the form of an employment contract, or it may take the form of an agreement on work performed outside of the employment contract. Their employment is subject primarily to the Labour Code, the Act on Education Staff and Decree which Settles Work Rules for the Staff of Schools and School Facilities Established by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Region, Municipality or Voluntary Union of Municipalities.

Only the employees of the schools of Army, Police, Fire Service and Prison Service (state schools) can be civil servants; their status is subject to special legislation.

Ethics code for education staff was created in 2023 by teachers’ platform in cooperation with other organisations and experts. However, this is not an official or commonly binding document.

Types of contracts

The types of contracts available to teachers of schools (and also to staff in children's groups (dětské skupiny), with exception of the appointment) are as follows:

A permanent contract

The current legislation favours permanent contracts of employment. An employer can terminate a permanent contract only for reasons stipulated by the Labour Code.

A fixed term contract

In certain cases, an employee can be employed on a fixed term contract at most for 3 years. The labour relation concluded within a fixed term contract between the same entities may be repeated twice (the overall labour relation can last up to 9 years maximum: 3+3+3).

In the case of education staff, additional conditions have been applied: the fixed term contract is made for at least 12 months. During the term of this fixed term contract, the member of education staff has the same rights as if on a permanent contract.

Appointment

This is a specific method of establishing an employment relationship. The Labour Code stipulates that this appointment is always valid for heads of public schools and the heads of organisation units of public schools. The head of the organisation units of public schools are appointed by the school heads. They may be dismissed for any reason and without giving a reason. Employment does not end by the removal from executive functions and the employer is obliged to offer this employee another job appropriate to his health condition and qualifications.

Agreement on work activity

This is a specific type of employment relationship, which is mainly used for so-called external employees, and in cases, it is necessary to substitute an absent employee. Agreement must be concluded in writing. The teachers are not remunerated according to the pay scales, but according to the terms of their agreement. The use of these agreements is limited by law so that the scope of work carried out under these contracts must not exceed half the set of weekly working hours on average.

Agreement on job completion

This is a specific kind of fixed-term employment relationship which is also used for external employees and employees acting as substitutes. The agreement must be concluded in writing. The teachers are not remunerated according to the pay scales, but they receive an agreed sum for the work completed. Use of these agreements is limited by law to a maximum of 300 hours a year for any job.

Part-time contracts

The Labour Code sets the working time to 40 hours per week. As to the lower number of working hours, there is freedom of contractual content, and both contracting parties are unlimited by the law in part-time contracts. Only in the case of a pregnant woman and employees with dependent children under fifteen (or with other dependents of the second or higher level), is the employer bound to comply with the request of part-time work if there are no serious operational obstacles.

 

Replacement measures

Replacing of employees is not regulated by legislation either for employees in general or separately for children's groups or schools. However, in education, some forms of replacement are commonly used – see below.

 

Education staff at schools

School heads are responsible for the recruitment of teachers. In the event of the teachers' absence (e.g., in case of short-term absence, teachers suffering from an ongoing illness, or a teacher on maternity leave), there are no special regulations for replacing them.

Thus, the responsible representative can use various procedures:

  • a temporary change in the contract of another employee (only with the consent of the latter)
  • an increase in working duties of the existing staff (while complying with the rules specified in the legislation, particularly a range of weekly working hours and weekly direct teaching)
  • an increase in class sizes (but only up to the limit specified by the legal regulations for pre-primary education, basic education and upper secondary education)
  • supervision of pupils by another school employee of legal age
  • the recruitment of a fully and appropriately qualified substitute teacher

Redeployment is possible between educational levels (for example, from lower secondary level to primary) without the consent of the teacher when the formulation of the work in the employment contract enables this, otherwise the consent of the teacher is necessary.

A school head may require a teacher to carry out direct educational activity up to four hours a week over and above his/her set workload and further hours by agreement. The direct educational activity during the substitution of an absent teacher is also understood as the direct educational activity over and above the set workload, and the teacher is entitled to receive an allowance at the rate of twice the average hourly income for each hour of direct educational activity over and above the required level.

The school head can assure the pupils' supervision by other school employees of legal age (not necessarily a teacher) as long as they have been fully instructed on the performance of supervision.

The employer can – but is not obliged – to make a formal request to the Labour Office if there is a vacancy at school.

In the case of teacher shortages; schools or appropriate authorities use a range of emergency measures. They can recruit a candidate:

  • who is fully qualified;
  • who is not fully qualified, namely for a necessary period and to the extent necessary, if he or she cannot provably ensure teaching by a fully qualified person. In the case of teachers at the lower secondary or upper secondary levels, it is possible to provisionally recognise professional qualification for up to three years to previously unqualified teachers, if other conditions are fulfilled. For more details see Alternative educational pathways.

The cancellation of lessons is not common practice in Czechia. If a teacher is absent, pupils can be sent home if the cancelled subject is the last lesson of the day (in the case of older pupils), otherwise supervision is provided for the pupils (i.e., substitution of an absent teacher, or lessons in other classes). In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, an amendment to the Education Act was adopted in 2020, which newly introduced distance education in the event of restrictions on the personal presence of children, pupils and students in schools due to a crisis measure announced under the Crisis Act, extraordinary measure pursuant to a special law, or due to a quarantine order pursuant to the Public Health Protection Act. Distance learning is provided by the school in accordance with the relevant Framework Education Programme and the School Education Programme to the extent appropriate to the circumstances.

 

Support measures

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

The legislation does not introduce specific support measures for childcare staff in children's groups. The Department of Family Policy and Protection of Children's Rights of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, according to the organisational rules, methodically leads and manages the agenda related to the Act on Children's Group, including education leading to the improvement of the quality of childcare services. Childcare service providers have the opportunity to use support within the project Support for the Implementation of Children's Groups, prepared by the Ministry. The project includes an information website www.dsmpsv.cz, online courses and workshops, as well as regional offices that provide advice and methodological support and organise educational and information events. Methodological materials on legal obligations are also available on the website of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

 

Education staff at schools

Support for new fully qualified teachers – see Induction.

The system of allowances, see Additional pay components.

Teachers do not get any special help in cases of personal problems and conflicts which they may be confronted with. Theoretically, they can use the pedagogical-psychological counselling centres (pedagogicko-psychologické poradny) but these are primarily focused on the problems of children and pupils.

In the case of teaching problems, teachers can ask an expert for advice from a specialised methodical team (metodický kabinet). These specialist groups are made up of experts in each teaching subject in the region. Since 1990, this form of teamwork has been voluntary and there is no legal regulation determining the existence and rules of the work, but it does have a long tradition.

Methodological support is provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on the methodological portal edu.cz, among other topics it deals with issues of mental health of children, pupils and students, as well as pedagogical staff themselves. Another useful resource is the outcome of the SYPO project (System for Supporting the Professional Development of Teachers and School Heads), within which a system of support for education staff in their professional development was created.

In cases of especially serious teaching problems, it is possible to use the experts from the Czech School Inspectorate, which is part of the state education system. The choice to use the support of the regional methodical expert is purely the teacher's decision. In the case of the Czech School Inspectorate, it is the school head or teacher who can initiate this help. The issues mentioned are not however regulated by any legal regulation. Consultations are free of charge for the teacher.

A teacher consults on the educational problems and special educational needs of pupils with a school counsellor (výchovný poradce), who works at every basic and upper secondary school (základní škola and střední škola). In a class with a pupil with special educational needs (whether or not he/she is integrated or in a class established for those pupils), the school head can create the position of a teacher's assistant (asistent pedagoga).

Teachers can work with heterogeneous groups of pupils; some of which have learning disorders, sensory or physical impairments or come from various ethnic groups. Possible support measures for educating heterogeneous groups are available for those who are being educated as well as for the educators.

Salaries

The conditions of remuneration in public and state schools as well as in children's groups (dětské skupiny) are set by the Labour Code and by its implementing rules. Salaries (in public institutions) and wages are disbursed monthly.

For remuneration in the public and business sectors, which have not concluded a collective agreement, a concept of guaranteed wage exists; it means that the employer cannot set a lower wage (salary) to employees than is the official lowest level of guaranteed wage. It is announced by the Government Regulation on the Minimum Wage, on the Minimum Levels of Guaranteed Wage and divided into eight groups according to their complexity, responsibility and difficulty of the work. In public schools pay scales of education staff set by the Government currently exceed the lowest guaranteed wage: this provision is therefore fundamental especially for private schools (and private children's groups) and for remuneration of non-education staff.

Pay scale system and some allowances are set by the Government Regulation on Pay Terms of Employees in Public Services and Administration, classification of education staff in the pay categories by the Government Regulation Defining on Work Catalogue of Employees in Public Service and Administration. As a guideline for schools, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports issued the Methodological Interpretation for Remuneration of Education Staff and Other Staff of Schools and School Facilities and Their Classification into Salary Grades according to the Work Catalogue.

The salary structure is described in more detail in the following two sections.

In consequence of an amendment to the Education Act that comes into effect on 1 January 2024, the size of the state’s budget designated for teachers’ salaries is based on the principle that, on average, at least 130 % of gross nominal salary per month of employees in the national economy corresponds to each full time teaching position. 

This amendment does not mean that every teacher will receive a salary of 130 % of gross nominal salary of employees in the national economy because salaries consist of multiple components (pay scale system, allowance entitlement – e. g. allowance for specialisation, allowance for direct pedagogical activity beyond the determined extent, or personal allowance) and the final salary is therefore different for each individual teacher. The salary in question includes pay scale basis as well as additional pay components, including allowances and/or rewards.

Pay scale system

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

Childcare staff in children's groups (dětské skupiny) set up by public bodies are usually remunerated according to salary scale system which has 16 categories according to the intensity of work and qualifications and 12 levels according to the length of practice (tariffs are slightly lower than the scale for teachers). From 1 January 2022, childcare staff in the children's group have been included in the Work catalogue of employees in public service and administration, where they are included in categories 6 to 9, depending on the complexity of the work performed. They are also entitled to some bonuses and allowances.

 

Education staff at schools

For the education staff, a particular pay scale system is set. The members of the education staff are paid according to the scale system with regard to the work they perform, that is according to the work categorisation. The tariff system for education staff has 11 categories (4–14) and 7 pay grades within each category.

In placing a teacher on the relevant level of the pay category, the employer takes into account the most demanding work the teacher is required to do within the provisions of their contract of service and the relevant qualification requirements. Teachers are generally placed in the range between the 8th and 13th categories. Education staff are placed to the 13th pay category only on exceptional circumstances (predominantly school counsellors (výchovný poradce) with the relevant qualification and school heads). In the 14th category, only persons who work on conceptions of national and international education programmes can be included.

 

Classification of education staff into pay categories based on Work Catalogue and the Methodological Interpretation of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and annual tariff salaries (according to the tariff valid from 1 January 2022):

position pay category minimum annual tariff salary maximum annual tariff salary

pre-primary teacher at the nursery school (mateřská škola),

teacher responsible for leisure activities (pedagog volného času)

8th–10th

 

CZK 300 480

(EUR 12 620)

CZK 444 720

(EUR 18 678)

teacher at the basic school (základní škola), 1st and 2nd stage,

teachers of general and vocational subjects at the upper secondary school (střední škola), conservatoires (konzervatoř) or tertiary professional school (vyšší odborná škola),

teachers at the basic art schools (základní umělecká škola),

teacher at a school facility for the further education of education staff (pedagog v zařízení pro další vzdělávání pedagogických pracovníků),

SEN specialist (speciální pedagog)

11th–13th

 

CZK 385 440

(EUR 16 188)

CZK 555 120

(EUR 23 315)

psychologist (psycholog) 10th–13th

CZK 378 600

(EUR 15 901)

CZK 555 120

(EUR 23 315)

teacher of practical education and practical training

10th–11th

 

CZK 378 600

(EUR 15 901)

465 480 CZK

(EUR 19 550)

teacher's assistant (asistent pedagoga)

4th–9th

 

CZK 186 480

(EUR 7 832)

CZK 433 560

(EUR 18 209)

childcare educational staff (vychovatel), according to the type of facility 8th–12th

CZK 300 480

(EUR 12 620)

CZK  513 360

(EUR 21 561)

Note: Minimum salary corresponds to first pay grade (up to 2 years of professional experience) and maximum salary to seventh pay grade (more than 32 years of experience). EUR/CZK 23.81 – 14 June 2023 (Czech National Bank)

The pay scales do not allow pay advancement by gaining further qualifications, with the exception of a school counsellor and educational management staff. To perform these roles, it is required by law to have completed the prescribed in-service training. After its completion, the school head may delegate more demanding activities to the teacher which condition the advancement into a higher pay category (at the basic school, the upper secondary school and the tertiary professional school, from the 12th to the 13th pay category). Some other additional responsibilities and management of the teachers are paid by the system of allowances.

Within the pay category, the teachers are placed in the pay grades according to the length of professional experience. What experience is credited and to what extent is up to the school head, within basic rules set by Government Regulation on Pay Terms of Employees in Public Services and Administration. Fully credited is any work in the required area for which the same knowledge or similar knowledge is required; for teachers it usually means any teaching experience. Up to 2/3 of other working experience can be credited depending on its relevance for the given work. In the case of an extended break in service, this period is counted towards the pay advancement in only some cases and to differing extents (e.g., in the case of maternity or parental leave up to 6 years).

When teachers change an employer, they usually stay on the same pay grade they had reached in their previous employment. An exception to this is when the new employer acknowledges experience other than pedagogical practice (it is considered subjectively if this non-pedagogical practice can be applied to education in his/her school).

 

Additional pay components

The scope of compensation (allowances) for overtime work for all employees is determined at the central level, namely by the Labour Code. There is a legal right to compensation for overtime work. For employees of public and state organizations, the parameters of the allowance for the management of other employees, individual allowances and/or bonuses are also determined. Details are given below for education, but also apply adequately to employees of children's groups (dětské skupiny). In addition, teachers are entitled to some specific allowances.

 

Education staff at schools

Regulations relating to overtime pay and pay allowance for the performance of additional responsibilities are set centrally by law. Teachers have the right to overtime pay. The current pay system distinguishes between overtime work (work that is above the statutory weekly working hours, i.e., over 40 hours per week) and the direct teaching activities over the specified range.

Direct teaching above a specified range for teachers is a mode where weekly working time is unchanged (still 40 hours per week), but it is the decision of the school head to decide the ratio between the number of hours per week of direct teaching and the number of hours of related work. In public schools, the number of hours of direct teaching per week is set by law (Government Regulation) and every hour of direct teaching above this defined range is registered and separately remunerated. A teacher is entitled to receive an allowance of twice the average hourly earnings. The eligibility for overtime pay is reviewed monthly. For teachers working part-time, the following arrangement applies: only if the number of working hours reaches at least one hour over the legal working week, teachers are entitled to a pay allowance.

Government Regulation on Pay Terms of Employees in Public Services and Administration or the Labour Code set some additional responsibilities for which a teacher is granted an allowance and teachers have a right to this. The general level of these allowances is set by law, although there is a degree of discretion left for an employer in deciding on the actual level of these allowances for the performance of additional responsibilities. Allowances are payable to the teachers for the performance of the following responsibilities:

  • class teachers (or heads of departments at a conservatoire (konzervatoř) or a basic art school (základní umělecká škola) or heads of study groups at a tertiary professional school (vyšší odborná škola)) – CZK 1500 to 3000 monthly (EUR 55 to 110; EUR/CZK 27.345– 19 October 2020)
  • teachers whose direct educational activity involves the uninterrupted supervision of pupils who are exposed to a heightened risk of injury due to the use of machines, tools and apparatus during practical education or practical training – CZK 500 to 1 300 monthly (EUR 20-50)
  • teaching special groups, classes and in schools specifically designed for children, pupils or students with special educational needs including teaching in special education centres, in school facilities for institutional education and protective care and in social services facilities for persons with mental or physical disabilities – CZK 750 to 2 500 monthly (EUR 30-100)
  • performance of specialised activities – CZK 1 000 to 2 000 monthly (EUR 39–78). Prerequisite for the performance of these activities is the completion of the courses aimed at gaining the required qualifications for the performance of specialised activities. Decree on In-service Training of Education Staff defines the specialised activities as follows:
  1. coordination in the area of information and communication technologies
  2. elaboration and subsequent coordination of educational programmes for schools and educational programmes for tertiary professional school
  3. prevention of socially pathological phenomena
  4. specialised activities in the field of environmental education
  5. specialised activities related to the spatial orientation of visually disabled children and pupils

Educational management staff are also entitled to leadership allowance which is set as a percentage of the highest pay grade in the given category: 5–50 % according to the level of leadership (for a school head it is 15–60 %).

For excellent or additional work, a teacher can be granted an individual allowance or bonus, but this is purely up to the school head and there is no automatic right to it. Both these non-claimable components of pay – individual allowances and bonuses – amounted to, on average, approximately 15–20 % of a teacher's gross salary.

Individual allowances can be paid for the continuing excellent performance at work or for extra work, e.g., for regular activities such as administration of a school library, checking school materials, organising school competitions, mentoring and support for other teachers, more difficult work in classes integrating pupils with special needs, etc. This can amount to 50 % (in some cases up to 100 %) of the pay rate of the highest pay grade of the pay category. The level of and criteria for these pay components are not set by law and are fully within the discretion of the school head. The collective contract may specify closer criteria for allowances awarded by individual employers. If a school head decides to pay this allowance, it is paid monthly until the school head decides otherwise (it cannot be withdrawn, however, unless the facts leading to its awarding apply).

The school head can award a one-off bonus for the performance of an extra work task of high importance. The so-called target remuneration can then be awarded for the fulfilment of a predetermined extremely demanding task, the preparation, gradual provision and final implementation of which is particularly important from the employer's point of view.

For working with pupils with special educational needs who are individually integrated to a mainstream school (including pupils who are applicants in proceeding for granting international protection in the territory of Czechia) a teacher does not have a legal right to any special allowance compared to the teachers of special classes and schools, but the school head can grant an individual allowance to a teacher. This can also be done because, within the framework of the formula funding of schools from the State Budget, a school receives an allowance for each pupil with special educational needs.

 

Non-earnings-related incentives

Employers have to provide preventive health care (usually in the form of a contract with a company doctor) and provide entrance and regular medical check-ups.

There are no specific forms of support for children's groups (dětské skupiny); however, if the facilities are operated by a public or state organisation, its employees may benefit from cultural and social needs or special remuneration described below for teachers.

 

Education staff at schools

Public and state schools are obliged to establish cultural and social needs funds for employees and their relatives, from which the employer contributes in the limits set by the Decree of the Ministry of Finance on Cultural and Social Needs Fund e.g. to meals, transport, recreation, hobby education, social aid and loans, etc. A part of the contribution could go to additional retirement insurance or hazard life insurance or gifts for teachers' anniversaries.

Among other incentives for teachers, there is also included the possibility to grant employees a special pay (pay completely outside the pay system) to appraise their work by employers, e.g., at an anniversary. Employers can list such occasions and set the amount of payment granted in the internal rules or agree with the trade unions in collective agreement.

Teachers can receive training related-benefits under the conditions set by the Act on Education Staff (namely by the consent of the school head). In particular, they can have free time for self-study. They are entitled to 12 working days off per academic year for self-study and to full compensation for lost earnings. The school head allows education staff to take their days off at a time when no serious operational reasons prevent them from doing so, which is mostly on days when there are no lessons at a school, generally on days of shorter (other than summer) holidays or days when there are no lessons (no teaching). On agreement with the school head, costs connected with the in-service training can be paid by the school. In all these cases, it is the school head who decides.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport may grant awards provided by Government Regulation. One of these awards is the Medal of the Ministry of Youth and Sport. It is awarded each year to natural or legal persons, or a group of natural persons, for excellent pedagogical, educational, scientific, sporting or artistic activities in the field of education, youth and sport, or educational activity, sports and artistic activity, exceptionally meritorious act related to education in Czechia. The medal may also be awarded to a natural person on the occasion of a life or work anniversary for long-term and excellent work in the field of education, youth and sport. The award is granted in the first stage as a silver medal and in the second stage as a bronze medal.

Within their limits, the schools can offer teachers other benefits, e.g., some schools or municipalities provide teachers with housing.

Working time and holidays

 

Working time

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

The working time of childcare staff working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) is 40 hours per week. The distribution of activities within the working time is set by the employer.

 

Education staff at schools

Teachers' working hours are set by the Labour Code at 40 hours per week, as for most of other employees. These include direct educational activity / direct teaching set by the number of lessons per week and other activities associated with this obligation and resulting from the organisation of educational provision in schools. The responsibilities and the general workload of teachers are set by the Education Act, Act on Education Staff, in more detail by the Government Regulation on Determination of Direct Educational, Special Needs, and Educational and Psychological Activities of Education Staff and the Decree which Settles Work Rules for the Staff of Schools and School Facilities. This Government Regulation and Work Rules only apply to employees of schools and school facilities which come under the responsibility of municipalities, voluntary units of municipalities, regions, or the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; neither to private and denominational schools; nor to schools governed by sectors other than the education sector.

Weekly teaching hours are equal for all teachers of the same category irrespective of the form or length of their contract. The law lists some exceptions when the teaching hours can be shorter. The direct educational activity of school heads decreases according to the school size. The table below shows the individual categories of education staff. The extent of teaching activity of teachers who perform the function of a school counsellor (výchovný poradce) is reduced by 1–5 lessons a week, depending on the school size. In a similar way, the weekly direct teaching activity of a teacher who works as an ICT methodologist is reduced by 1 to 5 lessons.

 

Table of direct educational activity:

Categories of education staff Number of hours of educational activity
Teacher School head
pre-primary teacher / school head at the nursery school (mateřská škola) 31 6–20, 5–16(16)
teacher / school head at the basic school (základní škola) 22, 20–22(1) 8–12(2), 5–8(3), 4–12(4)

teacher / school head at the upper secondary school (střední škola),

teacher / school head at the conservatoire (konzervatoř),

teacher / school head at the tertiary professional school (vyšší odborná škola)

21(5), 21–25(6), 25–35(7), 21–33(8), 21–26(9) 2–6
teacher's assistant (asistent pedagoga) 32–36  
teacher / school head at the basic art school (základní umělecká škola) 23(10), 21(11) 3–9
childcare educational staff (vychovatel) 27–28(12), 28–30(13), 25–27(14), 30–32(15) 5–8(12, 14), 15–20(13), 9–10(15)
teacher responsible for leisure activities (pedagog volného času) at least 6 times a week at least 2 a week
teacher / school head at a language school (jazyková škola) authorised to organise state language examinations 21 2–6
teacher at a school facility for the further education of education staff (pedagog v zařízení pro další vzdělávání pedagogických pracovníků) 21 at least 3 a week

SEN specialist (speciální pedagog),

psychologist (psycholog),

head of the school guidance and counselling facility

20–24 at least 3 a week
  • (1) 1st year of a basic school, first stage of a detached basic school designed for pupils with special educational needs, including the special basic school (základní škola speciální)
  • (2) a basic school with the first stage
  • (3) a basic school with the second stage, with the first and second stages
  • (4) a detached basic school designed for pupils with special educational needs
  • (5) teacher of general and vocational subjects
  • (6) teacher of practical education
  • (7) teacher of practical training
  • (8) teacher of practical training of detached schools designed for pupils with special educational needs
  • (9) coach (trenér)
  • (10) individual instruction
  • (11) group instruction
  • (12) boarding school (internát)
  • (13) an after-school club for primary level (školní družina) and a school club for secondary level (školní klub)
  • (14) school provision for institutional and protective education and preventive education care (středisko výchovné péče)
  • (15) youth home (domov mládeže)
  • (16) school head of the nursery school with boarding (continuous) operation or nursery school with boarding operations and with a special pedagogical centre

A school head may require a teacher to perform up to 4 lessons a week of direct educational activity over and above the required level, a teacher may agree on additional lessons. Education staff are entitled to receive an allowance for these additional lessons. If a teacher's working hours have been extended, there is no need to modify either the employment contract or any other formal conditions of the employment relationship. Teachers cannot influence the number of appointed teaching hours.

The workload above the direct teaching activity – additional tasks connected with direct educational activity – is set by the school head. As an example, the Work Rules set the following list of activities:

  • preparing for direct teaching activity
  • preparing the teaching aids
  • correcting pupils' written, graphic and other work
  • supervision of children and minor pupils in a school (e.g., during breaks) and during activities organised by the school
  • co-operation with other education staff, the school counsellor, the school prevention methodologist and the methodologist of information and communication technologies
  • co-operation with pupils' parents or guardians
  • professional care of collections of teaching materials, libraries and other facilities serving education
  •  

    additional work relating to the role of the class teacher and the school counsellor

  • participation at meetings called by the head employee of the school or the school facility
  • study or participation in the in-service training

When they are not performing a direct educational activity or other activities during which they have to stay at school (pupils' supervision, substitution for the colleague, participation in school councils etc.), education staff can work at an agreed place other than the school or school facility. During days when there are no lessons and teachers do not take leave of absence, they must perform work connected with teaching (unless they take study leave or compensatory leave).

 

Holidays

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

Childcare staff working in public children's groups (dětské skupiny) have 5-week holiday. 4 weeks is the minimum in private facilities.

 

Education staff at schools

All education staff have 8-week holiday. Other forms of legal absence are included in the Labour Code. According to the Decree which Settles Work Rules for the Staff of Schools and School Facilities, teachers take their vacations during school holidays. The timing of holidays for teachers at a nursery school (mateřská škola) is set with regard to the specific conditions in their school so that it can continue to operate without interruption.

According to the Act on Education Staff, education staff is entitled to free time for self-study.

Promotion, advancement

 

Childcare staff in children's groups

The specific work position as well as related promotion is generally determined by the employer. The Act on Children's Group addresses this issue.

 

Education staff at schools

In 2005 the Act on Education Staff introduced a set of rules and a career system that places education staff into career grades. This enables education staff of public schools and schools that come under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to advance in their profession in so-called career grades which are specified by professional qualifications, a description of the activities which they have to perform at a relevant level of education, or other prerequisites of qualifications, such as professional experience or certificates confirming the competence to perform given activities. If the employee performs an activity within a given career grade, it can in some cases mean promotion to a higher pay category or a claim to receive an allowance for specialised activities or leadership allowance. Conditions for placing an employee on a certain career grade are specified by the Ministry of Education in a Decree for the individual categories of education staff. The practical significance of the career system is; however, insignificant because the terms of remuneration (including promotion in pay scale) are made independently of this system by a generally binding legal regulation (Government regulation), and quite independently of the status of teachers in the career system.

The assessment of teachers by a school head is reflected only in non-claimable components of their pay (individual allowance, or bonus).

In some cases, the performance of additional activities (e.g., of the school counsellor, or the deputy school head) is reflected in fewer direct teaching hours.

To perform the function of a head of school or school facility, the school head must fulfil certain conditions. The school head decides upon the appointment of the deputy school head.

One possible promotion in a teacher's career is the post of school inspector. However, school inspectors are not considered to be education staff, but employees of the state administration.

 

Mobility and transfers

The transfer of employees including education staff to a different workplace is dependent on the general terms set down in the Labour Code. It is not possible to transfer an employee to a different teaching post than that specified in their contract without his or her agreement. The law also requires the contract to specify the place of work. Some exceptions are possible when the employer places the employee in another position than is described in their contract for reasons laid out in law (such as serious health reasons). This replacement relates to a change of work in the same place of work.

 

Education staff at schools

Schools are legal entities and a transfer to another school is not possible. An employee can only change the school by choice, and after fulfilling the conditions set by the new employer. When teachers move within the teaching profession, they do not have the right to retain their pay entitlements – the pay must only be in accordance with the valid pay scale.

Merging of schools is a different situation when one school takes over activities of another school, including labour-law commitments. An employee is then an employee of a different entity – on condition that the workplace had been broadly specified in the contract (e.g., a town).

 

Dismissal

There is no legal regulation hindering education staff in schools or childcare staff working in children's groups (dětské skupiny) from changing their career if they decide so. The Labour Code allows education staff, like any other employees, to end their employment by giving 2 months' notice. The employer and employee can agree on the termination of the employment contract at any date and the agreement is valid if both sides agree, and it is in writing. An employee may be dismissed unilaterally by an employer under the terms set down in the individual provisions of the Labour Code (or by agreement with the employer at any time), which are legally binding.

Reasons for dismissal:

  • liquidation or transfer of an employer or redundancy of staff – the notice period is two months, and the employee is entitled to receive redundancy pay
  • non-fulfilment of preconditions or requirements for proper work performance – the period of notice is two months, and the employee is not entitled to receive any compensation
  • if the employee cannot perform his/her work for the reasons: accidents at work, occupational diseases or threats of occupational diseases – the notice period is two months, and the employee is entitled to severance pay (if he/she has not caused an injury)
  • if the employee has lost the ability to work (for health reasons) in the long-term – the notice period is two months, and the employee is not entitled to severance pay
  • failing to work properly, inability to follow instructions of superiors issued in accordance with the law and cooperate with other employees – the notice period is two months, and the employee is not entitled to severance pay
  • serious violation of duties deriving from the law applicable to the work performed by an employee; for less serious systematic violations of the obligations under the legislation relating to work performed – the period of notice is two months and the employee is not entitled to any compensation
  • gross violation of work duties deriving from the law applicable to the work performed by an employee or conviction for a deliberate crime for more than 1 year – the notice is immediate and there is no entitlement to compensation

In some cases, employees are protected from being given notice, e.g., when they are temporarily unfit to work or during pregnancy or maternity or parental leave.

These conditions are generally binding for all employees; there are no such provisions specifically for education (or academic) staff.

Retirement and pensions

Retirement for the population in general is governed by the Act on Pension Insurance (in force since January the 1st 1996).

The terms governing education and academic staffs' entitlement as well as children's group (dětská skupina) care staffs' entitlement to a retirement pension are the same as for other employees. There are no special advantages for teachers. There are two conditions – to reach a minimum length of social insurance contributions and to have reached the retirement age.

Concerning the statutory retirement age, until 1996 the age limit for the retirement was 60 for men and 53–57 for women (depending on the number of their children, persons born earlier than 1936). For those born in 1936–1971 the retirement age is presently being extended gradually so that for persons born in 1971 and later the retirement age will be 65 years regardless of their gender and number of children. In 2023, the retirement age was 64 years for men and between 60 years + 8 months and 64 years for women depending on the number of their children.

Retirement age (2023)
men 64 years
women who are childless 64 years
women with 1 child 63 years + 8 months
women with 2 children 62 years + 8 months
women with 3 or 4 children 61 years + 8 months
women with 5 and more children 60 years + 8 months
Minimum length of social insurance contributions* 35 years

* including replacement insurance period

Until 2010, 25 years were the minimum length of social insurance contributions. As from 2010, however, this period has been extended by 1 year annually and in 2019 it reached the final value 35 years.

The requirement for a minimum period of insurance reduces in the case of higher age than the retirement age. If people reached 65 years of age before 2010, the minimum period of insurance is 15 years. From 2010 the minimum period gradually increases. For those who reached the age of 5 years higher than the retirement age after 2013, the minimum period of insurance is 20 years.

Furthermore, for insured persons who have reached retirement age after 2014, the minimum required insurance period is set at 30 years without taking into account the so-called replacement insurance periods (for example, study or childcare for children under 4 years or unemployment). The maximum age for retirement is not set in Czechia.

It is possible to take early retirement. In such case, the claimant must reach the minimum length of insurance related to his/her retirement age which is set in accordance with the date of birth, sex, and in the case of women, the number of children as well. Moreover, the time remaining to reach the retirement age must be at most 3 years. For those people with the defined retirement age of 63+ years the time remaining to reach the retirement age must be at most 5 years (they need to have reached the minimum age of 60 years). If an insured person is under 63 and is entitled to early retirement, an old-age pension arises from the day there are a maximum of three years left to reach the retirement age. In case of early retirement, the pension is lower than the standard one.

There is no labour-law limit for retirement, neither for teachers, nor for other professions. However, before reaching the statutory retirement age, the situation is different. Early retirement pensions may not be paid if the person pursues a gainful activity constituting participation in the pension scheme.