When hiring employees in the Czech Republic (Czechia), background checks are a crucial step. Not only does a background check verify your new hire’s credentials, it can help eliminate the risks of bringing on a potential threat to your company.
Background checks are common in the Czech Republic and help ensure your employees are who they claim to be. The kind of checks allowed are often based on the type of job. References and educational verification are the most common and criminal records and credit history can be checked in certain cases. Note that the handling of private data is specifically mentioned in the Czech Republic’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, stating that everyone has the right to be protected from unauthorized gathering, public revelation, or other misuse of their personal data.
If you're looking for a guide to running comprehensive and legally compliant employee background checks in the Czech Republic, you've come to the right place—read on to learn more.
Table of Contents
- Are you legally required to run background checks on Czech employees?
- Is it legal to run background checks on Czech contractors?
- What types of background checks do businesses commonly run on Czech employees and contractors?
- What types of background checks are illegal in the Czech Republic?
- When should you conduct Czech employee background checks?
- The easiest way to run a background check on a Czech employee or contractor
- Background check mistakes to avoid in the Czech Republic
- Frequently asked questions about background checks in the Czech Republic
Are you legally required to run background checks on Czech employees?
It isn’t mandatory to run background checks on employees in the Czech Republic, but many Czech employers do so.
Employers are allowed to request information about job applicants that is relevant to the position, including criminal record checks, education verification, and employment history.
Generally speaking, employers should run at least minimal checks to make sure the candidate is who they say they are. Requesting personal information relating to sexual orientation, ethnic background, and memberships in organizations like churches and political parties is not allowed. You also must ensure that you’re compliant with the Czech Republic’s Personal Data Processing Act (PDPA), the Czech labor code, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.
Employers need to obtain informed consent from job applicants before conducting background checks. It’s the employer’s responsibility to protect the applicant’s personal information, maintain confidentiality, and use the information gathered only for legitimate purposes.
Is it legal to run background checks on Czech contractors?
Provided you have the contractor’s consent, yes—it’s legal to run background checks on contractors in the Czech Republic. You also must ensure that you’re compliant with relevant privacy regulations (PDPA, GDPR, and the Czech labor code).
But navigating the background check process can be daunting for global companies hiring employees in the Czech Republic. You need to know what's allowed under Czech and European Union rules and laws, how you're obligated to handle and store your employees' sensitive data, and more.
Common background checks
Less common background checks
Driving records (depends on role)
Social media profiles (depends on role)
Here’s each type of check in more detail:
- Criminal record. According to the Czech Labour Code, employers must have a specific reason to access someone’s criminal record. If conditions are met, criminal record checks are available through a local or municipal authority office, Czech POINT (government service provider in the Czech Republic), or directly from the Criminal Register office in Prague. The resulting document is known as an “Extract from the Criminal Register”. The information may only be issued to the person named. The information may be released to others, but only if they are named as proxies and hold power of attorney.
- Employment history. You can contact the HR or payroll departments of a new hire's previous employers to verify their dates of employment, salary, and reason for leaving.
- Reference check. You can contact any references provided by a new hire.
- Work authorization. You can ask for proof that a new hire is legally allowed to work in the Czech Republic. This may be proof of citizenship or a work visa.
- Education history. Employers can contact high schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions to request graduation dates, information on the course of study, and degree or diploma obtained.
- Credit reports. Credit checks are not a common type of employee background check. In certain cases, it may be appropriate to request additional information, such as financial status, as long as the request is proportional to the position.
- Social media profiles. You can check social media profiles, but only on professional platforms like LinkedIn. Other social media channels should be avoided as this information is personal. Collecting such information can violate the GDPR and, if this information is used to hire, it could be grounds for legal action by unsuccessful candidates.
- Driving records. These can be requested if the job requires the candidate to drive. The records are available from the Czech Department of Transportation and are used to confirm that the applicant holds a valid driver’s license and shows their driving history. They may only be requested in person by the candidate or with their written consent.
- Medical records. Employers cannot discriminate or deny anyone in the Czech Republic a job based on medical information. However, medical information can be requested for those requiring accommodations for a disability or medical condition. The employer can ask for a doctor’s letter.
What types of background checks are illegal in the Czech Republic?
- Questions about ethnicity, personal beliefs, and other personal information. The EU’s GDPR restricts employers from gathering and using personal data that reveals racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, and trade union membership. The processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a person, data concerning health, and data concerning a person's sex life or sexual orientation is prohibited.
- Employers cannot require job applicants or employees to undergo medical tests or examinations for hiring or during employment, except in the following cases:
- To protect the health and safety of the employee and third parties.
- When the job requires it. For example, to ensure the employee is healthy enough to do the job safely.
When should you conduct Czech employee background checks?
Czech employment background checks should be conducted as part of the pre-employment screening process, typically after a conditional offer of employment has been made to a job applicant. This means that an employer can only conduct a background check if the job offer is conditional upon the successful completion of the background check. In the case of aviation-related jobs, the checks should be done as early as possible as verification and screening can take as long as 80 days.
Employers should also provide written notice to the job applicant that a background check will be conducted and obtain their written consent.
The easiest way to run a background check on a Czech employee or contractor
Several different companies can run background checks on employees in the Czech Republic, including Rippling, TritonBrazil, Hireright, and BackCheck. The easiest by far is Rippling because background checks are directly integrated into the onboarding flow.
Just enter basic hiring info like salary and start date, and Rippling will send the offer letter and new hire paperwork—and automatically run a legally compliant background check and e-verify the results. See Rippling today.
Background check mistakes to avoid in the Czech Republic
- Collecting too much data. Employers need to note EU and Czech Republic privacy laws and how they emphasize minimum data collection. This means only collecting the data that's absolutely necessary for you to have for the new hire's role.
- Not getting employee consent. Privacy laws in the European Union and the Czech Republic also require employers to obtain consent from applicants before beginning the process. Companies must also be upfront with candidates about what data they are using to run their background check, who their personal information is being shared with, and why.
- Not deleting data of unsuccessful candidates. Employers must delete the personal data of unsuccessful candidates when the job is filled. If the employer wants to use the data for other purposes—like keeping a resume on file for future openings—they must have written consent from the applicant. Even with consent, the data may only be kept for a limited time (usually one year).
- Skipping the background check. With all the different rules and requirements, screening and vetting global hires can seem overwhelming—and it may be tempting to skip it altogether. But background checks play a crucial role in the employee onboarding process, serving as a valuable tool to safeguard you and your company.
Rippling makes it easy to run background checks in the Czech Republic.
Frequently asked questions about background checks in the Czech Republic
Are background checks legal in the Czech Republic?
Yes, background checks are legal in the Czech Republic, provided they are conducted in compliance with Czech and EU privacy laws, human rights legislation, and other applicable regulations.
Employers are allowed to request types of information from job applicants that are relevant to the job position, including criminal record checks, education verification, and employment history checks. But employers must also obtain informed consent from job applicants before conducting background checks, protect their personal information and maintain their confidentiality, and use the information gathered only for legitimate purposes. Employers must also ensure that they do not discriminate against job applicants based on any protected grounds, such as race, gender, religion, or criminal history.
What language do you use for background checks in the Czech Republic?
For the most part, background checks in the Czech Republic are conducted and documented in Czech. If you engage a company to do background checks, you can use English.
How do privacy laws affect background checks in the Czech Republic?
The Czech labor code and the EU’s privacy laws (GDPR) are very strict and have a significant impact on background checks. Czech and EU privacy laws even extend beyond the Czech Republic's borders—meaning they must be followed by global organizations hiring employees in the Czech Republic.
How do human rights laws affect background checks in the Czech Republic?
When conducting background checks in the Czech Republic, employers must be aware of human rights laws, which prohibit discrimination based on certain characteristics. According to the labor code of the Czech Republic, discrimination in labor relationships is prohibited, in particular on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, social origin, gender, language, health, date of birth, religion, marital and family status, political or other opinion, membership and activities in political parties or political movements, and trade union organizations or employers' organizations. Discrimination on grounds of pregnancy, maternity, paternity, or gender identity is considered to be discrimination on grounds of sex.
Do different industries in the Czech Republic require different background checks?
Different types of background checks are allowed for different industries. The general rule in the Czech Republic is that an employer should only conduct background checks that are necessary to the new hire's role—for example, you should only conduct a driver's license check if the role requires driving. Another example is civil aviation, where checks are much more rigorous due to additional security concerns.
How far back do criminal background checks go?
Criminal background checks in the Czech Republic can go as far back as when the applicant turned 18 and became a legal adult. In some cases, a criminal record report will go back only seven years.
What are the benefits of running background checks in the Czech Republic?
Background checks come with many benefits for employers, including:
- Enhanced security. Conducting background verification during the hiring process can aid in identifying job candidates who may pose a risk to the company or its staff.
- Protection against negligent hiring. If a company hires an employee who later engages in public misconduct, the company can be held accountable. To minimize this risk, background checks can uncover previous misconduct and help the company make informed hiring decisions.
- Better hiring quality. Background checks assist in identifying job candidates who may have discrepancies or inconsistencies in their work or educational histories on their application forms or resume. By verifying the accuracy of their stated qualifications and confirming their identity, these checks help ensure that applicants are truthful in their job applications.
- Protection from occupational fraud. Conducting background checks can safeguard the reputation of your company by identifying dishonest and fraudulent job applicants, thereby helping to avoid any potential damage to the company's image.
Onboard new hires and run background checks with Rippling
With Rippling's Talent Management System, you can seamlessly onboard new hires and set them up for success. Just enter basic hiring info like salary and start date, and Rippling does the rest—including running a legally compliant background check and e-verifying the results.
Ready to hit the ground running with every new hire? See Rippling today.
Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.