“Right for Payment Account” as an Instrument to Strengthen Consumers’ Protection

Various_Bank_Notes_1With effect from 1 March 2017, Czech Act No. 284/2009 Coll. on Payment System (the Act) has been amended in accordance with the Directive No. 2014/92/EU on the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features (the Directive).

One of the purposes of the Directive is to provide consumers with non-discriminatory access to payment accounts in any EU member state. According to European Commission, there are more than 3 million people in the EU to whom opening of the payment account has been denied. Moreover, more than 20 million people in the EU would be interested in opening the payment account but do not even attempt to do so, since they are afraid it would be connected with high costs.

In this article, I will describe one of the most significant innovations introduced by the amended Act: the payment account with basic futures (the Basic Account). Continue Reading

Successful appeal in the Hungarian MIF case, and other important wins for our clients in Hungarian competition cases

The commentators will certainly qualify the following court judgments as landmark rulings since by these judgments the courts shed light on crucial and highly controversial aspects of competition law.

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Preliminary Draft of the New Personal Data Protection Act in Poland

Data ProtectionOn 28 March 2017, the Ministry of Digital Affairs (the “Ministry”) presented a preliminary draft of some of the provisions of the new Personal Data Protection Act. The remaining part of the Act that is not included in the presented project – which concerns regulations on the new data protection authority’s system position, transitional rules, and regulations changing sectoral regulations – is still being prepared.

The project presented by the Ministry aims at implementing the General Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of data (the “GDPR”) in national law. It is worth remembering that the GDPR is, in principle, an effective act of EU law, but in some cases requires national legislative action.

According to the information provided by the Ministry advisor, the Ministry plans to present a final draft of the new Personal Data Protection Act, along with the amendments to the detailed law, in June 2017. The submission of the draft law to the Parliament is planned for autumn 2017, and the completion of its legislative process at the beginning of 2018. The new Data Protection Act should enter into force on May 25, 2018 when the GDPR begins to apply.

Below is an overview of the most important issues with regard to the currently released version of the project. Please note that it is not a final version of the draft so it may be changed.

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Poland: Do Changes in Occupational Health Requirements for Female Workers Concern You?

ProtectiPregnant Business Womanon of female workers continues to be a topical problem, especially in a retail sector where women account for a considerable share of the total workforce. Workers who combine their paid employment with parental functions enjoy a number of entitlements. Most of such entitlements pertain to both employed women and employed men, e.g. parental or child-care leave. Additionally, women are subject to protection against excessively strenuous working conditions throughout their entire working life, which is further strengthened during the period of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Reduced Protection

The Polish Labour Code was amended in 2016 by replacing the general prohibition of
the employment of women in strenuous and harmful work with the prohibition that is applicable only to expectant and breastfeeding women. Continue Reading

Czech Republic – Insolvency Law Changes

czech-republic-map-300x200An amendment of the Czech Insolvency Act was published in the Collection of Laws on 3 March 2017 and becomes effective on 1 July 2017. It brings important changes for personal bankruptcies, as well as regulation of corporate insolvencies. Two issues that might be of interest to corporations, regulation of forum shopping and prohibition of voting by the group creditors, are discussed in this article on our Insolvency and Restructuring blog.

 

Want to Use Public Funds? You Have to Disclose Who Your Ultimate Beneficial Owner Is

If you are or will be doing business with Slovak state, local government, municipality or a legal entity financed or controlled by the state, or you are receiving EU funds, as of February 1, you must be registered in the new Register of Public Sector Partners (the “Register”) and disclose your ultimate beneficial owners (UBO). The purpose of this new law is to enhance transparency in the use of public funds. This should be achieved by disclosing the ownership structure and ultimate beneficial owner(s). The Register replaced the Register of Beneficial Owners that was established for purpose of public procurements.

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Poland’s Ruling Party Favors Constructing New Mega-Airport

AirportThe leader of Poland’s ruling party, Jarosław Kaczyński, has come out strongly in favor of construction of a new mega-airport outside of Warsaw.

The new mega-airport proposal was initially vetted as part of Poland’s plan for constructive development, announced by the Law & Justice Party when it won Poland’s parliamentary elections and gained control of Parliament a year and half ago.

Despite strong support for the project by the management of LOT Polish Airlines, the proposal has been subject to much discussion and criticism as being uneconomic, too expensive and a waste of resources already invested in the two Warsaw airports, Chopin Okęcie and Modlin.

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Real Property Reprivatization Decisions in Warsaw May Be Revoked

WarsawLegislation recently passed by the Polish Parliament grants a Parliamentary Commission the right to rescind reprivatization decisions previously issued with respect to real property in the city of Warsaw. Such a rescission would remove the legal grounds for return of the property to the ex-owner or its legal successor, which could lead to seizure of the real property by the government.

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Investment environment in the Czech Republic 2017

cee-mapIn this Article, I will share with you some legal insights regarding investment in the Czech Republic and summarize important points characterizing legal environment here in 2017.

If you are thinking about investing in the Czech Republic you will need to consider a wide range of factors from technical to tax. It is likely that you will be focused on particular business opportunities and whether they are worth your money or not. You will be dreaming about high returns, multiplied EBITDAs and, with this in mind, you will use your imagination to compile the perfect plan to increase the value of your investment. I honestly believe that legal matters may be some of the last aspects you consider – particularly as they deal with the least pleasant pictures of conflicts, stress and gradual devastation of the investment.

But wait a moment and consider a different angle: Everybody likes to be protected, right? Well, this is exactly what the law is for!

Let’s look at the investment environment in the Czech Republic in 2017 through our brand new glasses and try to summarize the most important points. Continue Reading

The Obligation to Re-employ Following an Invalid Termination of Employment

Human_Resources_HR

I was driven to write this article by two pieces of seemingly unrelated information. The first was the fact that, in the Czech Republic – after adoption of the last substantial amendment to the Czech Labor Code – there is currently another substantial and apparently complex amendment to the Czech Labor Code in progress. The second comes from the unpleasant discovery that, at least for the following four years, there is seemingly no plan for anything similar in Slovakia.

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