Employee background checks in Pakistan

A Guide to Employee Background Checks in the Czech Republic

Hiring in the Czech Repulic? Learn the steps of running legal employee background checks, and enhance your candidate's hiring and screening process.

Michał Kowalewski
Written by Michał Kowalewski
March 27, 2024

Key takeaways

  1. The Czech Republic adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and local data protection laws. This means obtaining explicit written consent from candidates before initiating background checks.
  2. Background checks should be tailored to the specific job requirements. Avoid discriminatory practices by focusing on verifying education, work history, and criminal records (with consent).
  3. Common checks include criminal records, employment verification, education verification, credit checks (for financial roles), and reference checks. Social media screening is less common.

Employee background checks should be an integral part of your hiring process in the Czech Republic. Although not mandatory, they are a common practice, especially in finance, healthcare, education, security, law enforcement, and public sector.

The Czech Republic is a prime location for hiring, especially in IT, with a talent pool of around 199,000 ICT professionals and 4,600 new ICT graduates annually. The IT sector sees a 10% yearly growth in outsourcing, driven by local companies and global investors. The country's popularity as an outsourcing location is highlighted by the presence of leading companies like Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM, which have chosen the Czech Republic for direct investment and outsourcing​.

In such a competitive landscape, background checks are crucial for employers to manage risks and make well-informed recruitment decisions. These processes are key to validating the accuracy of candidates' claims and confirming their eligibility and fit for specific positions.

In this article you’ll learn:

  • How to run an effective and legal employment screening in Czech Republic 
  • What are the common types of employee checks in Czech Republic
  • Step-by-step process of a thorough employee screening
  • What mistakes to avoid when performing a background check in Czech Republic

What should employers know before running a background check in Czech Republic

An employee background check is the process of verifying a potential hire’s work history, education, professional qualifications, and any criminal records they might have. It’s particularly beneficial to run before finalizing an employment offer or signing a contract, ensuring the candidate meets the company's standards and requirements. 

The Czech Republic adheres to strict privacy laws, governed primarily by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and local legislation such as the Act No. 110/2019 Coll. on Personal Data Processing. The Office for Personal Data Protection in the Czech Republic plays a crucial role in overseeing and enforcing these laws. 

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): A comprehensive data protection law that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information within the EU. It emphasizes individuals' rights to their data, enforcing strict rules on data controllers and processors

  • Act No. 110/2019 Coll. on Personal Data Processing: This Czech legislation complements the GDPR, addressing specific national provisions and applying to both public and private sectors. It covers personal data processing, rights of data subjects, and duties of controllers and processors within the Czech Republic

  • Office for Personal Data Protection: The Czech authority responsible for monitoring compliance with the GDPR and the national Act on Personal Data Processing. It ensures that personal data are processed according to legal standards, provides guidance, and has enforcement powers

Are background checks legal in the Czech Republic?

Yes, background checks are legal in the Czech Republic, provided they comply with GDPR and local privacy laws. 

Employers must ensure that candidates are informed about the checks and that explicit consent is obtained. Specific regulations also govern the type of information that can be collected and the purposes for which it can be used. Although it’s not specified in the law, written consent is recommended for documentation and compliance purposes. 

What types of background checks are illegal in the Czech Republic?

The Czech Republic adheres to strict data protection regulations.  Here are some background check practices that are considered illegal or restricted:

  • Non-consensual inquiries: Accessing a candidate's medical records without their explicit consent is a big no-no. Similarly, checks that delve into a candidate's marital status, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs are strictly off-limits. Background checks must focus on job-relevant information

  • Unlawful methods: Deceptive or unfair tactics during background checks violate the principles of fairness and transparency under GDPR. Employers should avoid practices like misrepresenting the purpose of the check or pressuring candidates for information they're not obligated to provide

  • Social media scrutiny: Social media checks require caution. While reviewing publicly available information might seem harmless, recruiters must exercise discretion. Using social media to gather information about a candidate's protected characteristics (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation) is illegal and can lead to legal consequences. Focus on publicly available information relevant to the job requirements

  • Medical records check: Accessing a candidate's medical records during background checks is strictly prohibited.  Alternative solutions include outlining health requirements in the job description and conducting pre-employment medical exams (with consent) that are specific to the job duties

Global employers that fail to comply with the privacy regulations in the Czech Republic can suffer financial and reputational damage. The GDPR outlines a tiered fine system for infringements. Less severe violations can result in fines up to €10 million or 2% of the company's global annual revenue (whichever is higher). More serious infringements can incur fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the company's global annual revenue (whichever is higher).

Common background check industries in Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, various industries rely on employee background checks to ensure the integrity and reliability of their workforce. Some of the common industries where background checks are prevalent include:

  • Financial services: Financial institutions like banks, investment firms, and insurance companies handle sensitive financial information and client assets. Background checks play a vital role in mitigating risks associated with fraud, money laundering, or other financial misconduct. These checks typically verify employment history, education, professional licenses, and potentially criminal records (with consent)

  • Healthcare: Patient safety and well-being are top priorities in healthcare. Background checks help hospitals and clinics verify the qualifications and credentials of medical professionals, ensuring they possess the necessary licenses and certifications to practice. Additionally, checks may screen for any criminal history that could pose a threat to patients, such as violence or substance abuse

  • Education:  Schools and educational institutions have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of students. Background checks are often conducted on teachers, administrators, and other staff, particularly those working with children. These checks typically verify education credentials, professional licenses (if applicable), and may involve criminal history checks (with consent) to screen for offenses that could endanger children

  • Information Technology (IT): IT professionals often have access to sensitive data and systems. Background checks in this sector help ensure data security and prevent unauthorized access.  Checks may verify employment history, education (particularly IT-related degrees and certifications), and potentially criminal records (with consent) to screen for offenses like hacking or cybercrime

  • Government agencies: Government positions often involve access to confidential information and require a high degree of trust. Background checks help ensure that individuals employed by government agencies meet the necessary security clearances and possess the integrity to uphold public trust. These checks can be quite thorough and may involve in-depth investigations of a candidate's background, financial history, and potential conflicts of interest

Types of background checks in Czech Republic

Effective employment screening in the Czech Republic covers essential aspects to evaluate a candidate's abilities. Knowing these areas helps employers tailor screening processes to meet job requirements and legal standards.

Type of Check Common in the Czech Republic Reason
Criminal record check Common Essential for assessing the candidate's trustworthiness and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements      
Employment verification  Common Validates the candidate's work history and performance, providing insights into their professional experience and conduct
Educational qualifications verification Common Confirms the authenticity of the candidate's educational qualifications, ensuring that they possess the required academic credentials
Credit history check Common    Common for positions involving financial responsibilities, as it assesses the candidate's financial integrity and reliability 
Reference check Common Offers valuable insights into the candidate's work ethic, interpersonal skills, and suitability for the job position
Social media screening Less common While social media screening can provide additional insights into a candidate's behavior and professional conduct, its use is less prevalent compared to traditional background checks

Background check mistakes to avoid in Czech Republic

Whether you’re hiring employees or contractors in Czech Republic, there are a few things you shouldn’t do as an employer when it comes to background checks:

  • Obtaining consent: Always secure explicit consent from candidates before starting background checks to respect their privacy and comply with legal requirements
  • Adhering to legal guidelines: Ensure the checks performed are within legal boundaries and non-discriminatory to maintain ethical hiring practices
  • Data protection compliance: Follow GDPR and Czech data protection laws closely to protect candidate information throughout the background check process
  • Direct verification: Aim to verify information directly from the source, like educational institutions or previous employers, for accuracy

Step-by-step guide to employee background checks in Czech Republic

Employers looking to hire in the Czech Republic should follow the list of steps below to ensure legal and effective and thorough employee background checks.

  1. Obtain candidate consent: The first step is always to inform the candidate and obtain written consent for the background check
  2. Verify Identity and legal working status: Use official documents to confirm the candidate's identity and eligibility to work in the Czech Republic
  3. Check educational background: Contact educational institutions directly to verify degrees and certifications
  4. Check employment history: Reach out to previous employers to confirm positions held and durations of employment
  5. Check criminal record: Conduct a criminal record check through the Czech Republic’s Criminal Register, ensuring you have explicit consent
  6. Check references: Contact provided references to gain insights into the candidate’s abilities and work ethic
  7. Screen social media: With consent, review publicly available social media profiles for any red flags
  8. Check credit history: For financial positions, a credit history check might be relevant, again ensuring consent is obtained
  9. Document the process: Keep the records of the background check process, including the candidate's consent, the information gathered, and the justification for processing the data.
  10. Decision making: Use the information from the employee screening to make an informed hiring decision. Make sure that the process is fair, transparent, and compliant with data protection laws.
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