In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic the economy of the Czech Republic is set for the world’s fifth largest downturn this year, according to a report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Only the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France will be harder hit in 2020, the OECD expects.
The coronavirus crisis could lead to unemployment of up to 10 percent in the Czech Republic, the minister of labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová, told Monday’s edition of Hospodářské noviny. In anticipation of a wave of layoffs, her department is preparing changes to help fresh job seekers re-enter the labour market.
The Czech state looks set to waive social security contributions from companies with 50 or fewer employees between June and August – on condition that they don’t let more than 10 percent of staff go, or cut wages by 10 percent or more of March levels. The measure has been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and must now go to the Senate.
A variety of public and private projects have sprung up in order to help the Czech book market, heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, get back on its feet. Among them is an initiative to get the public to support their favourite small bookstores through purchases and monthly stipends for authors.