The Chamber of Deputies has voted to return pay for the first three days of
illness to Czech employees from July of next year. In their first session
following a seasonal break, MPs overruled a Senate veto of a bill to that
effect, which was tabled by the Social Democrats.
Senators argued that the current legislation – under which the first three days are unpaid – keeps the sickness rate down. However, the minister of labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová of the Social Democrats, said employees should not be punished for being unwell.
The Prague authorities will begin repairs of the city’s Libeň Bridge
this year, deputy mayor Adam Scheinherr said on Tuesday. Initial work will
focus on parts of the road bridge that are not directly connected to
The renovation work will be carried out according to a plan due for publication by the Czech Technical University by the end of March.
Libeň Bridge, which was built in the late 1920s, is in a hazardous state. There was talk in the past of demolishing it completely.
The Constitutional Court has refused to hear a complaint taken by a former
police officer who was dismissed after learning that he had contracted HIV.
Judges said that the petition was premature and that the police president
would first have to address the issue of possible discrimination.
When his employers learned that the officer was HIV positive they had him undergo a medical examination. The doctor concluded he was unfit to continue serving and he was let go in 2011.
The Prague 7 District Court ruled last year that the sacking was lawful as the policeman was incapable of doing his job.
Ondřej Trojan’s Toman has received the most nominations, with 13, for
this year’s Czech Lion film awards. The Hastrman, directed by Ondřej
Havelka, has 10 nominations, as does Winter Flies by Olmo Omerzu. Jan
Palach by Robert Sedláček is in the running in eight categories.
The Czech Lions are voted on by members of the Czech Film and Television Academy. The winners will be announced in Prague on March 23.
Petra Kvitová has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The
Czech women’s tennis number one overcame Australia’s Ashleigh Barty 6-1
6-4 in 70 minutes on Tuesday to continue a very impressive run at the first
Grand Slam tournament of the season. Kvitová has not dropped a single set
on her route to the last four in Melbourne.
In the women’s doubles, Barbora Strýcová and Markéta Vondroušová have also reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Another Czech pair, Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková, exited at the quarter-final stage.
Smog regulations are now in force in the Zlín, Olomouc and Moravia-Silesia
regions which are suffering from severe air pollution. The situation is
reported to be worst in Ostrava, Karviná and parts of Frýdek-Místek
where levels of dust particles are three times higher than limits allow.
Children, older people and people with chronic health problems have been advised to stay indoors. Air pollution has long been a serious problem in the region due to heavy industry, traffic and coal heating.
Former German president Joachim Gauck has been awarded the Charles IV
Prize, a distinction bestowed by the city of Prague and Charles University
to persons known for their outstanding contribution to culture, politics or
economics. The former German president received the award for his
contribution to Czech-German relations and his commitment to defending
In his speech at the award ceremony at Charles University Gauck emphasised the importance of the EU as a community defending the values of freedom, democracy and rule of law.
Previous recipients of the award include leading personalities in the fields of philosophy, music and medicine such as Paul Ricoeur, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, John Foxton Ross Kerr, and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.
The Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute has issued a frost warning for the
coming 48 hours. Day temperatures will remain well below freezing point and
night time lows can drop to – 20 degrees in places.
Children, older people and people with chronic illnesses have been advised to keep their outdoor activities to a minimum and layer their clothing.