The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is preparing a proposal for scrapping the second pillar of the pension system, introduced by the former center-right cabinet of prime minister Petr Nečas, which would cushion the impact on those affected by the move. Under the proposal, people who joined the second pillar would be allowed to transfer not only the money they invested but would get to keep the state’s contribution to their social security insurance as well. The government has yet to decide on when the second pillar will be scrapped. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka favours January 2016 but Finance Minister Andrej Babiš’ ANO party is advising caution for fear that the move could spark a wave of legal complaints both from clients and financial institutions.
The Czech government has outlined the core parametres of its kurzarbeit plan, aimed at helping firms and employees hit hard, for example, by EU-Russian sanctions or by a natural disaster. Under the plan, employees in times of difficulty could receive 70 percent of their regular wages, with 20 percent being paid from the state budget and 50 percent being paid by the employer. Each application by companies would be assessed and approved by the cabinet.
The World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Equality report which reflects the changing patterns of gender equality around the world has seen the Czech Republic slip to 96th place on a ladder of 142 countries. Its present ranking, below countries such as Russia and Uganda, has raised concern and highlighted the fact that progress on gender equality issues has be slow and inadequate. I asked Nina Bosničová of Gender Studies to outline the major problems.
Several hundred flight attendants at the Czech national carrier, Czech Airlines, were expected to strike next Thursday in protest over extensive layoffs and wage cuts. That was averted when on Friday afternoon the company announced it and had reached a deal with trade unions, saying fewer employees would be let go.
Trade unions at the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines have cancelled plans to go on strike next Thursday over lay-offs and salary cuts. The decision came after the firm's management promised on Friday to “limit the impact” of the restructuring. Earlier this week, the troubled firm announced salary cuts and massive layoffs; some 170 of the airline’s 400 cabin crew members are set to lose their jobs under the plan. However, the agreement will not affect the basic features of the plan, Václav Řehoř, the head of Czech Airlines’ mother company, Czech Aeroholding, said.
The troubled national carrier Czech Airlines is looking to drastically lower monthly salaries from the start of next year. According to the daily Lidové noviny, experienced captains with long tenure will be the hardest hit, seeing a drop in wages of up to 30 percent. Younger pilots could see wages drop by one-fifth, at least as evidenced by a wage schedule provided by the company to labour unions.
Health workers will receive a pay rise in January not at the same time as other state employees at the start of November, says Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. In an interview for Czech Television on Tuesday evening, he said this was because medics’ salaries were not financed directly from the state budget. State employees will get a 3.5 percent pay rise next month, while some – including police and fire officers – will get a second rise in January to give them a total of 5 percent more than they are now receiving.
The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has drafted a bill which would allow thousands of miners to go into early retirement, thereby easing the social impact of the planned closure of the Paskov black-coal mine in north Moravia. The gradual phase-out of the coal mine and its eventual closure is expected to place a heavy social burden on a region where unemployment is traditionally high.
For two years now the Salvation Army has been operating a project unique in the Czech Republic –a farm that gives close to two dozen unemployed people work satisfaction and a sense of belonging. The farm in Strahovice, close to the Czech-Polish border, is in a region where unemployment is traditionally high and for many it presents a stepping stone on the way back to a normal life. I asked Pavla Vopelaková of the Czech Salvation Army how the idea of running a farm emerged.
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Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’