Although work ethics in the Czech Republic has improved in recent years, a survey just out indicates that employees spend an hour a day –on average – on social networks, dealing with their private mail or chatting on the phone. According to estimates this amounts to around 33,000 crowns a year in lost productivity per employee.
One of the biggest professional organisations representing judges has given broad backing to a proposed pay settlement with the government. The union of judges, which represents around half of Czech judges, said on Thursday that it would support a deal over back pay with the government. Under the deal the state will find around 1.2 billion crowns to partially compensate judges for insufficient pay over three years. But representatives of the organization stressed that it was really up to judges themselves whether to accept the offer or fight on. The settlement became necessary when a court rules in favour of protesting judges that the wrong calculations had been used to set their pay in the past.
A new poll by STEM/MARK suggests that only a third of Czechs who come down with the flu go to their doctor while 28 percent do not take time off but continue to work. According to the survey, those who do not opt for rest, do so to avoid a drop in their monthly salary. Two out of five of those who come down with the flu take official sick leave, while 17 percent make use of holiday days instead, not going to see their doctor. More than half of those asked said they did not think flu vaccines were effective.
A report is heading towards the government which presents a gloomy picture of the country’s success over the last five years in trying to lift its worst off and most isolated members of society out of the plight they are in. These are often a mixture of inadequate education, bleak job prospects, and poor living conditions and housing. For the Roma minority, who are often among what is termed the socially excluded, there is also the added element of discrimination.
Czech unemployment climbed in January to 7.7 percent, up from December’s 7.5 percent, according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Services on Monday. The downturn was expected at the start of the year with the traditional fall off in jobs in the construction sector delayed by warmer than usual weather in December. Year on year, the latest jobless total of 556,191 is still an improvement on the almost 630,000 without work at the start of 2014.
The Justice Ministry is preparing an amendment to the civil code which would enable 15-year-olds to start work without their parents’ consent, the internet daily novinky.cz reports. Under the present legislation teenagers need parental consent to start work up until the age of 16 and only come of age when they are 18-years-old. The amendment is to allow those who finish primary school at the age of 15 to decide about their own future.
The government is involved in a wrangle with the country’s judges and state attorneys after a court ruled that they were due years of back-pay due to a miscalculation of their salary levels. The payout would punch a sizable hole in the state coffers – and the government now wants the Constitutional Court to consider the matter.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that the government does not want to pay an estimated 1.7 billion crowns in back pay to judges and other civil servants. He has said that he hopes the Constitution Court will take up the case. The claimed back pay results from a decision in January by the Supreme Court which found that payments had not been calculated on the right basis since 2002. Reopening the case depends in part on an appeal by the Brno court where the case was first heard but its head says that he is in favour of the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Czech national carrier Czech Airlines has lowered their staff's salaries by around 40 percent as of Sunday, introducing new cost-saving measures. According to the Czech Airline unions, the drop in wages is higher than it was previously agreed. The airline in October agreed on a wage cut of around a third and 180 redundancies. The trade unions representing the company's pilots and stewards have already filed a complaint over the new collective agreement and are considering the option to strike.
In Business News this week: Study suggests grey economy equal to 15 percent of GDP; meat production up after over decade of decline; personnel agencies warn of huge shortfall in some specialists; VAT rise on cigarettes to kick in next month; and smart phones pass out classic mobiles on Czech market.
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