Wednesday, 19 September 2018

MfD: Czechs' part-time work on increase, but still low in EU

25 September 2017

Prague, Sept 22 (CTK) - The number of Czechs working part-time is on the rise, but the current share of 5.7 percent is one of the lowest in Europe, while the EU average is 19.5 percent, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Friday.

In the EU, the Czech Republic ranks fourth from the bottom in the share of people employed part-time, followed by Croatia (5.6 percent), Hungary (4.8 percent) and Bulgaria (2 percent).

"Some companies accommodate to mothers with children when they open special workplaces in manufacturing with adjusted working hours, so that they are able to take children to a nursery or school and pick them up in the afternoon," said Jiri Halbrstat, marketing and recruitment manager of the Manpower agency.

Other companies have created adaptation programmes for the parents of small children, which include part-time jobs, MfD writes.

However, the offer of such jobs is often limited to servicing and administrative positions. Some manufacturing businesses are limited by the nature of their operation in shifts, especially those in the textile industry, the Czech Confederation of Industry's research commissioned by the daily has confirmed.

In spite of the current economic boom and the low unemployment rate, employers do not seem to be competing with each other in order to employ women with children, economist Klara Kaliskova told the daily.

Kaliskova, a co-author of the family policy concept proposed by Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD)said the state should support the creation of part-time and flexible-time jobs.

The ministry's concept proposed measures such as a 5.5-percent lower social insurance for employers providing part-time jobs, the enactment of work positions sharing and work for the unemployed who should help in households in exchange for subsidised meal vouchers covered by labour offices.

None of these, however, were pushed through. The concept was facing criticism from the start as "a random mixture of superficially appealing measures," MfD writes.

The ministry did not try to push through any of the measures individually and it diverted its focus to financial support for preschool children's groups instead.

Currently, the labour offices may pay contributions to employers for newly created jobs in the Czech Republic. The contribution is higher if a job is shared by two employees and its amount varies with different regions, MfD writes.

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