Czech Republic: Short-time working initiative to tackle impact of Russian sanctions

Social partners have agreed to introduce short-time working to tackle problems caused by Russia’s decision to ban imports from the European Union.

At a meeting on 18 August 2014, the Czech government announced that it had agreed with social partners on introducing so-called ‘kurzarbeit’ to deal with the impact of the Russian sanctions which have hit trade.

Kurzarbeit or short-time working could be introduced from 1 January 2015.

Employees would not be expected to work, but would still receive 90% of their normal salary. Only 60% would come from their employer with the additional 30% coming from the government.

The proposal is supported by both employers and trade unions.

Experts agree that a properly crafted short-time working proposal would benefit the economy. They say it is better for employers not to have to dismiss employees and then be faced with having to hire and train new ones when prospects improve.

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