Czech Republic: Recent Developments in Work Organisation in the EU 27 Member States and Norway

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Work organisation,
  • Working conditions,
  • Published on: 24 Listopad 2011



About
Country:
Czechia
Author:
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Work organisation is an issue which has not been covered in the national research very much and existing findings are fragmentary. Various aspects of work organisation differ, depending on the job position and sectors. Team work, autonomy of work, decision latitude are greater in tertiary sectors while in industry hierarchical management style prevails. Generally, work organisation is understood as being part of the corporate culture. Neither state nor social partners aim to promote new forms of work organisation and tackle the issue mainly with respect to labour law provisions.

Block 1: Existing main sources of information dealing with the issue of work organisation at national level and its relation with working conditions, innovation and productivity

  • Are there national statistical sources (censuses, special surveys, other surveys, etc) that analyse the issue of work organisation or are used for analysing the issue of work organisation in your country? If so, identify them and explain the way work organisation types are defined and asked in these surveys.

In the Czech Republic no research on work organisation of sociological nature focusing purely on this phenomenon has been carried out. Questions on some aspects of work organisation were included in various surveys listed in table 1. Nevertheless, very few questions were asked on the work organisation in terms of style of leadership, autonomy of workers or teamwork. Work organisation was approached mainly as decision latitude about working time arrangements. The existing findings on development of work organisation are therefore very fragmentary.

No survey – with the exception of Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Work orientations – has been carried out longitudinally. Further limitation of national data is that no survey has been carried out recently. Therefore it is not possible to trace changes in the work organisation during the crisis and it is difficult to identify the most dynamic sector in terms of work organisation. The most comprehensive source of information with regard work organisation is European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS).

Table 1: List of national surveys containing information about work organisation

Survey / Project, year

Institution

Financing

Methodology

Scope of the survey, definition of work organisation

Relevant questions

Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time, ad hoc module of Labour Force Survey

2005, (planned for 2015)

Czech Statistical Office (CZSO)

State

Representative survey; surveyed population: economically active persons 15+

Mainly working time arrangements

Employees asked on overtime, shifts, variable working hours

Self-employed asked on determination of work methods and schedule, work for single customer

Labour Force Survey

Quarterly

CZSO

State

Representative survey; surveyed population: economically active persons 15+

Employment and unemployment, no definition of work organisation

Working hours, part-time work, work in atypical hours, life-long learning

The context of changes in the labour market and forms of private, family and partner life in Czech society 2005

Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic (MoLSA)

Representative survey; surveyed population: employed persons aged 25-54 years; based on quota sampling; N=5,510

Work-life balance, work and working conditions, various aspects of private life

Working time (hours, working time arrangements, overtime, business trips), place of work, help from colleagues, relationships with superior, possibility to take a brake when needed, possibility to choose taking leave

International Social Survey Programme „Work orientations“

1997, 2005

Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Czech Science Foundation (GA ČR)

Representative survey, surveyed population: population 18+

General attitudes to work and leisure time, work organisation and working conditions

Autonomy in work organisation, possibility to choose working time, relationships with colleagues and superiors, place of work

Measuring the quality of working life (MQWL)

2004

Research Institute For Labour And Social Affairs (RILSA),

MoLSA

Representative survey; surveyed population: employees aged 15-69 years, in their current job at lest 3 months; based on quota sampling; N=2,007

Working conditions, work organization, work environment

Wide range of questions on work organisation, among others: amount of work; distribution of work; possibility to choose speed, rate and methods of work; possibility to influence working time arrangements; team work; relationships with colleagues and superiors

Source: Author

  • Are there any other main sources of information published after mid-2000s that may provide valuable information on the issue (i.e. ad-hoc studies, sectoral studies, administrative reports, articles, published case studies, etc). If so, identify them.

Very little attention has been paid to work organisation in the Czech research. The most comprehensive publications with regard to this issues are Czech contributions for EWCO, e.g. survey data report Quality of working life in the Czech Republic (2005), Teamwork and its contribution to High Performance Workplace Organisation (2007) or Working time in the European Union: Czech Republic (2009). Various publications concentrating mainly on work-life balance dealt with working time arrangements (e.g. publications based on survey The context of changes in the labour market and forms of private, family and partner life in Czech society or Family needs of employees published by Research Institute For Labour And Social Affairs (RILSA) in 2009).

  • Have there been any innovations introduced/expected in the existing national statistical sources intended to take into account the issue of work organisation in your country?

N/A.

Block 2: Identify existing patterns of work organisation at national level and recent evolution in time

  • Describe existing patterns of work organisation at national aggregated level (according to existing used national definitions) and their associated characteristics per pattern, based on the existing information. Provide information on the (quantitative and qualitative) importance of the different forms of these work organisations in the national context. In order to to reflect the workplace practices, NCs are also requested to provide information on different work organisation-related-items, based on the national Working Conditions surveys that stress the main changes that have taken place in the last 5-7 years (i.e. higher/lower presence of team work; higher/lower presence of autonomy at work; higher/lower presence of job rotation; higher/lower assistance from colleagues or hierarchy; higher/lower task complexity; higher/lower degree of learning, higher/lower problem solving capacity, etc), stressing existing differences by sectors and enterprise sizes, and identifying the main reasons behind these changes.

  • Identify (if possible), the recent evolution in time of work organisation patterns in your country (last 5-7 years). Pay special attention to the effects derived from the current economic crisis.

  • Identify existing differences in work organisation patterns accordingly to sector and company size considerations, as well as (if possible) recent changes in these patterns.

Teamwork

Team work is still being a new phenomenon in the CZ, without sufficient knowledge about it. Ability to work in a team often appears among prerequisites in job advertisements. The term is often understood too broadly – in fact, as any form of cooperation (Vašková, Kroupa, Dokulilová 2007). According to EWCS, the proportion of Czechs who work in the team is slightly above average EU27. In 2010, 76.7% of Czechs did work in a group or team that has common tasks and can plan its work compared to 73.7% in EU27.

Table 2: Team work, 2000, 2005, 2010
  Proportion of workers whose job involves doing all or part of the work in a team Proportion of workers who work in a group or team that has common tasks and can plan its work
  2000  2005  2010
Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
CZ

61.6

60.2

61.0

62.2

53.5

58.4

76.4

77.2

76.7

EU15

57.3

54.6

56.2

56.8

51.8

54.6

70.1

74.1

71.9

EU27

58.3

54.3

56.5

57.4

52.4

55.2

71.8

76.2

73.7

Source: Eurofound, European working conditions survey 2000, 2005, 2010

According to the survey “ Measuring the quality of working life” (MQWL) from 2004, more than half of Czech employees stated that team work is encouraged and recognized in their organisation, almost one third of workers agreed with the statement that team work is rewarded (see tab. 3).

Table 3: Team work of employees, in % (2004)
Team work and co-operation in our company/ organisation is: Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly diagree Don’t know, does not apply
Encouraged

14.4

38.0

28.4

6.6

2.2

10.4

Recognised

14.7

35.0

30.3

7.6

2.6

9.7

Rewarded

9.5

23.7

35.9

13.0

7.3

10.6

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Team work is encouraged, recognized and rewarded the most in financial intermediation and also in construction; on the other hand team work is significantly less appreciated in industry. Middle-sized companies encourage, recognise and reward team work significantly less than small and large companies.

Table 4: Team work of employees by sector and company size, in % (2004)
% of workers who stronlgy agree or agree with the statement, that team work and co-operation in our company/organisation is
  Encouraged Recognised Rewarded
Total

52.4

49.7

33.2

Sector:
Agriculture and forestry

51.4

51.5

33.0

Industry

46.6*

44.8*

32.6

Construction

59.8*

55.5

40.2*

Transport, communications

49.7

46.6

24.8*

Commerce, services

52.5

48.1

32.3

Financial intermediation

70.6*

63.8*

53.4*

Public administration

62.1*

56.9

33.6

Health and social work

48.0

51.2

28.0

Education, science, sport, culture

53.1

51.0

31.3

Army, police

71.5

76.0*

52.4

Company size:
1-49 employees

53.9

51.4

34.8

50-249 employees

48.8*

45.7*

29.6*

250+ employees

55.0

51.5

33.0

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Note: Table cells with an asterisk (*) denote areas where statistically significantly higher or lower rates have been identified compared with the expected rates.

Autonomy at work

The results of EWCS show that the level of Czech workers’ autonomy is growing. While in 2005 the proportion of Czech workers who were able to choose or change their order of tasks, methods of work and speed of work was below the EU-27 average, in 2010 exceeded the EU-27 average in two measured aspects.

Table 5: Decision latitude (in %), 2000, 2005
Proportion of workers who are able to choose or change their:   2000  2005  2010
Male Female Male Female Total Total Male Female Total
Order of tasks CZ

62.7

63.6

63.1

58.1

59.2

58.6

68.6

66.9

67.9

EU15

64.1

65.3

64.6

63.6

64.5

64.0

65.6

67.8

66.6

EU27

62.9

64.4

63.6

62.7

64.1

63.4

63.6

63.4

66.0

Methods of work CZ

73.1

68.2

71.0

55.4

57.7

56.4

60.7

60.6

60.7

EU15

70.2

71.5

70.7

68.4

68.1

68.2

68.8

67.9

68.4

EU27

68.6

69.2

68.8

67.2

66.7

66.9

67.7

66.8

67.3

Speed of work CZ

77.2

74.1

75.8

58.5

62.0

60.0

78.1

75.8

78.2

EU15

70.9

69.7

70.4

69.0

68.8

68.9

68.9

69.2

69.0

EU27

71.2

70.1

70.7

69.1

69.3

69.2

69.7

70.0

69.8

Source: Eurofound, European working conditions survey 2000, 2005, 2010

According to MQWL from 2004, Czech workers have the greatest autonomy in choosing their speed or rate of work. Previous data analysis (Vašková, Kroupa 2005) shows that autonomy of work differs, depending on the job position. Whereas autonomy is higher among highly-qualified workers, blue-collar professions (particularly plant and machine operators) do not have many opportunities for making their own decisions. Greater autonomy of workers more often occur in companies with foreign ownership. Czech companies still keep learning new forms of management styles.

Table 6: Decision latitude (in %), 2004
Can you in your employment choose or change: Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly diagree
Order of tasks

15.2

31.6

13.7

22.4

15.5

Methods of work

14.8

31.3

17.0

22.0

13.4

Speed or rate of work

15.0

34.8

21.2

19.1

8.6

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Note: Responses in the category ‘Don’t know, does not apply’ brought the figures up to 100%

Financial intermediation, education and public administration are sectors where workers have significantly higher autonomy in measured aspects than in the other sectors. Industry and transport are sectors which offer the least autonomy. Data also shows that employee autonomy is the greatest in small companies. Nevertheless, this finding might be biased by the fact that majority of big companies from the sample were active in industry: big companies in industry or transport give workers significantly more autonomy than SMEs in these sectors. The autonomy is greater in SMEs in case of commerce and services and education compared to large companies.

Table 7: Autonomy of employees by sector and company size, in % (2004)
% of workers who stronlgy agree or agree with the statement, that they can choose or change in their employment:
  Order of tasks Methods of work Speed or rate of work
Total

46.9

46.1

49.8

Sector:
Agriculture and forestry

54.4

47.6

55.3

Industry

39.1*

38.7*

46.0

Construction

40.2

42.9

44.4

Transport, communications

31.6*

37.6*

39.1*

Commerce, services

47.0

44.9

48.2

Financial intermediation

75.9*

56.9

63.8*

Public administration

57.8*

45.7

55.2

Health and social work

51.2

48.8

57.4

Education, science, sport, culture

57.3*

70.8*

59.9*

Army, police

71.4*

57.1

52.4

Company size:
1-49 employees

49.1*

48.7*

51.1

50-249 employees

44.3

43.6

50.3

250+ employees

44.3

41.4

46.3

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Note: Table cells with an asterisk (*) denote areas where statistically significantly higher or lower rates have been identified compared with the expected rates.

Communication and consultation

Results from MQWL (2004) indicate that the superior’s role and hierarchical management style are still wide-spread in the CZ. ‘Top-down’ lines of communication dominate, i.e. management is based on issuing orders. Even if almost 70% of respondents stated that they can turn to their supervisor at any time and almost 60% agreed with the statement that their supervisor supports open communication, only 38.5% admitted that differences of opinion are welcome and 37.1% agreed that managers understand problems employees face on the job. More open communication more often occur in companies with foreign ownership. (Vašková, Kroupa 2005)

Table 8: Communication and consultation (in %), 2004
  Strongly agree, agree Neutral Disagree, strongly disagree
I can turn to my supervisor at any time if I need something

69.4

19.9

8.6

I regularly receive feedback about the quality of my work

59.5

24.4

13.1

My supervisor supports open communication with staff

59.2

25.1

12.0

Employees are kept well informed about events that concern them

57.8

25.5

13.4

Differences of opinion are welcome and openly discussed in our department

38.5

35.3

20.1

There is sufficient contact between managers and employees in our company

38.4

28.0

23.0

Managers in our company understand the problems that employees face on the job

37.1

29.1

24.6

Source: MQWL 2004, according to Vašková, Kroupa 2005

Note: Responses in the category ‘Don’t know, does not apply’ brought the figures up to 100%

Looking at communication and consultation in various sectors, significant differences were found. Workers in industry were the least satisfied with communication with management, employees in transport agreed significantly less with the statement that “differences of opinion are welcome and discussed” and sector health and social work seems to be problematic in the aspects of “sufficient contacts between managers and employees” and “managers’ understanding of problems of employees”. Education and science, public administration and financial intermediation were identified as sectors with the most developed communication channels between managers and employees.

Workers in small companies stated more often that they have “sufficient contact with managers”, “managers understand their problems” and “differences in opinion are welcome”. “Lack of contact between managers and workers” and “lack of understanding” seem to be a problem in big companies. However, as it was already mentioned, this result might be biased by high representation of industrial enterprises in the group of big-size companies. Middle-sized companies appeared to be the worst in informing employees and keeping open communication between workers and supervisors.

Table 9: Communication and consultation by sector and company size (in %), 2004
% of workers who strongly agree or agree with the statement
  I can turn to supervisor at any time Regularly receive feedback Supervisor supports open communication Employees are well informed Differences of opinion are welcome and discussed Sufficient contact between managers and employees Managers understand problems of employees
Total

69.4

59.5

59.2

57.8

38.5

38.4

37.1

Sector
Agriculture and forestry

65.0

56.3

60.2

52.4

38.8

35.0

34.0

Industry

69.9

61.9

53.0*

52.7*

30.5*

31.4*

32.0*

Construction

67.2

64.0

62.4

56.6

42.3

33.9

41.3

Transport, communications

73.7

57.1

59.4

59.4

27.8*

30.8

29.3

Commerce, services

68.0

56.0

60.6

58.8

40.1

42.7*

38.3

Financial intermediation

74.1

69.0

58.6

63.8

46.6

62.1*

58.6*

Public administration

70.7

63.8

64.7

64.7

47.4*

48.3*

37.1

Health and social work

64.3

55.8

54.3

50.4

38.8

29.5*

26.4*

Education, science, sport, culture

74.0

60.9

69.3*

69.8*

49.0

49.0*

46.9*

Army, police

85.7

71.4

76.2

85.7*

47.6

38.1

61.9*

Company size
1-49 employees

69.9

58.1

60.9

59.5

41.6*

42.3*

40.2*

50-249 employees

66.8

58.9

54.7*

52.8*

33.0*

34.2*

35.1

250+ employees

71.8

63.8

58.9

57.9

35.6

30.4*

29.1*

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Note: Table cells with an asterisk (*) denote areas where statistically significantly higher or lower rates have been identified compared with the expected rates.

Working time

  • of Czech employees are not independent in adjusting their working hours to their needs. Only one fourth of Czech workers have a possibility to influence allocation of their working time. This option is limited especially for blue-collar workers in industry. The greatest decision latitude exists in financial intermediation and public administration. In small enterprises the workers can organise their working time more often than in bigger companies.

Table 10: Decision latitude about working time by sector and company size, in % (2004)
Q: I have a possibility to influence allocation of my working time (arrivals, departures, brakes, taking leave)
  Strongly agree, agree Neutral Disagree, strongly disagree
Total

23.7

18.2

48.0

Sector
Agriculture and forestry

41.7*

18.4

38.8

Industry

24.7*

16.5

56.4*

Construction

37.0

22.2

39.7*

Transport, communications

27.8

15.0

54.9

Commerce, services

33.6

16.5

48.6

Financial intermediation

53.4*

25.9

20.7*

Public administration

42.2*

21.6

35.3*

Health and social work

28.7

18.6

52.7

Education, science, sport, culture

29.7

18.2

52.1

Army, police

57.1*

19.0

23.8*

Company size
1-49 employees

35.9*

18.9

44.0*

50-249 employees

31.1

17.5

50.7

250+ employees

23.6*

17.2

57.6*

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Note: Table cells with an asterisk (*) denote areas where statistically significantly higher or lower rates have been identified compared with the expected rates.

Responses in the category ‘Don’t know, does not apply’ brought the figures up to 100%

Selected organisational aspects

Vašková and Kroupa (2005) identified on the basis of MQWL six factors of work organisation which influence the quality and job performance: sufficient workers to handle the workload, clear definitions of the work to be performed, sufficient time allowed to perform the assignment well, provision of adequate information, access to necessary equipment and facilities, and an overall working environment which does not obstruct work performance.

The two most problematic organisational aspects seem to be sufficient time for work performance and sufficient number of workers with respect to the workload. Differences identified between sectors and various size companies were mostly not found to be statistically significant. The bigger the company is the more often respondents declared that there is sufficient labour on the workplace to handle the workload. At the same time, time pressure grows with the size of company.

Table 11: Organisational factors required for high quality employee work performance by sector and company size, in % (2004)
  % of workers who stronlgy agree or agree with the statement, that they have in their employment:
  Sufficient workers Clearly defined tasks Sufficient time Sufficient information Necessary equipment/ facilities Appropriate environment
Total

59.2

81.4

59.0

75.6

79.4

63.5

Sector
Agriculture and forestry

44.7*

80.6

53.4

73.8

77.7

53.4*

Industry

62.7

81.1

56.6

75.8

87.2

57.8*

Construction

54.0

77.2

54.5

73.0

83.6

58.7

Transport, communications

51.9

81.2

52.6

75.9

78.2

62.4

Commerce, services

57.9

79.5

58.8

74.3

77.8

65.4

Financial intermediation

70.7

77.6

53.4

74.1

84.5

74.1

Public administration

69.0*

86.2

62.1

78.1

85.3

67.2

Health and social work

58.1

87.6

65.1

76.0

81.4

71.3

Education, science, sport, culture

64.1

89.6*

71.9*

81.8

78.1

72.4*

Army, police

66.7

85.7

81.0*

81.0

85.7

81.0

Company size
1-49 employees

57.6

79.7

60.9*

75.0

79.6

63.7

50-249 employees

59.9

83.5

57.6

76.0

82.9

65.1

250+ employees

64.7*

82.8

55.3

75.4

86.9

61.5

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

Note: Table cells with an asterisk (*) denote areas where statistically significantly higher or lower rates have been identified compared with the expected rates.

Problem solving capacity, task complexity

EWCS allows assessing development of further organisational aspects. Between 2000 and 2010 the increase in the percentage of workers whose job includes complex tasks is apparent. Proportion of those whose job involves solving unforeseen problems on own stays stable. Men’s job is often more comprehensive and creative, while women’s perform more monotonous tasks. These differences are diminishing but still prevailing (see tab. 12).

Table 12: Cognitive demands at work (in %), 2000, 2005, 2010
Proportion of workers whose job involve:   2000  2005  2010 
Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
Learning new things CZ

81.4

73.9

78.2

70.8

70.1

70.5

65.7

69.3

67.2

EU15

72.2

69.9

71.2

71.3

68.9

70.2

69.7

68.0

68.9

EU27

71.1

68.2

69.9

70.2

67.8

69.1

69.9

66.9

68.0

Complex tasks CZ

64.8

41.8

54.8

69.5

65.3

67.7

72.5

65.7

69.6

EU15

61.0

49.9

56.2

64.1

52.6

59.0

62.7

50.9

57.3

EU27

60.8

49.8

56.0

64.2

53.4

59.4

62.5

51.8

57.7

Assessing the quality of own work CZ

69.4

62.7

66.5

76.6

70.2

73.9

71.4

69.9

70.7

EU15

78.1

71.4

75.3

74.5

70.9

72.9

75.4

72.2

74.0

EU27

75.9

70.1

73.4

73.3

69.8

71.8

74.1

71.3

72.8

Solving unforeseen problems on own CZ

88.7

75.0

82.8

82.3

77.2

80.1

86.4

79.4

83.4

EU15

85.6

78.8

82.7

83.8

78.3

81.4

85.4

79.9

82.9

EU27

84.9

77.7

81.8

83.5

77.5

80.8

84.8

79.3

82.3

Source: Eurofound, European Working Conditions Survey 2000, 2005, 2010

  • Identify work organisation patterns associated with high performance working environments/enterprises.

There are no data/ studies to answer this question.

  • Identify the main drivers for change or barriers to change underpinning these recent developments in work organisation in the country, paying special attention to the effects derived from the current economic crisis.

In the past, undoubtedly the greatest impact on the change of organization of work has been in the opening of the market to companies with foreign ownership which have been importing a different organizational culture and methods of management to the CZ.

There are no data/ studies giving evidence about the change of work organisation during the crisis. Due to the lack of work, dismissals took place, partial unemployment was applied and working hours decreased . Employers tried to cut labour costs and limited work in the times which entitle employees to special pay (e.g. night, weekends). The proportion of workers working in unsocial hours was on the minimum in 2009 (tab. 13).

Table 13: Diffusion of work at unsocial hours, in % (2006-2010)
Q: “Did you work in the last four weeks in your main job in the evening/ at night/ on Saturday/ Sunday?”
  2006 2007 2008 2009 IIQ/2010
Evening work

41.2

35.2

34.6

31.9

31.5

Night work

20.7

18.7

17.9

16.0

16.2

Saturday work

45.6

41.7

40.8

37.6

38.6

Sunday work

31.3

27.3

26.4

24.4

24.9

Source: CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2006-2010

  • Partners are requested to identify one/the most dynamic national economic sector in terms of work organisation changes and for whom information is available. For this selected economic sector, NCs are requested to provide information on existing predominant work organisation patterns in this sector, as well as recent trends and changes in the last 5-7 years and reasons behind these changes. Also, and in the case the selected economic sector is a non-tertiary one, NCs are requested to provide some general information on recent trends and changes in work organisation patterns in the last 5-7 years and reasons behind these changes in any tertiary sector selected by each NC (i.e. consultancy services, HORECA, consultancy services, call centres, etc).

There are no sufficient data to identify the most dynamic sector and sectoral studies in order to describe work organisation changes.

Block 3: Associated effects of identified different forms of work organisation and work organisation-related items on working conditions

  • Identify associated effects of different existing patterns of work organisation and work organisation-related items on working conditions (i.e. training, skills and employability; health, safety and well-being; working time and work-life balance). Particular elements to be analysed may include stress, job satisfaction, work life balance, workloads and learning

On the basis of available sources it is not possible to say which associated effects are dependent on work organisation patters. Nevertheless, MQWL (2004) shows that job satisfaction is significantly higher in case a team work is encouraged, autonomy at work is present, there is a good communication between workers and management, workers can influence allocation of their working time and there are sufficient workers and time to perform tasks well (tab. 14).

Table 14: Job satisfaction by different organisational aspects, in % (2004)
    Overall job satisfaction
    Very satisfied, satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied, very dissatisfied
Team work is encouraged Strongly agree, agree

84.6

11.1

4.4

Neutral

53.7

30.1

16.2

Disagree, strongly disagree

27.3

31.1

41.6

Can choose or change order of tasks Strongly agree, agree

79.8

12.9

7.2

Neutral

57.6

27.6

14.8

Disagree, strongly disagree

59.0

24.8

16.2

Can choose or change methods of work Strongly agree, agree

81.2

12.3

6.4

Neutral

62.0

23.9

14.1

Disagree, strongly disagree

56.3

26.6

17.1

Can choose or change speed or rate of work Strongly agree, agree

79.5

13.3

7.2

Neutral

63.8

26.5

9.7

Disagree, strongly disagree

53.4

25.2

21.4

Supervisor supports open communication Strongly agree, agree

82.6

12.4

5.0

Neutral

55.8

32.3

12.0

Disagree, strongly disagree

27.1

29.3

43.6

Sufficient contact between managers and employees Strongly agree, agree

86.8

10.2

3.0

Neutral

68.5

23.2

8.3

Disagree, strongly disagree

37.7

30.0

32.3

Can influence allocation of working time Strongly agree, agree

81.6

12.5

5.9

Neutral

66.9

21.4

11.7

Disagree, strongly disagree

60.4

23.8

15.7

Sufficient workers to handle the workload Strongly agree, agree

79.4

15.4

5.2

Neutral

57.6

30.1

12.3

Disagree, strongly disagree

45.2

23.0

31.8

Sufficient time allowed to perform the assignment well Strongly agree, agree

80.0

14.4

5.6

Neutral

57.2

29.0

13.8

Disagree, strongly disagree

43.6

25.0

31.4

Source: Primary data MQWL 2004, N=2,007

  • Identify (possible) changes in working conditions associated to each work organisation pattern in the last 5-7 years, as well as the main reasons underpinning these changes

No data/ studies to answer this question.

  • Partners are requested to provide information focused on the existing relationship between predominant work organisation patterns and existing working conditions in the economic sector selected in previous section.

No data/ studies to answer this question.

Block 4: Social partners’ position with regard to the issue of work organisation patterns

  • Attitude/opinion of the social partners in your country on the importance of encouraging changes of work organisation in the economic tissue

  • Main elements identified by social partners and associated with forms of work organisation, which have an impact on the improvement of working conditions and performance.

  • Please distinguish (if possible) different views between trade unions and employers organisations.

  • In some countries, agreements have been signed between social partners or initiatives/programmes have been developed by employers and/or trade unions in order to support changes in work organisation for different reasons (e.g. facing the economic crisis, improvement of productivity/performance and/or working conditions). Please, describe one/two relevant agreements or initiatives with the aim of supporting changes in work organisation.

In order to map the positions of the social partners, representatives of two biggest social partner’s confederations – Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SP ČR) and the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS) - were contacted.

Organization of work in terms of style of leadership, autonomy of workers or teamwork, is perceived as being part of the corporate culture. The peak social partner organizations are thus dealing with this subject only marginally and consider them to be a matter of each particular company and of collective bargaining at the company level. Higher-level collective agreements do not govern work organization in this sense. Greater attention is paid to these subjects in big and international companies; SMEs resolve this issue mostly with individual employees separately. How often and in what manner these subjects appear in collective agreements is not known. In the RILSA’s expert opinion, it is rather exceptionally.

Nevertheless, for the social partners work organization is issue of priority in terms of working time arrangements, flexible forms of work and employee recruitment and dismissal. At the company level, the changes are driven by employers, the role of trade unions is predominantly in supervision over compliance with legal regulations (e.g. associated with extra pays, OHS) in such areas as arrangement of working hours, shift work, night work, overtime work and other atypical work.

The role of ČMKOS together with SP ČR consists primarily in protecting social partners’ interests in the labour-law making process, which is decisive for working conditions in CZ. Work organization is not a priority subject for social partners at this moment; impacts of crisis and ongoing government reforms have been topical issues in the last years.

As far as work organization is concerned, attitudes of social partners often contradict. ČMKOS is cautious about new forms of work, since they often lead to one-sided promotion of flexibility for employers’ advantage without corresponding security of employees. Trade unions thus do not rank among active spearheads for flexible forms of work or changes in work organization; emphasis is laid on employee protection. In reality it often means pushing for status quo and obstructing amendments to the Labour Code.

SP ČR admits that companies choose work organization primarily depending on costs and administrative burdens and pushes for changes in accordance with companies’ interest and increase of their competitiveness. SP ČR provides companies with legal information on possibilities of introduction and application of new forms of work. Nevertheless, the survey SP ČR carried out among its members implies that companies are not largely interested in flexible forms of work, because they represent an increase of costs. As far as amendments of the Labour Code are concerned, SP ČR promotes extension of probation period, reduction of the price for dismissing employees via reducing the notice period and reducing the severance pay or amendments which would simplify administration of the uneven distribution of working hours or accounts of working hours.

With regard to work organization, ČMKOS and SP ČR have not concluded any agreement. Nevertheless, concord can be found e.g. in pushing for re-introduction of temporary assignment of an employee to another employer or introduction of so called “Kurzarbeit” according to German practise. Both organizations unanimously also criticise the government, which within its policy of savings proposes changes that in reality would not increase flexibility, would not support changes in work organization and thus would not be helpful for employers, and at the same time they would reduce employee protection.

At the time of the crisis “partial unemployment” was introduced in many companies in the cases of lack of work. This was conditioned by agreements between the employers and the trade union organisations in the companies concerning reduced working hours and wage reduction. When parties had not reached agreement, the labour office made a decision. Therefore in the last two years this type of agreement occurred at the company level, having also an impact on work organization.

Commentary by the NC

NCs are requested to provide a very brief commentary on main obtained results

Work organisation is an issue which has not been covered in the national research and studies very much. Topics as team work, job rotation etc. are still being new phenomena in the Czech Republic, without sufficient knowledge about it. Lack of national data and sources is a main barrier for answering questions related to the crisis or to associated effects of new forms of work organisation. However, data from several surveys allow to obtain some information about key work organisation indicators, but this data refer to 6 years ago.

Despite the lack of research, changes in work organisation are apparent. Mainly middle and big-sized companies mostly from tertiary sector present their progresses in HR policies in contests as Employer of the year or Company of the year – Equal opportunities. The changes in work organisation often correspond to both companies’ and employees’ demands for learning and personal development, workers’ demands for better possibilities to reconcile work and family lives and realizing the importance of well-being at work. Companies with foreign ownership tend to be a step further than Czech companies which still keep learning new forms of management styles.

References

Vašková, R., Kroupa, A., Quality of working life in the Czech Republic, Dublin, Eurofound, 2005.

Vašková, R., Kroupa, A., Dokulilová, L. Teamwork and high performance work organisation (974.39 KB PDF), Dublin, Eurofound, 2007.

Hana Geissler, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs

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