Working time in the European Union: Czech Republic

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 15 November 2009

Hana Doleželová

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

The majority of Czech workers work full-time. Evenly scheduled 5-days working week is the norm. Working part-time as well as flexible work arrangements are still not particularly common in the Czech Republic. Although the importance of flexible employment forms is stressed in political and everyday discussions, they lack effective governmental support and willingness of employers to implement them. Especially women who are often economically active and at the same time have the main responsibility for bringing up children and household management have difficulties to reconcile professional and family life.

The national contributions collects data inter alia from; firstly the EU Labour Force Survey which covers average hours worked by men and women employees both overall and in part-time and full-time jobs, the proportion of men and women in part-time jobs and the relative number of men and women employed under different arrangements as regards working time. Secondly, from the Fourth European Working Conditions Survey conducted by the European Foundation which covers other aspects of working time, including the number of days worked per week, evening, night and weekend working, the organisation of working time, the proportion of people with second jobs, the time spent commuting as well as on unpaid work.

These data are intended to form the basis of the replies to the questions asked but other relevant data have been used where available to supplement these.

Duration of work

Average weekly hours

Does the evidence from the above surveys, and other sources, indicate that, over the past five or ten years, employees are working fewer hours in your country?

Between the years 2000 and 2001 the average working week of employees in the Czech Republic fell from 42.4 to 40.3 hours (Eurostat). The reason for this fall was the amendment of the Labour code (no. 155/2000 Coll.) that the Czech Republic adopted to implement Directive 93/104/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time. The working week, which had previously been fixed at 42.5 hours including a 30-minute break for food and rest, was reduced to 40 hours, with breaks no longer counted in this working time. Although the daily or weekly working time has not actually changed, respondents began to declare their weekly number of hours worked without breaks. The Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) did not adjust its data to make it possible to track the actual development of the length of working time, because between 2000 and 2001 it was not fully clear (particularly with shift workers) what the stated number of work hours included.

Since 2001, the average number of hours worked per week by employees in the Czech Republic has stagnated around 40.5 hours (according to Eurostat) and there has been no pronounced decrease. A gradual long-term fall in the number of hours worked can only be observed among part-time workers.

According to the CZSO´s method for calculating average weekly hours (which, unlike Eurostat, also counts zero quantities of hours worked in the reference week), in 2006 Czechs worked on average 41.7 hours a week. Full-time workers work 42.7 hours a week, part-time workers 20.5 hours a week. Self-employed workers work on average 9 hours a week more than employees, and men almost 4 hours a week more than women. Czechs’ average weekly hours (particularly self-employed men’s) are above the European average. The only group that comes close to the legal limit of hours actually worked (40 hours) is women employees.

Table 1: Average weekly hours by gender (2006)
    Employed persons total Men Women
Employed persons total   41.7 43.4 39.5
Full time job   42.7 43.9 41.0
Of which: Employees 41.3 42.0 40.4
  Self-employed workers 50.4 51.8 46.5
Part-time job   20.5 19.8 20.8

Source: CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2006

Is there evidence that any such decline in average working time is due more to compositional changes (e.g. more women entering the labour market and working part-time) than to an across-the-board reduction in hours?


Is there evidence that any fall in average hours over these periods may be due to a reduction in the number of people working very long hours – over 48 per week? Is there evidence that this has been due, to any extent, to the adoption of the EU working time Directive?

The number of people working very long hours has been constant over the long-term in the Czech Republic. As with average weekly hours, a reduction caused by the different ways of counting hours worked between 2000 and 2001 can be observed (as above). In 2006 7.9% of workers worked more than 50 hours a week. Council Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time had no impact on limiting work to very long hours.

Table 2: Diffusion of long working hours (more than 50hrs a week) (2000, 2003 and 2006)
% Percentage of employed persons working more than 50hrs a week
2000 2003 2006
Total 10.1 7.6 7.9
Men 14.4 11.0 11.4
Women 4.4 3.1 3.2

Source: CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2000, 2003, 2006

Annual hours worked

To what extent is the notion of annual working time (calculated to take account of annual holidays, including public holidays, as well as average weekly hours) in common use in political or everyday discussion, or in social partner negotiations?

Annual working time is not used as a measure of working time in the Czech Republic, either in political debate or in negotiations between the social partners. Public discussions usually centre on weekly working time.

Working time issues have been the subject of quite a lot of debate recently, particularly in connection with the health ministry’s plan to extend the working week in its department by 8 hours (i.e. to 48 hours) and thus artificially reduce overtime work.

Is there any evidence that the number of weeks worked per year has declined over the past five or ten years due to increased holidays, or time off for other purposes?

The Czech Republic currently has 12 days of state and other holidays that constitute days off. The most recent change to the number of days off came in the year 2000, when 2 more holidays were added. One of these days (St Wenceslas’ Day) aroused debate concerning the day’s historical significance for the state rather than the economic losses another day off would bring.

As far as employees’ holiday is concerned, there has not been any change to the length of holiday in recent years. The Labour Code no. 262/2006 Coll. provides that employees are entitled to 4 weeks’ holiday a year. State employees are entitled to 5 weeks’ holiday.

Days of work per week

Is the five-day week the predominant norm, as opposed to other patterns – four days, four and a half-days, five and a half-days, six days?

The five-day working week has for long been prevalent in the Czech Republic. As regards working time, the Labour Code no. 262/2006 Coll. provides that “Working time shall be distributed over a five-day working week as a rule” (Section 81 (2)). In line with this provision, which reflects the prevalent required working time schedule in practice, the five-day working week has for long been the norm in the Czech Republic.

Are there any obvious trends in this respect – for example, to reduce the number of days worked per week, but to increase the number of hours worked each day?

Flexible organisation of working time is still not particularly common in the Czech Republic: evenly scheduled working time is the norm. Working time arrangements such as the compressed week, job sharing or teleworking are of negligible use. (Simerská 2005)

The basic parameters and limits for applying even and uneven working time schedules, flexitime, and now also working time accounts, work breaks, rest periods, overtime work etc. are laid down by the said Labour Code.

Full-time and part-time working

Has part-time working grown relative to full-time working over the past five or ten years?

Part-time work has for long been rare in the Czech Republic. There has been no change in the proportion of workers working part-time in the Czech Republic over the past five years. Whereas in 2001 4.8% of workers worked part-time, in 2006 the figure was 5.0%. (CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2001, 2006).

Are there major gender differences in the patterns of part-time working?

Part-time work is the domain of women: in 2006 8.6% of women worked part-time and just 2.2% of men. The reason for the low incidence of this kind of work is the insufficient supply of part-time jobs, which generate higher administrative costs for companies. Similarly, demand for this type of work is low among both men and women, because the resultant income does not sufficiently cover the cost of living. Part-time work usually represents a form of acquiring additional earnings rather than a way to support oneself. In the context of reconciling family and professional life, women in particular prefer to use flexible forms of work rather than reduced working hours (Kyzlinková, Dokulilová, 2007: 150).

Does the government encourage part-time working, either ‘passively’ (i.e. through the workings of social security or taxation rules) or ‘actively’ (e.g. in the sense of particular incentives being offered)?

Although the importance of flexible employment forms is stressed in the National Labour Market Action Plan for 2004-06, the Czech Republic lacks sophisticated and effective programmes which could promote the growth of flexibility and increase opportunities for part-time jobs. (Kyzlinková, Dokulilová, 2007: 150) There are currently no passive or active state instruments promoting part-time work.

Part-time work is not given general support – it is treated as a way to enable specific disadvantaged groups to work. The Labour Code no. 262/2006 Coll. only supports part-time work for employees caring for children under 15, pregnant women and employees caring for an infirm person – these employees can demand a reduced working time for reduced pay. The Employment act no. 435/2004 Coll. also enables the unemployed to work part-time in order to earn extra money and not lose their work habits.

One of the latest proposals brought by labour and social affairs minister Petr Nečas is for introducing advantageous conditions for part-time work to facilitate the transition to work for parents returning from parental leave, the over-50s and the physically disabled. Under the proposal, employers would be able to claim a social insurance discount for such persons. The employees would also pay lower taxes and lower health insurance premiums (Vašek 2008).

Collective bargaining

What are the main working time concerns and priorities of trade unions in collective bargaining?

The trade unions are fundamentally opposed to lengthening working time. In collective bargaining, they also seek to regulate related aspects of work (conditions of uneven working time scheduling, the extent of overtime work, the conditions and extent of work standby etc.). That applies to collective bargaining at both enterprise level and sectoral level. In collective agreements provisions on working time are placed in the broader context of measures to reconcile family and professional life. A greater extent of paid leave in the event of obstacles to work on the part of the employee also contributes considerably to a better work/life balance. Reduced working time (at least in one of the work regimes) is treated by the trade unions as a success of collective bargaining. The vast majority of enterprise-level collective agreements in 2007 provided for a reduction in working time. In addition, the option of increased holiday allowance also tends to be widely used in collective agreements; this kind of provision is found in roughly 80% of collective agreements (most commonly the option of extending holiday by one week – more than one week’s extra holiday is only found in a minimum of collective agreements). With effect from 1 January 2007, holiday entitlement can also be extended by a number of days, but this option is not widely used either (approx. 3% of agreements) and the extension is 3.9 days on average.

Is part-time working generally viewed positively, or accepted reluctantly, by trade unions?

The trade unions generally demand part-time work arrangements for specific employees, while seeking to include limits on the numbers of part-time workers in collective agreements. If, though, the initiative to work part-time comes from the employee and is backed up by social reasons (caring for a child etc.), the trade unions support the employee in this.

Work schedules

The working day and working week

To what extent does the standard ‘full-time’ working day – 08.00/09.00 to 17.00/18.00 - prevail as the norm?

Full-time work is by far the norm in the Czech Republic. In 2006, 95.0% of all workers worked full-time, 97.8% of men and 91.4% of women. (CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2006). Typically, in the Czech Republic employees have limited opportunities to arrange their working time to suit their individual needs. Almost four-fifths of employees have working time with a fixed start and end time. (CZSO, Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time” 2004)

Starting work in the early morning is a historically rooted tradition in the Czech Republic. The average man and woman start work at 7 a.m. Women generally leave work earlier, on average at around 3 p.m., with men working an hour longer (Tuček and coll. 2006: 97). According to the Median agency, a third of workers are at work at 6 a.m. (especially in the manufacturing sector); just five Czechs in a hundred start work after 8 a.m. The influx of foreign firms, however, is leading to a tendency to shift working time to more reasonable hours.

To what extent does the ‘standard time norm’ of the working week (40 hour, 5 day week) prevail?

Working time evenly scheduled over a five-day 40-hour working week is the norm in the Czech Republic. Please see above.

Non-standard work arrangements

To what extent are non-standard working time arrangements – evening, night and week-end work - mainly limited to those sectors of the economy where it is difficult to avoid – e.g. shift working in continuous process plants or lunch-time and evening work in restaurants?

The number of people working unsocial hours has fallen in the Czech Republic in recent years. The workers most exposed to work during evenings, nights and weekends are self-employed middle-aged men working in mining, transport and hotels and restaurants. Non-standard work arrangements are less common among employees, who work evenings or weekends less often than the self-employed. Women work these hours less than men, but they also suffer more from this work because of the difficulty of reconciling work and family duties, most of which are left to them (Kyzlinková, Dokulilová 2007: 152).

Table 3: Diffusion of work at unsocial hours (2003, 2006)
Q: “Did you work in the last four weeks in your main job in the evening/ at night/ on Saturday/ Sunday?”
Positive answer, % 2003 2006
Total Men Women Total Men Women
Evening work 47.0 54.1 38.6 41.2 46.4 34.3
Night work 20.7 25.2 15.2 20.7 23.9 16.4
Saturday work 48.6 55.6 40.3 45.6 51.3 38.2
Sunday work 33.8 39.8 26.5 31.3 35.1 26.3
Source: CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2003, 2006

The sectors with the highest numbers of people working atypical hours are wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and consumer goods, manufacturing and construction (CZSO, Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time” 2004).

Is there a tendency for non-standard schedules to enter into other areas of the economy, where it may not be strictly necessary, but where it may have attractions – for employers wishing to make more intensive use of their plant, equipment and other facilities, and for workers wishing to attain a better work-life balance or a more convenient means of taking care of children?

There are several reasons that people work unsocial hours. Work at these times affects all shift workers. For the self-employed, working more hours leads to greater earnings. Equally, working long hours in the evening and on weekends is a necessity in sectors where it is an economic imperative, e.g. in catering. In certain sectors, however, a shortage of labour causes employers to make employees contravene the rules on working time and overtime, for example. Working unsocial hours, often without financial compensation, is standard practice among, for example, drivers, supermarket staff or doctors (Kyzlinková, Dokulilová 2007).

To what extent are weekend working and other non-standard working arrangements the result of seasonal work (such as in tourism)?

No record.

Shift working

How important is regular shift working (as opposed to occasional shifts to cope with increased temporary demand) in your country?

The number of people working shifts in the Czech Republic has risen in recent years; shift work is helping achieve a greater return on capital and, in the wider context, contributes to the country’s economic growth. Whereas in 2001 22.0% of all employees worked shifts, the proportion had risen to 23.5% by 2004 and to 25.4% in 2006. Shift work is done by women slightly more than by men.

Overall, 81.1% of employees are satisfied with shift work. But this kind of arrangement suits men more than women (84.4% compared to 77.4%). Shift work suits women aged 24-44 least, evidently due to the difficulty in reconciling family and working life.

Table 4: Shift working by gender (2004, 2006)
Shift workers 2004 2006
In thousands % In thousands %
Total 1101.0 23.5 1202.8 25.4
Men 590.6 22.4 659.6 24.4
Women 510.4 25.0 543.2 26.7
Source: CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2006, Ad hoc Module "Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time" 2004

Is shift-working predominantly carried out in specific sectors, and is there any tendency for it to decline (for example as a result of reducing capacity in traditional sectors) or to increase (as employers everywhere seek to make more intensive use of capital investments)?

The highest proportion of shift workers is found in manufacturing and in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and consumer goods. Shift work is on the increase in both said sectors. Other sectors where shift work is widespread include transport, storage and communications and health and social work.

What kinds of shift systems dominate – regular mornings, afternoon or nights or mixed patterns?

The most widespread shift work system in the Czech Republic is morning and afternoon shifts, which 39.8% of shift workers work on. However, significant differences between men and women in the use of different shift systems can be observed. Whereas 50.8% of the women who work shifts work morning and afternoon shifts, the most widely used shift system for men is non-stop work 7 days a week, which 41.9% of men work on.

Table 5: Use of shift systems by gender (2004)
Shift workers (In %) Shift work system
Total Non-stop work 7 days a week Non-stop work 5 days a week Morning and afternoon shift Day and night shift Other
Total 100.0 35.4 11.2 39.8 5.7 8.1
Men 100.0 41.9 13.2 30.2 6.5 8.2
Women 100.0 27.8 8.8 50.8 4.7 7.9
Source: CZSO, Ad hoc Module "Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time" 2004

Organisation of working time

Flexibility of working time

How far do individual workers have influence over their own working time arrangements – for example over the time they start and end work?

According to the results of the CZSO, Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time”, employees have much less possibility of independently deciding their working time than self-employed workers. 78.9% of employees have working time with a fixed start and end time. Just 18.7% of employees have the option to start working earlier or end up later, have flexible working hours during hours or day or they may adjust working hours. Male employees are more flexible than female.

By contrast, 81.5% of self-employed workers without employees may voluntarily decide on their working hours. Women are freer in their decision-making than men. Self-employed persons with employees have the highest decision-making autonomy on working hours. 91.3% of them create their own work schedule independently. Men are slightly more able to choose their working time than women.

Table 6: Possibility of Independent Decision Making about Working Time (2004)
 (In %) Possibility of Independent Decision Making about Working Time
Total Men Women
Employees* 18.7 20.6 16.6
Of which: Possibility to start working earlier or end up later 4.2 4.8 3.6
Flexible working time within a certain interval of hours 7.5 7.4 7.6
Flexible working time within a certain interval of days 3.0 3.3 2.6
Individual adjustment of working time 4.0 5.1 2.9
Self-employed workers with employees 91.3 91.5 90.0
Self-employed workers without employees 81.5 79.6 85.3
Source: CZSO, Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time” 2004 Note: * Employees with the possibility to start work earlier or finish later have flexible working hours during hours or day, or they may adjust working hours, or their working time is scheduled individually

To what extent is it possible to ‘bank’ hours or days of work – for example to work extra hours for a number of days in order to take day(s) off?

These are utterly atypical work arrangements in the Czech Republic. However, their incidence will certainly increase in future; due to the new labour legislation and the introduction of employees’ “working time accounts”. Working time accounts enable employers to react flexibly to the workload and schedule employees’ working time. This type of working time arrangement involves a lot of administration, however, and is therefore not used much.

To what extent can workers determine their own work schedules - in other words, work when they like, so long as the work is delivered on time?

Totally free working time arrangements are very rare and confined to the specific conditions of work organisation at a particular employer.

Freely definable working time exists in the case of work from home, where under the Labour Code the employer does not define the working time schedule. 9% of workers worked at least some of their working time from home in 2006. This type of work is most common among self-employed workers without employees (36.4% in 2006).

Table 7: Work from home (2006)
Q: “Have you worked from home within your main employment in the last four weeks?”
% Employed Persons Total
Yes, at least in half of the worked days 3.4
Yes, less then half of worked days 5.6
No 89.3
Source: CZSO, Labour Force Survey 2006

Work from home and freely definable working time is also a significant phenomenon among old-age and invalid pensioners and working students (Kyzlinková, Svobodová: 2007:12).

From an employee perspective, can a distinction be drawn between ‘positive’ flexibility concerning working time (i.e. arrangements that suit them) and ‘negative’ flexibility (arrangements that suit their employers), or are most arrangements by mutual consent?

Besides positive flexibility (see above Possibility of Independent Decision Making about Working Time), negative flexibility can be found in “work on call”. According to the CZSO, Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time” from 2004, 3.5% of employees (4.6% of men, 1.6% of women) wait to be telephoned by their employer and immediately set work.

The basic parameters and limits of flexible working time arrangements are laid down by the Labour Code. The rest is a matter of agreement between employer and employee(s), which may be a collective agreement.

Is there evidence that people with higher ranking, better paid jobs are more likely to have greater flexibility regarding their working time arrangements than those with lower ranking/less well paid jobs?

Although there are no data directly confirming this correlation, it is highly likely that people on higher incomes are more flexible in the organisation of their working time. Legislators and managers and professionals, which are high-income groups, can more commonly decide on their working time (see below).

Are there major differences between non-manual workers and manual workers in terms of such flexibility?

The ability to decide on the organisation of working time depends on the type of employment. Non-manual workers (i.e. under International Standard Classification of Occupations – ISCO 88, ‘Legislators and Managers’, ‘Professionals’, ‘Technicians’ and ‘Clerks’) are generally more able to decide on their working time than manual workers (‘Service and Sales Workers’, ‘Agricultural’ and ‘Fishery Workers’, ‘Craft and Related Trades Workers’, ‘Plant and Machine Operators’ and elementary occupations), who more often have a fixed start and end time.

‘Legislators and managers’ are the most flexible group. Just 54.4% of them have a fixed start and end time; the remainder can arrange their working time in different ways. By contrast, 89.0% of ‘Craft and related trades workers’ cannot arrange the working time to suit their needs – their working time is fixed. The most widely used flexible working time arrangement among non-manual workers is flexible working time within a certain interval of hours. It is used by 20.0% of Legislators and managers, 16.8% of Professionals, 13.1% of Technicians and 10.8% of Clerks. At the same time, certain groups of manual workers are able to adjust their working time to suit their needs, e.g. 9.5% of Agricultural and fishery workers are able to start or end their working day earlier or later.

Table 8: Possibility of employees’ independent decision making about working time by occupation (2004)
Occupation, (In %) Organisation of working time
Total Fixed start and end time Option of starting earlier or finishing later Flexible working time with a certain interval of hours Flexible working time with a certain interval of hours Individual schedule Other
Legislators and managers 100.0 54.4 10.1 20.0 7.3 4.1 4.2
Professionals 100.0 62.5 7.2 16.8 4.3 6.5 2.7
Technicians 100.0 72.1 4.7 13.1 4.1 3.5 2.4
Clerks 100.0 79.8 3.6 10.8 2.6 2.3 0.9
Service and sales workers 100.0 85.3 1.7 2.2 2.3 4.9 3.5
Agricultural and fishery workers 100.0 76.7 9.5 2.8 2.2 5.7 3.2
Craft and related trades workers 100.0 89.0 3.5 2.3 1.7 1.8 1.7
Plant and machine operators 100.0 83.2 3.0 2.0 2.5 6.9 2.4
Elementary occupations 100.0 87.2 4.2 2.4 1.4 2.8 2.1
Source: CZSO, Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time” 2004

Are there major differences between public sector and private sector workers in terms of such flexibility?

No data available.

Are any major gender differences – for example, are men and women seen to be subject to more or less ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ flexibility?

Male employees are more flexible than women; the gap is only closed in the case of self-employed workers. Negative flexibility in the form of “work on call” is more frequent among men. Please see above.

Other working time issues

Multiple job holding

How widespread is the practice of multiple job holding in your country?

Czechs’ need to have two and more jobs has fallen since the start of the 1990s. In 1993, 5.2% of employees had more than one job; in 2001 it was 2.5% and in 2006 just 2.1%.(CZSO, Labour Force Survey) This development can be explained by the higher requirements placed on workers, the insufficient supply of part-time jobs and the increased standard of living. Two-thirds of additional jobs are taken by male workers (Kyzlinková, Dokulilová, 2007: 146).

Are second or third jobs primarily seen as supplementary sources of income relative to a main job, or are all the different jobs seen as equally valid?

Extra work is usually perceived as an additional source of income. The most common form or secondary or tertiary work is self-employment without employees. Workers have a trade licence for a certain activity and occasionally earn extra money this way. Real estate, renting and business activities are sectors where most people have another job.

Commuting time

How much time does commuting typically add to the average ‘working day’ (in the sense of time spent away from home)?

According to the Public opinion research centre survey from 2003, 59% of economically active people in the Czech Republic work in the municipality or town they live in, whilst 40% commute to another location. 56% do not spend more than twenty minutes travelling from work to home; 25% even can even manage one trip to work in ten minutes or less. For 28% commuting to work takes 21 to 40 minutes. The remaining 16% spend over 40 minutes travelling to work; for 3% of them the journey to work lasts longer than one hour.

Table 9: Commuting to Work (2003)
In % Duration of one journey to work
10 minutes and less 25
11 to 20 minutes 31
21 to 40 minutes 28
41 minutes to 1 hour 13
More than 1 hour 3
Source: Public opinion research centre and Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. 2003. Cestování do zaměstnání.

Is commuting commonplace for everybody, or does the time spent vary in any systematic way – such as according to the type of job, or whether people live in urban or rural areas?

It is mainly people living in villages and smaller towns who spend the longest time getting to work. 35% of people use public transport to get to work. The travelling time mainly depends on the transport situation in the given region.

Is the development of teleworking (full-time or part-time) seen as a viable and attractive alternative to commuting?

The expansion of teleworking is viewed as an attractive alternative to commuting, but it is not yet widespread in the Czech Republic and its extent cannot be gauged.

Unpaid working hours (of those in work)

Is there much debate about the impact of time spent on unpaid work in the home, as well as time spent on paid work, on work-life balance, especially between men and women?

The work/life balance is a subject of discussion mainly in the civic sector and the press.

Although the traditional family model – man as breadwinner and woman as homemaker – is not common in the Czech Republic and many women are economically active, women have the main responsibility for bringing up children and household management. The average woman living with children under the age of 18 spends 9.1 hours a day caring for the household and its members, compared to men’s 3.9 hours. Parents are most exposed to unpaid work.

Table 10: Number of hours that parents devote to household chores, looking after children and other family members (2005)
In hrs Unpaid household work Looking after children Looping after other family members
Men 1.8 2.1 0.1
Women 4.1 5.1 0.2
Source: Survey entitled Combining Work and Family Life Viewed from the Perspective of Gender Relations and the Czech Republic’s Social and Employer Policy, Sociological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 2005, In: Bierzová J. 2006. Rozdělení domácích prací v rodinách s dětmi

For the majority of women, this situation represents a double burden; similarly, this role becomes a cause of discrimination on the job market, as employers expect women to perform worse at work because of their family duties. The insufficient supply of flexible forms of work, which are moreover more accessible for men, means that women often accept less time-consuming job that is beneath their qualification standard (Kyzlinková, Dokulilová 2007: 157). Women’s “virtual double-shift” burden also explains why they work less overtime (in 2006 men worked 1.6 overtime hours a week, women just 0.6 overtime hours a week). This fact contributes to the gender pay-gap, as does the low proportion of women in management posts.

Are there pressures for non-paid work to be more recognised, and for the work involved to be shared more evenly between partners?

There is a pressing need in the Czech Republic for programmes that would help employees reconcile family and professional duties. Although this subject has entered employers’ awareness – mainly thanks to the initiatives of non-profit organisations, trade unions and a substantial quantity of government documents – not many establishments have dared to introduce similar measures in practice, such as flexitime, compressed working week, work from home, telework or company pre-school facilities. Nevertheless, the shortage of labour and evolving information technologies may bring about a change.

In recent years it has also been possible to observe a change in men’s attitude to household chores and child care, whereby they do a bigger share of unpaid household work.

Composite indicators of weekly working hours

Composite indicators of weekly working hours have been developed for full-time and part-time workers, both male and female, which include time spent in unpaid as well as paid work and time spent commuting. What do you see as the most significant implications of these indicators so far as your country is concerned?

No data available.


Czech Statistical Office, Labour Force Survey 2000–2006

Czech Statistical Office. 2004. Ad hoc Module “Organization of Work and Arrangement of Working Time”

Bierzová J. 2006. Rozdělení domácích prací v rodinách s dětmi. [Division of household work in families with children.] Gender Sociologie. Prague Kyzlinková, R., Dokulilová, L. 2007. Czech Republic: Increased Risks Alongside Involuntary Flexibility. In: Eyraud, F., Vaughan-Whitehead, D. 2007. The Evolving World of Work in the Enlarged EU. Progress and Vulnerability. International Labour Office. Geneva.

Kyzlinková, R., Svobodová, K. 2007. Práce z domova a její zásah do rodinného života. In Fórum sociální politiky. [Work from Home and Its Impact on Family Life.] No.1. Research Institute of Labour and Social Affairs. Prague. (In Czech, PDF 4.03MB)

Public opinion research centre and Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. 2003. Cestování do zaměstnání. [Commuting to work.]

Simerská, L. 2005. Jak jsou na tom firmy a nadnárodní společnosti u nás s rovnými příležitostmi? [Multinational companies and equal opportunities in the Czech Republic.] Econnect

Tuček, M. and coll. 2003. “Jak se máte Slováci, ako sa máte Česi?” (“How Do You Do, Czechs and Slovaks?”) 10 years after the breakup. Median. Prague.

Vašek, P. 3.1.2008. Po mateřské bude cesta do práce snazší. [The way from maternity leave to work will be easier.] Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Prague.

Hana Dolezelova, Research Institute of Labour and Social Affairs

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