Labour inspectors last year uncovered almost 4,600 people working illegally
in the Czech Republic. This was considerably higher than the figure for
2017, an official said on Wednesday. Employers were fined a total of over
CZK 151 million for hiring undocumented workers last year.
Some 80 percent of those caught working illegally in 2018 were from outside the European Union. Of those from inside the EU, the majority were Czech citizens, with the others mainly coming from Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.
About 200,000 foreigners work in the Czech capital and constitute one fifth
of the workforce, according to an analysis by the City’s Institute of
Planning and Development (IPR Prague).
Foreign workers in Prague are mainly filling jobs requiring unskilled labour it said. Two-thirds are citizens of non-EU countries.
At the end of June 2018, according to the study, most were citizens of Ukraine (49,306), Russia (23,338), Vietnam (12,765), US (6,556) and China (4,967).
Meanwhile, a study by Sociological Institute of the Academy of Sciences notes that four in five foreigners registered in Prague have a high school diploma or university degree.
The Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs is considering more regulation
of agency employment. It also wants the Labour Office to have more powers
to combat the exploitation of foreign workers, Minister Jana Maláčová
told the Czech News Agency on Friday. She said these measures were part of
a larger set that will be included in an employment bill due to be
published in the second quarter of this year.
The minister also reacted to an investigative article published by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which reported on miserable conditions for migrant workers employed at a Czech company owned by Agrofert, a conglomerate founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Ms. Maláčová said the article could act as an incentive for an investigation by labour inspectors. Mr. Babiš has said the Deutsche Welle story was ‘made up’.
Czech Prime Minister Andre Babiš has slammed a report by Deutsche Welle,
which said foreign workers employed in a company linked to Mr Babiš work
in very poor conditions. The report, which was published on Tuesday, also
said the foreign workers arrived in the Czech Republic in terrible
circumstances. The ANO party leader said the article was fabricated and
full of lies.
The author of the report cited a Vietnamese, who used to work in the poultry factory Vodňanská drůbež in Mirovice, about 80 kilometres southwest of Prague, which belongs to the Agrofert Holding, founded by Andrej Babiš.
Mr Babiš turned Agrofert into trust funds in 2017 in order to comply with the conflict of interest law, but his critics say he is still in control since the trusts are managed by his family members and lawyers
The Czech society has traditionally been quite homogenous. Of course, there have always been regional differences in dialect, culture, folk music. But people understand each other no matter which part of the country they come from, consider themselves to be of one nationality. And that has started changing.
The number of foreigners working in the Czech Republic has more than tripled since the country’s accession to the European Union in 2004. At the moment, there are more than half a million foreigners working in the country, according to Czech Statistics Office data and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The Czech President Miloš Zeman met with his Macedonian counterpart Gjorge
Ivanov, who arrived in Prague on Thursday for an official visit of the
Among other things, the two heads of state discussed the possibility of
bringing Macedonian workers to the Czech Republic to help solve the
shortage of labour.
Mr. Zeman told journalists after the meeting that the Czech Republic fully supports Macedonia’s accession to the EU and NATO.
The Macedonian president is also set to meet with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and other representatives of the Czech parliament.
Immigration police have started deportation proceedings against 57
foreigners following raids at dormitories, construction sites and companies
in Mladá Boleslav and other locations in central Bohemia.
Most are from Ukraine or Moldova. Many had long-term visas issued in Poland allowing them to travel in the European Union, but not to work. None had a valid Czech work or residence permit, the police said.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, illegal employment has been on the rise since 2016. That year for the first time authorities caught more foreigners than Czechs working illegally.