In his traditional Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman began as usual on a positive note – highlighting the country’s economic successes – before turning to what he views as problematic areas. In a 16-minute televised address otherwise void of religious symbolism, Zeman also branded himself a “climate heretic” and urged Czechs to think for themselves rather than follow “false prophets”.
Despite an anticipated slowdown in Czech economic growth, a record 59
percent of companies plan to pay employees a so-called 13th salary bonus
this year, according to a survey by the Czech Chamber of Commerce (HKČR).
About three-quarters of big companies – those with more than 250 employees – plan to pay a 13th salary at the turn of the year, the survey shows. Almost every second (47 percent) small company – with up to 10 employees – will pay out such a bonus this year.
By comparison, in 2017 fewer than on in three big companies and one in five small ones paid out a 13th salary or “Christmas bonus”. The HKČR estimates this year’s bonuses on average will exceed 34,000 crowns, with the majority ranging from 18,000 to 38,000 crowns.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic remained at 2.6 percent in November, the
same as the previous month, the Czech Labour Office announced on Monday.
The number of jobless increased by 771 to 197,289, which is the lowest figure for the month since 1996, while the number of vacancies increased to 339,000. Last November, unemployment stood at 2.8 percent.
The lowest rate of unemployment, 1.8 percent, is in the Pardubice region, which is followed by Prague with 1.9 percent.
The salaries of senior officials will increase next year by about one
tenth, the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday. According to the data
released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the average gross
monthly salaries on MEPs and Senators will increase by 8,400 crowns to CZK
The president’s wage will increase next year to CZK 302,700, while the ministers will earn CZK 173,200 a month, just like the heads of both houses of parliament. The average gross monthly salary in the Czech Republic reached CZK 33, 697 in the third quarter of 2019.
The Czech Republic is one of the countries with the largest gender pay gap in the EU. On average, women earn a fifth less than men, and the annual difference exceeds one month's earnings. In an effort to combat this discrimination, the Ministry of Labour has launched a project called “22% to equality”, in reference to the difference in female and male incomes. The project involves comprehensive research, but also a web payroll calculator or an “equal pay program” for employers.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has said the planned teachers’ strike
over salaries on Wednesday is unwarranted and the government will not
respond to it.
Teacher unions last week announced plans for the all-day strike after their demands for a 10 percent salary increase was not met. Babiš and Minister of Education Robert Plaga (ANO) had offered an 8 percent raise.
Over 6,000 schools, nearly 60 percent, have so far confirmed that they will take part in the strike on Wednesday, the unions said, while others will display a logo signifying their support.
The average monthly gross salary of a teacher was around 36,200 crowns in the first quarter of 2019 while the national average stood at 32,466 crowns. The unions have been pushing to raise teachers' salaries to 130 percent of the average.
Over 50 percent of Czech employees are willing to move for work. According to a new survey carried out by employment agency Randstadt, 52 percent of Czechs would consider moving even to a foreign country in view of a better career growth or a more balanced personal and work life. Nevertheless, Czechs’ readiness to work abroad is still considerably lower than in the neighbouring countries.
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