Employed in the Pandemic: How are Czech Employees Affected by Covid-19?

Employed in the Pandemic: How are Czech Employees Affected by Covid-19?

This article was created by the publication media Expat Hub.

The accelerating spread of Covid-19 has altered the Czech Republic as we know it: from closed restaurants to empty streets and mandatory wearing of face masks. Yet, the changing job market remains the most worrisome, terrifying, and frightening niche impacted by the containment measures. Things get even worse when you are an expat, who works on a temporary contract, freelancer, or goes to regularly visit one’s family. Here are the 5 ways in which you, as a Czech professional, may be affected by the new conditions.


1. You can face a wage cut - but things are not simple 

Even though many industries were severely hit, employees can still expect to receive their full salaries. However, if the employer simply cannot provide the team with enough work (for example, as in the case with the conference production companies and travel agencies), then employees enter the dark zone of “partial unemployment”. That simply means that one’s working hours were significantly reduced due to the lack of tasks. In that scenario, an employee should still receive no less than 60% of his regular wage. Shall the employer fail to compensate an employee or owe him any debts, an employee is entitled to request a partial compensation at the Labour Office.

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2. As a foreign employee, you are at a higher risk of getting fired.

Despite the efforts made by the Czech Republic to induce the companies to keep 100% of their employees, about 25% of the Czech companies fired some of their staff members. Unfortunately, when it comes to cutting staff, foreigners are more at risk, generally because they are the ones most likely to take on the lower level jobs which often don’t require a contract. Since foreigners occupy positions in factories, hospitality services and tourism, where cuts are expected, they are more likely to lose a job or be subjected to partial unemployment. However, it is worth looking into the areas, which do need additional workforce – including food delivery services, construction and IT.

3. In case you are looking for a job, now is the best - and worst- time

While you might think that the pandemic killed the job market and searching for a job now is a dead-end, it is not exactly true. Although the overall number of open vacancies had decreased, a few markets are on the rise. Those include the online education industry, IT, e-commerce firms, video conferences, food delivery and, according to some sources, the construction and farming businesses. That is due to the higher demand in the local workforce as a result of the decreasing mobility of foreign employees. All of these industries either had a stable number of open positions or saw a gradual increase in them. Unfortunately, those who were planning on pursuing a career in the worst-hit industries – including tourism, hospitality business and aviation – should probably wait till the restrictions completely ease in the majority of the countries.

4. Working from home might be detrimental to your mental health  

Being stuck at home for many days might be no fun, so it is important to recognize that being socially isolated can have a negative psychological impact and seek help if needed. There are many psychologists available to help you go through these times (many of them now also work remotely), including Lotus Counselling Services, Festina Lente Consulting, Behar Center, Balanced Lifestyles Counselling, and others. Make sure that they speak your language and give them a call as, during the Covid-19 times, financial struggles might not be the only ones you’ll encounter as an employee in the Czech Republic. You can also seek help on a non-stop Prague helpline: 222 580 697.

5. If you are planning on going home on paid vacation, this year might not be the best time 

Travel situation is a constantly changing matter, therefore every employee – especially a foreigner – should carefully study the information on the official websites and possibly double-check it to ensure that they are not going to be stuck in a 2-week forced quarantine upon arrival to their destination. Generally, Czech employees receive 4 paid weeks of holidays per year. As of June 15th, the Czech Republic has divided EU+ countries into green, orange and red zones based on their epidemiological situation. Now, Czech citizens and foreigners with a long-term residence permit are allowed to travel to the Czech Republic from low-risk (green) and medium risk (orange) countries with no restrictions. However, when travelling from high-risk (red) countries, such as Sweden, one still must present a negative Covid-19 test or go into quarantine. We bet the last way you would want to spend those weeks is by being stuck in quarantine, so make sure you check the travel restrictions first to ensure you do not encounter problems at your workplace.