Czech labour offices to subsidize travel expenses to boost labour mobility

Photo: archive of Radio Prague

Czech labour offices will start providing financial contributions towards travel expenses in order to encourage labour mobility, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. Individual contributions will be between 1,000 to 3,500 crowns.

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
Czechs are known to be quite unwilling to commute long distances or move house in order to find a better job. Although the situation has been slightly improving in recent years, some 56 percent of Czechs are still not willing to move because of work.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs first unveiled its plan to introduce financial compensations to boost labour mobility in October last year. The finances will be covered from the state budget.

At present financial contributions towards travel expenses will be available in five regions, namely Ústí nad Labem, South Moravia, Olomouc, Moravia Silesia and Karlovy Vary. The regions were selected with regards to the number of unemployed, the number of vacancies as well as public transport options.

Financial support towards travel expenses will be available to people who make less than an average salary and it can only be granted to those with a permanent work contract or a fixed-term contract exceeding one year.

It only concerns those who have to cover more than a 10-kilometre distance to work or those who have no option but to use public transport. The height of the contribution is determined by the distance people have to commute.

Those who travel between 10 to 25 kilometres to work can get up to 1,500 crowns, while those who commute between 25 to 50 kilometres can receive a contribution of 2,500 crowns. The highest subsidy of 3,500 crowns is designed for people who travel over 50 kilometres to work.

Labour offices, with the exception of the Moravia-Silesia region, will not be compensating people for travel expenses abroad.

The financial support is also designed for people who have lost their jobs in massive lay-offs. It can be provided to people who have been registered at the labour office for more than 12 months, spokeswoman for the office Kateřina Beránková told Czech Television on Tuesday.

Because of the unwillingness of Czechs to travel longer distances to work, Czech firms often have to fill vacancies by hiring foreigners, mainly from Ukraine and Poland, who are willing to commute.