The jobs market

Czechia boasts a very low unemployment rate, although the coronavirus crisis has led to rising joblessness. According to the Czech Labour Office, the unemployment level rose by one percentage point during the pandemic and is now at about 4 percent.

Most Czech workers are employed in the secondary sector, and the share of manufacturing jobs on total employment remains one of the highest in the EU. The share of foreign workers has seen a significant rise in recent years, but that trend has been blunted by the pandemic. About 15 % of all employees in the Czech Republic are foreign, with the largest number of foreigners working in the manufacturing sector and in administrative positions. The public sector has the lowest share of foreign workers. Most foreign workers in Czechia are citizens of other EU countries. Slovaks make up the largest contingent of working foreigners, followed by Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians, and Bulgarians.

Czech labour law allows workers to log up to 40 hours a week with at least a 30-minute break on each shift of six hours or more. Employees have the right to visit a doctor during their shift and get at least 20 days of vacation per year. Larger firms usually offer employees 25 days off a year. The minimum wage is currently 15 200 Czech crowns a month, or 90,5 crowns an hour.

Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes EU countries plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway, have the same right to gain employment as Czech citizens. Citizens of countries outside the EEA who want to work in Czechia for more than three months must have a work permit, a so-called employee card given out by the Ministry of the Interior. An exception is in place for those with permanent residence in the country, who have all the same rights and privileges as Czech citizens. As far as taxes are considered, the tax rate on workers’ income is 15 %. For incomes over 141 764 crowns a month it is 23 %.

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