Czech firms in the southwest are facing labour shortages as residents living close to the border are increasingly commuting to Germany for work. The main incentives are salaries, three times higher than the Czech average, and child benefits, the so-called kindergeld. EURACTIV.cz reports.
Czech companies, though deeply dissatisfied with this, simply cannot compete with the conditions provided by German employers, which extend as far as the retirement of the departing workers.
Czechs are entitled to the welfare payments even if their children do not live in Germany. If a Czech worker contributes to the German social insurance scheme, he is automatically granted the right to receive 194€ for the first and second child every month, irrespective of salary. The sum increases with the number of dependent children.
“Even if remuneration were the same across the border, people would nonetheless migrate to Germany for kindergeld payments,” Czech MEP Martina Dlabajová (ANO, ALDE) stated during a panel debate on EU social policy organised by EURACTIV.cz.
On top of that, single mothers and underprivileged households are entitled to kinderzuschlag, a supplementary social allowance. Czechs workers are further attracted by perks provided by German employers as much as on-site working conditions.
Recruitment of Czech workers
Envoys of German labour services regularly organise recruitment events in the Pilsen region with the aim of informing prospective employees of working conditions in Germany and elucidate applicants on what such employment entails.
“Czech firms have been criticising these recruiting practices for a long time. If Czech labour authorities were recruiting German workers across the border as proactively as their German counterparts, it would be fair game. But we´re the ones suffering from this ebb,” explained the chief of the Pilsen Region Chamber of Commerce, Radka Trylčová.
Agency workers are replacing the local ones
According to Trylčová, whilst Czechs move to Germany mostly for menial jobs, Germans in the Czech Republic are assigned senior management positions. Due to this discrepancy, Czech entrepreneurs look elsewhere for substitute labourers and reach out to HR agencies subcontracting workers from other member-states.
Filip Zapletal, the head of the Social Affairs Bureau in the Pilsen region, said his department often deals with agency workers since many of them temporarily sojourn on the streets at the start of their contracts. Another issue arises when contract workers stay in sleeping quarters in scarcely populated areas or villages where suddenly a few dozen workers from all corners of Europe live alongside several dozen local residents.
Image credit: Euractiv.cz
20th February 2019
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