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Czech Rep. to introduce German-style public unemployment insurance

Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, the Czech Coalition Council will consider a proposal by Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová to permanently adopt a German-style public unemployment insurance scheme, known as “kurzarbeit” or “short-time working”, reports news service Seznam Zprávy, as cited by Prague Monitor. 

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Kurzarbeit is a form of public insurance where, in times of crisis, employers can reduce hours instead of laying off large numbers of employees, while the government provides funds to replace the income of workers, for example, 60-80% of an employee’s average wage.

The program would extend up to nine months from the onset of a crisis. Seznam Zprávy noted that the proposed scheme may be needed in the fall, especially in the hard-hit manufacturing sector in the Czech Republic, and could be implemented as early as September.