Matt Atlas

Trade Unions Propose ‘Kurzarbeit’ In Response To Coronavirus

Trade unions are proposing a so-called “kurzarbeit” or short time in the Czech Republic in the event of a quarantine due to a coronavirus epidemic. 

The state would contribute wages so that worker’s incomes are not forfeited. The Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) said today.

The so-called kurzarbeit, which is used during a crisis, reduces work time. Reduced earnings are paid by the state. They do not have to pay unemployment benefits because the company will not let anyone because of production restrictions.

“It may happen that some firms or service providers would be forced to stop production or activity, and this could seriously affect other entities and subcontracting companies. Their income would not fall, “said CMKOS leader Josef Stredula. According to him, thanks to the preservation of income, the economy would not suffer.

Trade unionists wanted to discuss measures against the impact of a possible contagion with the government and employers on today’s tripartite. But the session moved to March 16.

Workers who end up to protect against the spread of coronavirus in quarantine are entitled to compensation for earnings. 

In the first two weeks of isolation, they are paid by their employer. People should get 60 percent of their average wage or salary base. This is based on the Labor Code and other standards. The Czech Social Security Administration (CSSA), the same rules apply if in quarantine in another EU country or in a country with which the Czech Republic has an agreement.