Cabinet, unions, employers agree on Labour Code amendment

Representatives of the government, trade unions and employers have signed an agreement on changes to the Labour Code, the press departments of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic informed CTK in a press release today.

The signed agreement states that the representatives of the three groups (the Tripartite Council) involved will not interfere during the the debate on the proposed amendment in parliament.

"All parties agreed they will support the proposal in its current form. The agreement is honour-based and is not enforceable by law," the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said.

The signing of the agreement is supposed to prevent any protractions or additional changes introduced in the Chamber of Deputies. The amendment was not approved because of such obstructions in the past.

For example, the trade union representatives wanted to include a five-week holiday or the possibility for trade unions to halt production in case of health risks. These proposals were opposed by the employers.

The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry published the amendment in its current form in the spring of 2018. At the time, it included a formula for a gradual increase in minimum wage. This formula did not gain consensus support and thus was removed from the amendment.

The ministry's press department said that the current form of the amendment should newly include an adjustment to shared jobs or holidays, based on hours worked instead of days worked. These changes also concern the delivery of documents by the employer as well as sending employees abroad.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Malacova (junior government Social Democrats, CSSD) said the cabinet will receive the amendment for debate only after the representatives of employees and companies agree on it and sign this agreement.

Malacova's original plan was to finalise the agreement by the end of February. The Tripartite Council entered talks about the changes to the amendment in March but did not reach a consensus.

The President of the Confederation of Industry, Jaroslav Hanak, said this is the first such "gentleman's agreement" signed by the three social partners.

Earlier, the President of the Confederation of Employers' and Entrepreneurs' Associations, Jan Wiesner, said the points of contention were removed from the agreement and only the points that were acceptable to all three parties were left in.

Source: ČTK

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