Czech Republic Grapples with Scarcity of Part-Time Jobs Amidst Plans to Extend Retirement Age and Facilitate Work-Life Balance

The Czech Republic is facing a challenge in providing an adequate number of part-time job opportunities, a situation that holds significant implications for the country’s workforce. The government’s initiative to extend the retirement age and facilitate earlier returns to work for women after parental leave hinges on the availability of part-time positions, designed to support older workers and mothers in achieving a balance between work, family, and rest.

However, recent data paints a concerning picture of the scarcity of part-time employment. As of the end of the previous year, out of the 5.2 million working citizens, only around 383,000 held part-time positions. Analysis of Ministry of Labor data by the Czech Statistical Office indicates that the majority of part-time workers fall within the 30 to 44 age bracket. Last year, over 122,000 individuals in this age group worked part-time, with over 107,000 being women and approximately 15,000 men. This age range often corresponds to the period when parents are actively involved in raising and caring for children attending kindergarten and school.

To encourage an increase in part-time roles, the government introduced a social contribution discount in February. Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka reported that by the end of June, around 24,000 employers had offered part-time positions. However, the impact of this initiative has been limited, with only 8,000 new part-time jobs created, primarily for mothers of children up to 10 years old or women of pre-retirement age caring for their parents or their partner’s parents.

Despite these efforts, the Czech Republic lags behind other European nations in terms of part-time employment. Data from the Association for Social Responsibility in the previous year revealed that the percentage of women in part-time roles in the Czech Republic stood at 9.9%, a stark contrast to over 48% in Germany and Austria, and an astonishing 74% in the Netherlands. The EU average for part-time employment is approximately 29%.

However, part-time work in the Czech Republic comes with its own set of challenges, particularly its impact on pension benefits. Lower earnings from part-time employment result in reduced pension benefits, as the calculation is based on both the number of years worked and lifetime earnings. This, coupled with generally lower income, contributes to the relatively lower prevalence of part-time jobs in the country compared to other European Union member states.

Article by Prague Forum

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