Labor Market Flexibility: Stanjura Supports Unconditional Layoff Notices

Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura believes that the inflexibility of the labor market is one of the biggest obstacles to the Czech economy. As such, Stanjura and his ministry recommend that the government adopt a proposal from the National Economic Council of the Government (NERV) to introduce a layoff notice period without requiring a reason in labor law. Currently, employers are required to justify layoffs.

Stanjura stated in an interview on Česká Televize that layoffs today occur under stringent bureaucratic conditions. Often, formal changes are made to the organizational structure, and specific job positions are eliminated. However, he also highlighted the need to discuss the amount of severance pay, which could potentially increase in this case. Currently, severance pay ranges between one and three average monthly salaries.

Contrarily, Alena Schillerová, the leader of the ANO movement parliamentary club, disagrees. She questions how this change would make the labor market more flexible. According to her, it could affect individuals companies would like to let go, such as mothers with frequently ill children or older employees with higher salaries. Schillerová sees no benefit for the labor market in this proposal, stating, “We do not have a problem with hiring people; on the contrary, we have a shortage.”

The amendment to the labor code would need to be submitted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Although they are currently working on one, it is not officially stated what it contains. It could be presented this month.

Stanjura, along with recommending greater labor market flexibility, wants the government to focus on speeding up permit periods for construction. He did not specify how this would be accomplished, but he also wants to focus on digitization. According to him, business inspections should also be simplified.