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Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry tightens work conditions for non-EU citizens

Prague, 11.2.2012 18:47, (ROMEA)

The Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry (Ministerstvo práce a sociálních věcí - MPSV) has tightened the conditions for employing foreigners from non-EU countries due to the Czech Republic's high unemployment rate. MPSV spokesperson Viktorie Plívová announced that the ministry has instructed the regional branches of the Labor Office not to issue new work permits to foreigners as of July for jobs that do not require a high school diploma.

It is possible to request an exception to this instruction. The director of the ministry's Department of Labor Market Conception would have to grant the exception on the basis of a detailed written request made by the director of a regional branch of the Labor Office.

The conditions for foreigners who already have work permits will also become more restrictive. The Labor Office will only extend those permits if the job for which they have been granted has remained unfilled for up to six months.

The office will also require foreigners to validate documentation of their professional qualifications for the job for which they are hired. Work permits issued to foreigners who were temporarily hired by firms on the basis of agreements concluded before 1 January 2012 should not be extended. Foreigners from EU countries will not be affected by these instructions because they do not need work permits due to the common labor market.

The ministry issued similar instructions at the start of 2010. At the end of February and start of March of that year, it issued guidelines to the Labor Offices instructing them to be more circumspect in their issuing of work permits to foreigners. The reason for those instructions was also said to be high unemployment.

In January 2012 unemployment reached 9.1 % in the Czech Republic, a rise compared to December 2011 of 0.5 %. A total of 534 089 people are registered as unemployed with the Labor Office. According to the most recently published data, a total of 217 862 foreigners were working in the Czech Republic at the end of 2011.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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