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Amendment signed barring discrimination against EU workers

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman signed into law an amendment to the anti-discrimination law giving the Czech ombudsman the authority to monitor discrimination against EU workers in the Czech Republic on the grounds of their foreign nationality, president’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK on Tuesday.

The amendment is based on the relevant EU directive.

The EC announced early in October its decision to sue the Czech Republic at the European Court of Justice on the grounds of delayed transposition of the directive into the Czech legal order.

The EU member countries were bound to embed it in their respective national legislations by May 2016.

The EC wants the Czech Republic to pay an equivalent of 900,000 crowns a day until it fully translposes the directive.

The office of Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka then said the country will probably avoid the sanctions.

The directive, on which the Czech amendment is based, secures the right to equal access to jobs and welfare benefits for workers from all EU countries and their family members.

Czechs should enjoy the same right in the rest of the EU. The aim is to secure the freedom of movement without barriers for all EU citizens, Chvojka previously said.

In connection with its new powers, Ombudsman Anna Sabatova’s office will recruit seven new workers to deal with educational, analytic and research projects and cooperation with authorities within the EU. The expenses of Sabatova’s office are expected to increase by 4.5 million crowns a year.

The draft amendment will take effect as of January 1, 2018.

The Czech government says access to work positions has often been limited by employers’ demands concerning the applicants’ nationality. Furthermore, Czech employers do not acknowledge foreign labourers’ qualification and previous working experience, and sometimes they set excessive demands on the applicants’ Czech language proficiency.

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