Prague, Aug 3 (CTK) – The Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry unveiled a plan to get 160,000 long-term unemployed back to work last week, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
For this purpose, it wants to reintroduce the community service and the legislation will both punish and reward, MfD writes.
“When it comes to active persons, the welfare benefits may be increased, while they can be lowered or even cancelled for the less active or inactive,” the ministry has told the paper when asked about the measures with which to make the jobless accept offered jobs.
Specifically, those expressing interest in the community service are to receive up to 3,710 crowns including a transport contribution. On the other hand, those who will not, are to receive only 2,200 crowns. If they refuse cooperation with the job offices, they may lose the whole benefit, MfD writes.
The community service is to last 20 hours a month.
Last year, over 4,000 people were denied welfare benefits because they refused to cooperate with the job office for long, MfD writes.
The Czech unemployment rate fell in June to 5.2 percent from 5.4 percent in May and the number of job applicants decreased to some 384,000 people, the lowest figure since December 2008, the Czech Employment Office has said.
The number of vacancies rose by nearly 5,000 to roughly 134,000 in June, the highest number since September 2008.
The proportion of the long-term jobless has been over 40 percent of all the unemployed for three years.
The Labour and Social Affairs Minister, headed by Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD), wants to focus on them now, MfD writes.
The ministry also wants to toughen the conditions for extra earnings for the jobless who receive unemployment benefits, increase the minimum wage and introduce new rules for the people facing distraint.
The system of the help in distress is based on the principle that all who work must be better off than those who do not, MfD writes.
Due to this, the ministry wants to raise the minimum wage to 11,000 crowns a month.
In the selected regions, the job office pays 1,000-3,500 crowns to the long-term unemployed if they take up a job with a commuting distance of over ten kilometres. The experiment was started in April. In July, the job office had to soften its conditions because too few people showed interest in it.