Prague, Oct 30 (CTK) – The list of professions for which Czech firms can gain foreign workers employed via agencies will be modified under the approved amendment to a government decree that will take effect after its promulgation in the Digest of Laws.

Newly, agencies will not be able to temporarily secure foreign bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters and joiners or miners for underground mines.

However, they will be able to provide workers from the countries outside the EU that have employees and blue cards or work permits in the Czech Republic.

The agencies will be able to temporarily secure foreigners to firms for the 15 most demanded professions in which firms have been long short of staff in the Czech Republic, such as founders, smiths, machine repairers, food-processing workers seamstresses and bus and lorry drivers.

An agency directly employs foreign workers and allocates them to particular firms. Agency workers have similar conditions and wages as the regular staff.

So far, agencies have been allowed to allocate foreign workers from non-EU countries without work permit to firms. Newly, those can be even people with employees cards and blue cards or work permits.

Outgoing Deputy PM for science and research Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) as well as trade unions have raised objections to the amendment.

Belobradek insisted that the whole decree be abolished. Trade unions demanded that agencies be able to send foreign university graduates to firms only for the positions for which they have qualification.

The government approved the regulation last week.

According to data from labour offices, agencies allocated 4292 foreigners to firms in 2012, while last year, their number amounted to 22,383.

The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry expected their number to further rise.

The Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate out of the EU member states. Czech businesspeople have been complaining about the lack of labour force and demanded workers from abroad. They have repeatedly criticised the lengthy and complicated work-permit administration in this respect.