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Image © Yasonya/Adobe Stock Photos
Image © Yasonya/Adobe Stock Photos

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Decrease of working hours and trust in national government marking COVID-19 impact in Czechia

In quarter four of 2020, weekly working hours in Czechia decreased by 2.8 hours, marking the largest decrease in the EU in a year-on-year comparison with the same period of 2019 and followed by Austria (-1.8 hours per week). The EU’s average for the end-of-year quarter lies at -0.5 hours. This data was recently published in a joint Eurofound and European Commission report (What just happened? COVID-19 lockdowns and change in the labour market), which describes the employment and working time developments by EU country, sector and occupation through the first year of the COVID-19 crisis.

Cross-quarter changes vary substantially across Member States. While working hours declined more in the last quarter in all sectoral categories in Czechia, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (quarter 2 2020) working hours only reduced by 0.6 hours – below the EU average of -0.9 hours.

With COVID-19 impacting not only the working lives of Europeans, but also their quality of life and other social indicators, Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online surveyfound a significant decline of trust in intuitions in Czechia. For example, in spring 2021 respondents from the Central European country had the fourth lowest trust in their national government (2.9, from 3.8 in summer 2020 and 4.4 in spring 2020). While trust in national governments suffered and deteriorated throughout the pandemic, the EU average decreased from 4.6 in summer 2020 to 3.9 in spring 2021. Similarly, trust in the EU in particularly low in Czechia at 3.6, only behind Greece, while the average score for the EU as a whole is 4.6.

The survey also addressed the issues of disruptions to essential health services and unmet healthcare needs due to the COVID-19 impact. While healthcare provision in general returned relatively quickly in most countries, the e-survey data show over a fifth (21%) of respondents have missed a medical examination or treatment during the pandemic – this proportion remaining similar across the EU in rounds 2 and 3. In Czechia, 8% of respondents indicated to still currently have a medical issue for which they could not get treatment. Only Denmark scored lower on this question (6%), while Hungary (36%), Poland (32%) and Latvia (29%) recorded the most positive answers.

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James Higgins

James Higgins

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Eurofound, a tripartite European Union Agency, provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies

Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) is a tripartite EU body, whose mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies.

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