Fico: We'll Focus on People Who Work

Fico: We'll Focus on People Who Work

Bratislava, January 11 (TASR) – Working people will be the centre of the Government’s attention, stated Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) at a press conference after the Cabinet session on Wednesday, referring to an amendment to the law on employment services approved by the Cabinet on the same day.

“The focus of our interest will primarily be on people who work. We’ll be interested in their salaries. We’ll be interested in their working conditions – including safety conditions at work and health conditions. We’ll be interested in people who can’t find a job but have a real interest in [finding] one. However, we won’t support and we won’t be interested in people who abuse the welfare system,” said Fico, adding that there are more and more cases of waste in the system.

The Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry-sponsored bill is aimed at increasing unemployed people’s motivation to return to work.

According to the amendment, working by agreement should be limited to 40 days per year. At the moment people can work by agreement and at the same time be on a labour office register, but their earnings cannot exceed €148.57 per month.

Apart from introducing time limits on working by agreement, the ministry also proposes that jobseekers shouldn’t be able to work by agreement for an employer for which they used to work before they were added to a labour office register.

Moreover, jobseekers will be obliged to submit work by agreement contracts to a labour office one day before their start date. If they fail to do this, they could be removed from the register. The ministry further proposes that the maximum remuneration for working by agreement should remain at €148.57 per month, or 75 percent of the subsistence minimum.

Unemployed people should also be removed from the register if they refuse to take part in any counselling, requalification or community services offered by employment offices.

According to the ministry, the proposed measures should prevent the covering of illegal work as well as speculative approaches by the unemployed vis-a-vis labour office registers.