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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure CZ-2020-10/1564 – measures in Czechia

The remuneration of retail chain employees due to worsened working conditions during the pandemic

Odměny zaměstnancům obchodních řetězců za zhoršené pracovní podmínky v období pandemie

Country Czechia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 March 2020 – 31 December 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Aleš Kroupa (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs)
Measure added 03 December 2020 (updated 26 January 2021)

Background information

According to the Chamber of Retail Chains , Kaufland , Tesco , Albert , Lidl and Penny Market paid their employees exceptional remuneration for working under deteriorated working conditions during the spring wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, these chains intended to repeat this positive approach towards their employees during the autumn COVID-19 wave. The total sales of these chains at the beginning of the pandemic, i.e. in March increased by up to one-half, characterised by an initial period of “panic-buying”. A similar situation occurred during the autumn wave of the pandemic.

Content of measure

Following the spring wave of the pandemic, the Lidl retail chain paid employees a bonus of approximately CZK 4,000 (€154) each, sharing a total of CZK 37,000,000 (€1,423,000) among its employees, Kaufland paid out CZK 50,000,000 (€1,923,000) in extraordinary bonuses entailing approximately CZK 4,000 (€154) per employee, Penny Market at total of CZK 40,000,000 (€1,538,000) and Albert CZK 3,000 (€115) per employee: Tesco increased staff salaries by 5% from July. Further rewards or wage increases are set to be announced by the retailers at the end of this year. The British chain Marks and Spencer paid out exceptional bonuses to its employees in the autumn in the sum of 15% of average hourly earnings.

In addition to such bonuses, employees of Kaufland and BILLA continue to be provided with hot drinks, fresh fruit and vitamin C free-of-charge in the workplace as part of their preventative health programmes.

Core employees of Lidl and Kaufland aged over 65 were provided with the opportunity to remain at home for a certain time period while still receiving their full salaries.

Use of measure

The extra remuneration is aimed at compensating the employees of retail chains for the more demanding working conditions associated with working on the so-called “first line”, in the same way as medical workers and other state rescue system employees. During the pandemic, retail chain workers have provided the usual range of services to the required standards in addition to complying with all the respective organisational, hygiene and other government-imposed measures.

Contents

  • Bonuses
  • Pay increases

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
The COVID-19 risk group at the workplace
Companies providing essential services
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

Unknown.

Views and reactions

Unknown.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Sales workers

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), The remuneration of retail chain employees due to worsened working conditions during the pandemic, measure CZ-2020-10/1564 (measures in Czechia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/CZ-2020-10_1564.html

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