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-2020-12/1759 – measures in Czechia
|Czechia , applies nationwide
|Open ended, started on 16 March 2020
|Bipartite collective agreements
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
|Aleš Kroupa (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs)
|04 February 2021 (updated 12 April 2021)
In October 2020, the government of the Czech Republic approved an expenditure of CZK 2 billion for the purchase and testing using antigen tests. Extensive testing began in long-term care hospitals, nursing homes, and other similar facilities, and at the same time, the general public began testing. Antigen tests for citizens are free. The right to perform the test is once every 3 days. PCR tests are also free, but only at the request of the attending physician. The government of the Czech Republic has recommended that testing be carried out by private companies as well, with some form of state participation being considered in the future, which has not yet taken place.
Many companies have begun testing employees with antigen tests at their own expense. One of them is the carmaker Škoda Auto, a.s. , which performs approximately 2,500 PCR and antigen tests per month. Employees do not reimburse the test if the test is performed for the purpose of business travel or to rule out suspicions of COVID-19. Testing is facilitated by corporate medical facilities.
The producer and distributor of electricity, ČEZ, a.s. provides free PCR testing of key operating staff. Hundreds of employees were tested in this way. In addition, the company provides antigen testing as prevention for employees at all its power plants and other operations, including selected subcontractors. For example, all 1,300 employees at the Temelín nuclear power plant should be tested by the end of March.
The mining company OKD, as , introduced regular 14-day PCR testing for all its employees as early as 2020. From August to October, more than 21,000 PCR tests were performed. Extensive and repeated testing in the company was introduced due to the large spread of COVID-19 infection among the company's employees.
The manufacturer of 3D printers Prusa Research, a.s. has been paying a PCR test to each of the employees once a month since the beginning of the pandemic, and at the same time, the employees and their family members are continuously tested with antigenic tests.
Many companies, on the other hand, reject extensive testing, especially due to high financial costs, demanding organization of testing, or due to negative impacts on the smooth operation of operations, especially in the case of quarantine of a larger number of employees. Companies cannot be forced to test, and at the same time companies, themselves do not have a tool to force their own employees to test if they do not agree with testing. In the opinion of experts, the extension of company testing could be helped by a contribution that would at least partially cover the costs associated with testing.
|Applies to all workers
|Applies to all businesses
|Does not apply to citizens
Company / Companies
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
All company security and protection measures, including employee testing, have been agreed with the company's union.
Measures have been agreed with the trade union in the company.
Eurofound (2021), Extensive testing in companies, measure CZ-2020-12/1759 (measures in Czechia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/CZ-2020-12_1759.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.