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Temporary contracts, which are common elsewhere in Europe, are increasingly prevalent in the Czech Republic, now that they are no longer subject to legal restrictions which used to oblige employers to offer permanent jobs to workers whose contracts were renewed more than twice.

In the wake of changes to the Czech labour code, the number of temporary contracts, which currently stands at 344,000, is expected to rapidly increase. So too will the negative consequences for the employees concerned, who will find it difficult to borrow from banks.

Lidové noviny argues that the unrestricted use of temporary contracts has divided the workforce into two distinct groups, and recommends that more flexible terms be introduced for all kinds of employment —

There is a very simple rule in Europe: higher levels of protection for workers result in higher unemployment. […] Inflexible labour law is also one of the reasons for the deep recession in southern countries. [In Germany] in 2004, social democrat Gerhard Schröder pushed through reforms to make layoffs cheaper and easier to implement. Since then unemployment in the country has been halved, and today Germany, which is ranked just behind Austria, has the second lowest level of unemployment [in the EU]. However, such Schröderesque daring is hard to find. In its stead, we are offered pseudo-reforms, which create deep seated divisions between haves and have-nots. The privileges of those who already have work remain unchallenged. At the same time, politicians […] ensure that job seekers are only offered the most precarious contracts which can be endlessly renewed. In so doing they have created, a new category of second-class employees. […] The only way to address this inequality […] is to make the labour code more flexible, and, more critically, to allow for unregulated layoffs.