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Government official: Job protection at centre of V4 pandemic response

The coronavirus pandemic response measures implemented by the Visegrad Group (V4) countries are centred on preserving and creating jobs, an official of the innovation and technology ministry said after a meeting of V4 labour affairs officials in Budapest on Monday.

Sandor Bodo, the state secretary for employment policy, told a press conference that jobholders with lower degrees and young workers were the ones hit hardest by the economic effects of the pandemic in all four Visegrad countries. The Hungarian, Czech, Polish and Slovak officials also found that remote work was still common in all four countries, he said.

The officials also discussed the need to give workers under 25 the option of participating in internal training programmes at their jobs in order to guarantee that they can remain there for the longer term, Bodo said.

The Hungarian government has allocated 70 billion forints (EUR 194m) towards supporting training programmes for jobholders, he said, adding that the personal income tax exemption for Hungarians under 25 to be introduced next year would help boost youth employment.

The four officials adopted a statement declaring the V4’s commitment to helping disadvantaged workers in the labour market and to the protection of their national values, Bodo said. The statement also says that the introduction of a European minimum wage would put the V4 countries at a competitive disadvantage, he added.

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