ABSL – the Association of Business Service Leaders – connects companies from all over Czechia operating centres of shared business services, outsource information technologies or focus on research. The Foreigners agency recently joined this association so that we can more intensely share our know-how regarding the employment of foreign workers and their integration into the Czech society. Our common goal is to make sure that you feel at home in these companies.
CEO Foreigners Andrea Tkačuková s Veronikou Hrobskou, Janem Závorou a Ladislavem Kučerou na ABSL Leader’s Hybrid Conference
ABSL Leader’s Hybrid Conference
Our CEO Andrea Tkačuková took part in the ABSL Leader’s Hybrid Conference in November 2021. There, she presented a talk on news from the area of immigration and relocation together with our Expat & Immigration Consultant Oldřich Lang. This talk took place in the form of a pop-in in the location of The Flow building by Scott.Weber Workspace on Wenceslas Square.
At the conference, Andrea also moderated a discussion panel titled “Stranded Abroad: Foreign Talent and Future Challenges” with special guests Veronika Hrobská from Edwards Lifesciences, Jan Závora from SITA and Ladislav Kučera from SAP.
The topic of this discussion focused mainly on the challenges their companies had to deal with during the pandemic in connection with foreign employees. They also talked about diversity and inclusion and touched on the question of how (and if) international companies in the field of business services deal with the question of integration in a systemic way.
The debate then turned to the topic of the physical and mental wellness of foreign employees as well as the mutual interest in remote work. Remote work is talked about more and more in Czechia. However, Czech law does not allow this type of employment just yet.
The same can be said about the phenomenon of “workation” – the combination of work and vacation – often from abroad. Workation is very popular both with foreigners and Czechs.
Both remote work and workation are impossible due to the issue of Workplace Safety & Health Regulations (BOZP in Czech). In other words, If you as an employee become sick abroad or hurt yourself in some way, it would be difficult for your HR manager to deal with it remotely.
Employment of foreigners on the rise again
Immigration and relocation services are becoming more and more popular. The unemployment rate in Czechia has been quite low lately (at the moment it’s at 3,6%) and so companies have been hunting for new employees abroad. Employers from the sector of business services are also looking outside the Czech borders because they can’t find people in Czechia whose language skills are good enough.
The ABSL itself drew attention to this situation with their recent press release in which they comment on the influx of foreign workers to Czechia. It also points out that for some fields, foreign employees are becoming (or have already become) essential.
According to the director of ABSL Jonathan Appleton, foreigners tended to leave Czechia and return to their home countries in the first year of the pandemic. Nowadays, they aren’t so afraid of the disease anymore, so the situation has become more stable.
This is also confirmed by numbers that we can see in Foreigners agency. The number of apartment enquiries by foreign clients has returned to the amount from 2019 – before the pandemic. In total, we registered an increase in enquiries by 37% in 2021 in comparison to the year 2020.
Foreigners have been returning to Czechia even despite the complicated bureaucracy. This has been made even harder by the recent immigration law amendment, which mainly concerns family members of third-country citizens.
Highlights from recent ABSL report
The ABSL releases a yearly report in which it analyses the state of business services in the Czech Republic and comments on current trends and interesting events on the market in the field. They also mention information related to international employees.
- 44% of the workforce in the field of business services in Czechia consists of foreigners, out of which three quarters come from EU countries
- 31% of companies employ more foreigners than locals
- 17% of companies allow foreigners to work remotely from their home countries and an additional 36% is considering this option
- Due to the negative effects of the pandemic, 31% of companies have intensified their support for foreign employees to keep them in Czechia
- 39% of companies in the field of business services operate from Czechia on a global level
- The most commonly used language in the field of business services is English
These points also illustrate the fact that foreign employees will play a more important role, which is good news for those who’d like to relocate here.
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