The business services segment in the Czech Republic has registered strong growth in recent years, but has run into limitations in the field of human resources. Companies active in this segment endeavour to circumvent these limitations by employing foreigners from the EU and other countries. However, the current immigration process and the lengthy process of obtaining work permits and long-term residence permits are much longer than acceptable to the business services sector. The result is that the Czech Republic is losing out on business opportunities in the estimated scope of 10 to 15 million dollars a year.
The business services segment currently employs about 65,000 employees and generates over 1.5% of the Czech GDP. A total of 34% of all employees are foreigners at present. According to the ABSL Association, which associates companies active in this segment, these are mainly experts with a high level of technical and language skills. Recruitment of international talents is not simple however, which is why the Czech government should collaborate more closely with representatives of the corporate services segment on improving the process. This would then provide the opportunity for a much greater volume of foreign investments in the Czech Republic.
“We have several suggestions on improving the whole process,” says Jonathon Appleton, Director of the ABSL Association. “Most importantly, we would welcome faster registration with the Ministry of the Interior after candidates arrive in the Czech Republic and restriction of the 30-day rule, after which a job is open to recruitment of foreigners. Naturally in cases when it is clear that there is a zero or very limited possibility of recruiting Czech candidates.“ Simplification of the requirement of confirmation of accommodation and acceptance of temporary solutions, such as hotels, is also important, because it is very complicated for candidates and employers to arrange a long-term lease at the very beginning of the process. According to the ABSL, officials speaking foreign languages should also be employed in all relevant government institutions, such as the Tax Office or the Alien Police, so that they are capable of providing support to foreign employees. “We would also like to initiate, development and financing of centres for foreigners, which help foreign employees settle and start working productively in our key cities,“ Jonathan Appleton concluded his list.
As well as simplification of the process of recruiting foreigners, companies active in the corporate services centre would also welcome support of flexible employment and closer collaboration with towns and authorities in relation to provision of pre-school services and childcare.
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