In light of COVID-19 governments around the globe are juggling between ensuring business liquidity and preserving workplaces. Most countries have taken the approach of increasing regulations and tailoring them to the topicalities.
Crises, particularly so severe as the one we are currently facing, have the inevitable habit of redefining the way our economic life works. The way people work, as well as the very labor market itself, will undergo significant changes.
Many labor market regulations were created with large mid-20th century manufacturing plants in mind – which is the spirit of the Polish Labor Code of 1974. However, along with the process of industrial automation as well as the growth of employment in services, the economic reality has changed.
Wage debates are always heated, no matter if it is an employee asking their boss for a rise, or union negotiations. Anyway, in the past year or two, the wage question became one of the leading topics of public debate in Slovakia.
Across Europe, shadow markets constitute a significant portion of the economy. According to some estimates, an average of 16% of GDP in EU member states is generated by the shadow economy.
In Slovakia, non-monetary transfers are often forgotten due to the contributions system – this is set up so that only self-employed know, with exaggeration, how expensive it is. Most employees have no idea that the employer pays an additional 35% to their gross wage.
The EU sets minimum levels of regulation with respect to working hours. The research shows that the countries tend to comprehensively follow the set EU standards with regard to the maximum duration of work during the day, minimum periods of rest, and some aspects of annual leave.
Perceiving, enforcing, and defending freedom requires character traits which need to be taught and trained. Civic and political education has to empower people not just to recognize and comprehend the complexity of the modern lifeworld, but also to master it.
In political discussions, we often ask whether a specific policy will create or destroy jobs. The success of an economic sector is often measured by the number of jobs it provides. The question of jobs is particularly topical in the context of new businesses or start-ups.
If you think that these trends won’t affect you, because although you still have plenty time before you retire, or because you are not a blue-collar worker, don’t cheer too soon. The development of artificial intelligence can bring robotization and automatization not only to sectors where manual work with often repeated actions is needed.