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The Recovery and Resilience Plan addresses the structural employment challenges of ageing populations and technological change through a comprehensive set of reforms and investments. These challenges include low employment rates of older workers and persons with disabilities, youth unemployment, low participation in lifelong learning and training, risks to the financial sustainability of pension systems, and more appropriate flexible working arrangements.

The objectives of the reforms and investments under the component "Labour market – measures to reduce the impact of negative structural trends" are to strengthen labour market resilience, increase labour market participation, and ensure the sustainability of the pension system and the adequacy of pensions. The measures also aim to increase the employability of low-skilled and older workers by improving the relevance of education and training to labour market needs and through lifelong learning and activation measures, including improving digital literacy.

Structural measures to strengthen the labour market – reform

The objective of the reform is to increase the resilience of the labour market by ensuring, in particular, its adaptation to demographic trends. The reform will ensure:

  • The entry into force of a law establishing a permanent crisis short-time work scheme for severe economic downturns, based on the experience gained during the COVID-19 crisis. The law will include support for temporary part-time workers in training or education to strengthen their competences and increase their employability in the face of increasing digitalisation and automation of business processes;
  • The entry into force of legislative changes in the field of unemployment benefit. The provisions in the Labour Market Regulation Act on unemployment benefits will be amended with the aim of increasing the employment rate of older people and preventing early departures from the labour market;
  • The entry into force of amendments to the pension legislation to ensure the long-term sustainability and adequacy of the pension system. The reform will take into account the existing expenditure trends, pension conditions, indexation, contributions, links between payments and receipts, and the adequacy and transparency of pension and disability insurance and will include specific legislative measures to ensure the adequacy of pensions and the fiscal sustainability of the pension system in order to significantly reduce risks stemming from age-related expenditure from the current high-risk category;
  • A review of the active employment policy action plan and the catalogue of active employment policy measures with a view to ensuring the more effective implementation and achievement of the strategic objectives set in the active labour market policy guidelines for 2021–2025, in particular as regards reducing long-term unemployment and getting older and low-skilled workers back into employment more quickly.

The milestones related to the implementation of the reform will be achieved by 31 December 2024.

Supporting more flexible working arrangements – investment

The objective of the investment is to support more flexible working arrangements. An online platform will be established to provide all employers and workers with access to learning materials and tools (such as sample contracts, agreements and internal acts) and to provide an entry point for general advice, information and awareness-raising in this area.

Support to introduce more flexible working arrangements will be granted to employers on the basis of a public call for proposals. In cooperation with employers, experts will identify shortcomings and barriers and the activities necessary to improve the possibilities of teleworking in a flexible manner. The projects will focus on training, adapting work organisation and processes, ensuring health and safety at work, and setting up infrastructure. Particular attention will be paid to strengthening the digital competences of employees and ensuring the highest possible level of occupational health and safety.

Introducing more flexible ways of working adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities in sheltered companies and employment centres – investment

The objective of the investment is to maintain and create new jobs suitable for workers with the most severe disabilities.  The investment includes projects for sheltered companies and employment centres. Under the investment, advice and training will be provided to ensure that employers and employees acquire the necessary competences to adapt work processes to the needs of persons with disabilities and to acquire the new competences they need to carry out their work. Particular emphasis will be placed on strengthening digital competences for more flexible forms of work.

In addition, plans for the development of new business models will be prepared, with a focus on digitalisation and the introduction of more flexible ways of working.

An online platform will be set up with an advisory point for the exchange of good practices. It will be dedicated to information, awareness-raising and promotion activities. The advisory point will provide direct support to all sheltered companies and employment centres in adapting work processes to the needs of persons with disabilities.

Faster entry of young people into the labour market – investment

The aim of the investment is to reduce youth unemployment following the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment includes financial incentives for employers to hire young people up to the age of 25 on employment contracts of indefinite duration. This will also include a commitment by the employer to provide appropriate mentors, to provide assistance and to train the young people in a specific job. During the 18-month funding period, the young people are expected to acquire the additional competences needed to practice the profession and to complement their theoretical knowledge with work experience. During this time, the new employees and their mentors will be involved in training or education of at least 30 lessons of 45 minutes, with a focus on increasing digital competences.

Training and education of employees – investment

The objective of the investment is to support the retraining and up-skilling of workers and to promote lifelong learning, taking into account the needs of the labour market and the needs of the economy, in particular in terms of increasing the digital skills of adults, enhancing their employability, resilience and participation in the labour market. The investment is targeted at employers and their employees, employed individuals and the self-employed, in particular older and low-skilled workers. The measure will provide grants to co-finance and finance the reimbursement of training and education costs for employees, the costs of compensating employers for lost working time during the training period, and the costs of promoting the measure, which aims in particular to raise awareness among employers and employees of the importance of investing in personal and career development in order to increase their competitiveness on the labour market.