With the start of the crisis and the closure of regular communications between Ukraine and the Czech Republic, thousands of Ukrainians returned home, but most remained in the Republic, believing that their rights would be protected.
The situation in Ukrinform’s comments was told by the Ukrainian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Yevhen Perebiynis.
“We have received clear assurances that the Czech authorities will not tolerate discrimination against Ukrainian workers and will respond strictly to possible violations in this area by Czech employers,” said the ambassador, adding that the diplomatic mission in the first days of the crisis had turned to the authorized authorities of the Czech Republic and directed business associations wishing to guarantee respect for the rights of Ukrainian citizens.
Ukrainian workers who are legally in the Czech Republic with properly executed contracts with employers (according to official figures, 121,000 people) enjoy the same social rights as Czech citizens.
However, as Perebynis admitted, citizens have already approached the embassy with complaints about intermediary placement agencies, which have not only avoided solving workers’ problems related to dismissals, but have also abused this situation, delaying the payment of wages for several months, leaving people homeless, does not fulfill its duties to find another job in the event of dismissal.
The embassy assists citizens as much as possible, provides them with legal advice, in some cases, initiates negotiations with unscrupulous employers, assists in finding accommodation and possibilities of return to Ukraine.
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According to official data, at the end of 2019, 151,560 Ukrainian citizens were living in the Czech Republic, or 23.8% of the total number of foreigners in the country. Of these, 48.5% were in the Czech Republic for employment purposes, 16.9% – for family reunification purposes, 8.5% – for study purposes, 6.9% – engaged in entrepreneurial activities. According to the same data, Ukrainians in the Czech Republic constitute a large group among foreigners who have officially started an entrepreneurial activity in the Czech Republic – their share was almost 25%.
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, around 10,000 citizens traveled to Ukraine in an organized manner – by plane, train and bus – of which only 10% were tourists. However, it is impossible to calculate the exact number of those who decided to return home, since many have returned to their cars.
According to the materials: ukrinform.ru