EU To Fund Mendel University Research Into Inequalities In European Labour Market

The project, funded by the European Union, will assess the current situation concerning wages and working conditions, with the final goal of formulating policy recommendations on how to approach inequalities in the workplace. Photo credit: Freepik 

Brno, 4 June (BD) – Researchers from more than 30 European countries will examine labour market inequalities among older workers. The topic is highly relevant as the average age has increased in Europe, just as the start of employment has been delayed, meaning increasing numbers of people are working later in their lives. The four-year project, costing tens of millions of euros, will be coordinated by researchers from Mendel University’s Faculty of Operational Economics.

“Inequalities among older workers are redefining digitization processes, and this is not only true for the Czech Republic. The population is ageing, but in our country there is a shortage of experienced workers because companies are often looking for young workers believing that older people can no longer succeed in a digitised world,” said Martina Rašticová, deputy dean of the university’s Faculty of Business (PEF MENDELU), who will lead the entire team of European scientists.

The project involves all European Union countries and some others. “I firmly believe that during these four years the project will involve all of Europe, stimulating discussions and research in every country. The result of our work will be policy recommendations on how to set up measures to remove inequalities caused by digitization in old age. The project will also provide international data and comparisons,” Rašticová said.

According to the researchers, the situation in the Czech Republic is different from Iceland, for example, which is a leader in hiring older people. “The Icelandic employment rate for men aged 55 to 59 is about 90% and for women about 80%, the highest among European countries. In the Czech Republic it is lower by a few percentage points, but in Slovakia, for example, less than 70% of women in this age group go to work. The worst situation is in Greece, where the employment rate for women in this category is less than 40%,” said Martin Lakomý of the Institute of Law and Humanities at the MENDELU Faculty of Law, who is currently on a fellowship in Reykjavik.

The new project will cover more countries than the current EU-28, giving researchers more data for comparison than they have previously had in this field. “I expect we will reach 35-40 countries included in the research group,” said Professor Clary Krekula of Linnea University in Sweden, who is also involved in organising the project. For researchers from MENDEL’s Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, this is the largest European project they will be involved in so far.

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