Warehouse and logistics companies hunt for part-time Christmas workers amid coronavirus shortage

According to a survey companies are searching for workers to cover the busy Christmas period as COVID causes travel restrictions and staff to quarantine.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane
Published on 12.11.2020 10:00 (updated on 12.11.2020)

Companies are finding it more difficult to find workers in manual labor positions for the busy Christmas period due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new ČTK survey.

Warehouse workers and drivers are in short supply with foreign workers unable or unwilling to travel into the country and some current staff quarantining.

It is thought that workers from other industries such as restaurant workers could be employed on a part-time basis.

"This autumn brings an increased demand for part-time workers from manufacturing companies as well. They need to complete their contracts by the end of the year, but due to the growing number of restrictions, quarantines and people in treatment, they lack staff," Grafton Recruitment director Martin Malo told ČTK.

The South Moravian and Plzeň regions are particular areas with jobs available, while Malo believes there are also roles in the Olomouc and Liberec regions. 

He added: "We have seen a shortage of foreign workers, who have traditionally made up a large part of the seasonal workforce. Their lack is most felt in Liberec, where companies usually used part-time workers from Poland."

Students are amongst those applying for the roles while local applications are also increasing.

According to ManpowerGroup director Jiří Halbrštát, the situation before Christmas for part-time workers is a big question mark. 

With shops closed, it’s expected that online shopping and workers in logistics roles supporting that industry will be particularly busy over the holiday period.

The hourly wage of part-time workers in the Ostrava, Liberec, Brno and Plzeň regions has increased slightly year-on-year for part-time workers, according to Malo, a part-time worker in the Olomouc region earning around CZK 120 per hour, in the Brno or Ostrava region CZK 130, and in some regions they can get as much as CZK 140 with overtime.

Olga Švarcová, head of temporary employment at Hays, believes that they won’t need a large increase in staff over the holidays unless things start to re-open.

She said: "The number of brigades currently on offer is significantly lower compared to last year. Most retail stores are closed, tourists are minimal, so staffing for pre-Christmas sales is not needed at the moment. However, if they open, demand may rise relatively quickly, "

Job postings are regularly updated on the Expats.cz website, for roles across the Czech Republic, including full and part-time positions in a number of different languages.