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Questions raised over social businesses

The Sk800 million which the Labour Ministry has allocated to so-called social businesses may end up profiting private individuals who employ people who would not have a problem finding work elsewhere, according to a report in the Sme daily on August 26.

The Sk800 million which the Labour Ministry has allocated to so-called social businesses may end up profiting private individuals who employ people who would not have a problem finding work elsewhere, according to a report in the Sme daily on August 26.

According to the paper, a person can be defined as ‘disadvantaged in the job market’ despite being a skilled, childless, unemployed 30-year old blue collar worker, who was has been jobless for less than a day. It is enough for the person to have left their previous job after agreeing with their previous employer that their job had been cancelled. A social business can then receive around Sk13,000 each month for employing such a person.

Labour Minister Viera Tomanová said that the aim of the social policy is to provide jobs for long-term unemployed with relatively low qualifications and few skills. But an opposition deputy, Lucia Žitňanská, said that people who are made redundant due to company restructuring should not be automatically considered disadvantaged job seekers. So-called social businesses might end up generating significant profits for their founders. According to the law, it is enough if the owners use 30 percent of any profit for improving labour conditions. Though all social businesses are officially non-profit organisations, making money via subcontractors' contracts or liquidation is not prohibited. Sme daily

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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