Employment of Roma people remains Slovakia’s perpetual problem

Unemployment rate is low maybe in Slovakia, but it does not apply to Roma community.

Illustrative Stock Photo(Source: Ján Krošlák, Sme)

When Juraj Brecko from eastern Slovakia wanted to pave his yard, he was surprised when the head of the company he ordered asked Brecko if he did not mind that the workers are Romas. He had no problem with it.

“The work was done on time and at high quality,” wrote Brecko for the Týždeň weekly.

Brecko maybe was the one who did not hold any prejudice toward Roma working in his yard. However, that is not the usual Slovak attitude, as an analysis worked out by the Institute for Financial Policy showed recently.

“The employment rate of the Roma population is improving moderately with the positive economic development but still significantly lagging behind the majority,” is written in the analysis.

In the years between 2004 and 2017 the employment rate of Roma was only one third of the employment rate of the majority. It is characteristic according to short-term and seasonal contracts. If the economy thrives, the employment rate of Romas grows faster than the rate of the majority. Contrarily, Romas are the first to lose their jobs in times of crisis.

“One of the barrier is mistrust in the Romas’ ability to work,” Zuzana Kusá, a sociologist from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, told The Slovak Spectator. She mentioned common prejudice about Romas concerning work, that they are not persistent and reliable. The conviction has emerged that investing money in Romas will not pay off.

Problems with names

The prejudice is often on the side of co-workers who do not want to live in the same place as Romas, use the same working tools or share bathrooms. Employers often have to deal with these issues after they employ Roma.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: Roma community


Top stories

Šefčovič will run for president

But he did not confirm whether or not he is Smer’s candidate.

Maroš Šefčovič

‘All his own work’

To preserve their credibility, real academics must call out plagiarism.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko

Biathlete Kuzmina triumphs in the women’s 10km sprint

It is her second World Cup victory this season.

Anastasiya Kuzmina

Slovakia breaks record in car production, but future is electric

This year will be extremely demanding for the car industry in Slovakia.