Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic



The Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA) is on of the most important Czech research institutions with a long tradition of research on age, ageing, intergenerational relationships, gender issues, social policy and care, and retirement policies. RILSA builds upon the traditions of the Social Institute of the Czechoslovak Republic which was founded as early as in 1919. Since 2007 RILSA has been, form the legal point of view a public research institution.

Today, the Institute operates mainly in the following research areas: labour market and employment; social dialogue and labour relations; social protection; family and equal opportunities; incomes and wages and theory of social policy. Issues concerning ageing and older people are researched across these areas by highly qualified research teams which enables the detailed study of a wide range of topics and involves and combines different views from various disciplines including sociology, economics, social policy and social work. Together with the interdisciplinary nature of the research teams, available expertise in qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods provides added value since the topic of ageing often requires both research at the individual level and a wider theoretical approach.

One of RILSA's main aims is to enhance knowledge on the socio-economic development of society, while it also strives to raise awareness about the role of demographic ageing in shaping the future of Czech and European society. RILSA supports the Government, Ministries, local government and other bodies including tertiary education and commerce, in improving their decision making processes by providing expertise, education and consultation. Many members of the various research teams lecture at prestigious schools and universities and also serve as analysts for the media in order to support the wider dissemination of research results to the general public.

In recent years RILSA has carried out several research projects dealing with the social and economic aspects of ageing. In terms of the labour market, research into the employment and (long-term) unemployment of older workers and the monitoring of older workers´ earnings is available. Research into the provision of social care for older people is of great importance since the system has undergone major restructuralisation. Selected projects looked at the effectiveness of social services financing for old peoples´ homes; the qualification needs of workers involved in social services for the elderly and regional aspects of elderly care provision. Pension systems constitute a further important and widely researched issue at RILSA. Projects provide analysis and international comparisons of pension systems in order to support potential solutions for further pension reform in the Czech Republic. Recent research topics include pension entitlement and conditions; the nature of pension insurance institutions and the assessment of pension calculation bases. Although RILSA uses primarily socio-economic paradigms, the interconnection with health policy cannot be overlooked when dealing with older age issues. The analysis of the potential for removing disability insurance from the old-age pension insurance system including the social-health aspects of invalidity development provides a perfect example of such efforts. Other projects have dealt with more general issues connected with ageing in (post-)modern societies, such as a survey on age and age-discrimination; a study on securing the needs of seniors with an emphasis on the role of the non governmental sector and a project introducing age mainstreaming as a possible management strategy for ageing populations. A brief summary of RILSA's latest publications dealing with the phenomena of ageing populations can be found in the appendix.

In the future RILSA will continue to further develop the research goals outlined above as it is presently working with the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs on the National Programme for Preparation for Ageing for 2008- 2012. The participation of RILSA in the ERA-AGE2 network will considerably enhance its research potential and will help to prepare Czech society for the opportunities and challenges issuing from the ageing of the population. ERA-AGE2 partners may, on the other hand, benefit from a wide range of RILSA services including information services, a documentation centre and an on-line library which offer unique support for further ageing-related enquires.

Appendix - Selection of publications

Nešporová, O., Svobodová, K., Vidovičová, L. (2008) Securing of seniors´ needs with an emphasis on the role of the nongovernmental sector, Prague: RILSA, 2008. - 85 p. - ISBN 978-80-87007-96-9

The text gives an overview of the current situation in the field of social services for older people with an emphasis on the fragile elderly provided by nongovernmental, not-for-profit bodies. The report has three main parts linked by the concept of needs. The first part of the report provides a comprehensive overview of the ageing of the Czech population and its impact on the present and future needs of social care services. The second part summarises the concept of needs and their specific forms in old age from the sociological and socio-psychological points of view. Empirical part of this chapter introduces secondary analysis of Czech, as well as comparative international, surveys on social care provision and housing preferences in old age. The third part firstly outlines the formal as well as informal providers of social care available in the Czech Republic and subsequently several cases of nongovernmental organizations providing services for seniors are introduced. This part uses data from a qualitative inquiry into the situation and experiences of third sector social care providers. On the basis of their knowledge, problematic issues, questions and possible intervention are defined.

Pollnerová, Š., Šlapák, M., Holub, M. (2008) The nature of the pension insurance institutions, Prague: RILSA, 2008. - 199 p. - ISBN 978-80-7416-022-6

Arrangements for the continuation of pension reform in the CR raise the question of the future development of the organisation of the pension system. Pension reform may require the complete transformation of the current pension insurance institution - CSSAThe Czech Social Security Administration. In compliance with such reform it will be necessary to maintain the current structure of pension insurance institutions and will possibly require the setting up of new pension insurance institutions. The aim of the study is to provide information on how individual pension system pillars are organised in selected EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and on the pension insurance institutions in these countries. Furthermore, the study is concerned with the transfer of pension entitlements between insurance institutions, the transfer of pension claims abroad, control over the work of insurance institutions and the disbursement of pensions.

Rychtaříková, J., Kuchařová, V. (eds.) (2008) Family, Partnership and Demographic Ageing, Prague: RILSA, 2008. - 169 P. - ISBN 978-80-87007-75-4

The publication Family, Partnership and Demographic Aging presents basic results from the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) project. Survey data relates to the life course, which means that it encompasses childhood, the formation and development of partnership relations, leaving the parental home, joining the work process, starting a family, and post-productive age. The chapters describing the results of the GGS 2005 are preceded by two chapters that use statistical data evaluate demographic development and socio-economic development in the Czech Republic since the middle of the 20th century. The main chapters focus on fertility and childcare, formation of partner relationships and the characteristics of individuals within a couple, household organisation and partnership quality, intergenerational relations, their quality, and, retrospectively, the basic (demographic) characteristics of the respondents' family orientation (parental home), income situation and living standard of individuals and families, the socio-economic position of people in the broad age range of 18-79, self-perceived health and its effects on everyday life and the structure of respondents in selected household types.

Průša, L. (2008) Effectiveness of social services financing in homes for seniors, Prague: RILSA, 2008. - 57 p. - ISBN 978-80-7416-018-9

Implementation of new system of financing of social services establishes conditions for finding of optimal form of security of needs of person in disadvantageous social situation. It can contribute to increasing of effectiveness of financial resources. The objective of this monograph is to analyse the effectiveness of social services for seniors. These services are most widespread of type of social services.

Bruthansová, D., Červenková, A., Pechanová, M. (2007) Analysis of possibility to remove disability insurance from the system of old-age pension insurance including social-health aspects of invalidity development, Prague: RILSA, 2007. - 94 p. - ISBN 978-80-87007-70-9

The goal of presented study is to find out whether it would be possible to remove disability insurance from the system of old-age pension insurance and include it within the system of health insurance. We begin by describing the existing system from both economical point of view and health point of view (comparison of morbidity and disability according to ICD-10/WHO). Based on the description of existing system in the CR, its detailed statistical analysis and description of arrangements in some European countries we established that it is possible to separate disability insurance from other type of pensions. We present three possible options of how to do this without changing the current level of social insurance contributions and which would also take into account the insurance of the self-employed. In concluding parts we recommend to make some legislative changes, including automatic conversion of disability pension into old-age pension.