Slovak Labour Law News
The Slovak parliament has recently adopted numerous changes to various aspects of the Labour Code and we are glad to introduce you to the most important ones.
A new type of an employment agreement, the employment agreement for seasonal work was introduced. This particular type of agreement is defined as a work activity which is dependent on the change of the seasons, reoccurs each year and does not exceed eight months in a calendar year. The agreement concerns workers who are recruited for specific seasonal work in agriculture, tourism, food and forestry sectors. The agreement may be concluded for a maximum of 8 months, within which the employee may work for up to 520 hours. This reduces the employer’s burden of wage costs and the difficulty of recruiting employees in these sectors.
A new rule on transition to a different form of employment enables the employee with a limited time or part-time employment which exceeds six months, to request an indefinite or full-time employment relationship. The employer is obliged to respond to such request in writing including the reasons justifying the decision within one month. However, if the employer is a natural person or if the employer has less than 50 employees, the period for such response is extended to three months.
An electronization of meal vouchers is widely welcomed. The employer has to replace paper meal vouchers with electronic „gastro-cards“ that the employer tops up with credit intended to pay for employee’s meals. The employees shall no longer be bothered by counting the amount of vouchers when paying in restaurants or shops. Instead, the employee can pay for meals or groceries by any amount up to the credit left on the gastro-card. This makes the whole process faster and more convenient. At the same time, the alternative to the paper voucher, a financial contribution for employee’s meals sent directly to the employee’s bank account is preserved.
State-supported housing allowance has been introduced, whereby an employer may optionally provide an employee with an allowance for renting a flat that is state-supported. However, as to our knowledge, the state-run project is still in its infancy and so far only two developers have decided to pursue this particular type of project. Others are rather reluctant due to lack of incentives and economic benefits. If you have employees in Slovakia, be aware of the newest Labour Code amendment, effective as of June 2023. The change relates to an increase of salary benefits for work performed on the weekend and night work. For work performed on Saturday, the employee is entitled to a wage advantage of at least 50 % of the minimum wage. Moreover, for work performed on Sunday, the employee is entitled to a wage advantage of at least 100 % of the minimum wage. Where the nature of the work or the conditions of the premises require the work to be carried out regularly on the weekend, a lower amount of wage advantage may be agreed, but not less than 45 % of the minimum wage for Saturday and not less than 90 % of the minimum wage for Sunday. As to the night work, which is performed between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am, the employee is entitled to a wage advantage of at least 40 % of the minimum wage, in the case of an employee performing dangerous work it is at least 50 % of the minimum wage. Again, if the night work has to be carried out regularly, a lower amount of wage advantage may be agreed, but not less than 35 % of the minimum wage. This measure is part of a social policy and puts pressure on employers to either close their businesses on weekends, and let the employees spend the weekend at home with their families or to pay them a significantly higher salary.
Mgr. Veronika Kvašňovská / JUDr. Valter Pieger
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