Labour law

Slovak labour law is codified in one codex – the Labour Code. Special acts regulate only marginal and related matters (e.g. minimum wage, collective bargaining, employment via temporary work agencies, or some aspects of employee posting).

Collective labour law is not as important in Slovakia as it is in Germany or France. It has neither tradition nor are the trade unions strong enough in a majority of industrial sectors.

Next to the standard employment contract, the Labour Code allows for so-called “agreements”. These are:

  • Agreement on work performance (350 hours/year for one employer at most),
  • Temporary student job agreement (20 hours/week in average, student status required, only students up to 26 years of age),
  • Agreement on work activities (10 hours/week at most).

These are more flexible forms of employment; the Labour Code does not apply to its full extent. Dissolution of these agreement is much less complicated compared to the usual employment contracts.

Probationary period amounts to 3 months at maximum. Only in some leading employee cases, the probation period can amount up to 6 months.

Slovak law allows and regulates expressly legal institutes such as temporary work contracts, part-time employment, shared workplaces, work from home and telework, or flextime wage record. On the other hand, the regulation of home-office or plant practice (betriebliche Übung) is still missing in the Slovak labour law.

Pursuant to Slovak law, employment can be terminated, primarily upon:

  • mutual agreement on termination
  • termination by notice on the part of employer
  • termination by notice on the part of employee
  • immediate termination.

There are also other, less frequent, termination possibilities, such as: collective dismissal, termination in the probationary period, or lapse of time in temporary work contracts.

From the practical point of view, upon termination the employer must (i) have sufficient and provable grounds for termination at hand and (ii) calculate the related costs (e.g. salary within the notice period, severance payments, and (when applicable) departure payments. Note, these payments can be claimed in parallel).

Slovak labour law allows for neither so-called termination by notice with the alternative to stay under changed working conditions (Änderungskündigung) nor for non-terminable employments (unkündbare Arbeitsverhältnisse).

It has a rather complicated and complex regulation concerning working time, its distribution, obligatory breaks, or overtime work.

The basic paid leave amounts to at least 4 weeks. Interestingly, once an employee is 33 years old, he/she is entitled to at least 5 weeks paid leave. The same applies in relation to an employee taking care of a child. Special rules apply with regard to some employee categories such as educational employees or employees working under conditions harmful to health.

The amount of the minimum wage is set every year by Government ordinance. In 2020, it amounts to EUR 580/month. Please note that the minimum wage in the above set amount is relevant only for the employees of so-called 1. category. The Labour Code distinguishes a total of 6 categories (depending on the level of difficulty), whereas every category has been allocated with a coefficient. Example: category 6, i.e. the category with the highest difficulty level, was allocated with the coefficient 2. This means that the minimum wage of this category amounts to double the basic minimum wage, at the moment EUR 1060. In Labour Code terminology we talk about a minimum wage claim.

One needs to count with the allowances in case of overtime work, work on Saturday, on Sunday, night work, and under more difficult working conditions.

It could also be interesting for employers that, in case of employee illness, the employer pays the wage compensation only during the first 10 days of sickness. As of the 11th day, the employee is entitled to an allowance from the Social Security Agency (sick-payment). The calculation of the wage compensation is rather complicated. The lowest compensation is paid for the first three days of sickness. It amounts in average only to ¼ of the usual wage.

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