Practice Area Articles


February 05, 2024

By Paul Hastings Professional

Back to International Employment Law



Amendment to the Whistleblowing Act

In June 2023, an amendment to the Whistleblowing Act (the “Amendment”) was adopted, fully transposing the relevant EU Directive. The Amendment entered into force on 1 September 2023. The amendment has introduced several significant changes, such as: (i) an expansion of the entities that are covered by the law; (ii) new conditions set for external responsible persons; an expansion of the definition of whistleblowers; and (iii) further increase in fines; and new mandatory provisions of a whistleblowing policy. The legal questions with regards to this new legislation, applicability and practical aspects are likely to be discussed in 2024 and beyond.

Liability of the service suppliers for non-payment of wages to employees carrying out construction work

An amendment to the Labour Code is being prepared to extend the cross-border liability of service suppliers to pay wage due to posted employees. The forthcoming amendment is being prepared due to an incorrect earlier transposition of EU Directive No. 2014/67/EU into Slovak law. Under the proposed amendment, an employee is entitled to assert liability for non-payment of wage on the date it is due, against a supplier in the territory of the Slovak Republic whose direct sub-supplier is employee’s employer. The amendment also includes and specifies the conditions under which such liability does or does not arise, the scope of the liability, and the area in which such liability is asserted. Under the current wording of the Labour Code, such regulation applies only to employees who are posted to the territory of the Slovak Republic. The proposed amendment extends the scope of this rule also to domestic employees. If the conditions are met (non-payment of wages), the employer's supplier is obliged to pay the employee wage up to the amount of minimum wage within 15 days from the date of receipt of the employee's request for payment. For this purpose, the employer is required to provide the supplier with the cooperation and, in particular, the necessary information for the purpose of payment of the wage.

Increase in the minimum monthly wage for 2024

For 2024, employers and employee representatives have agreed to set the minimum wage at €750, which represents an increase of €50, or 7.14%, compared to the previous year. The increase took place as of 1 January 2024 for the standard full-time employees. The amount of the minimum wage for each hour worked by an employee is 1/174 of the amount of the monthly minimum wage (i.e., the hourly minimum wage increases to €4.31). Employers should be advised to reflect on this change, as the minimum wage is also linked to other wage components (e.g., non-active parts of stand-by regime on workplace) or surcharges (e.g., working at night, Saturdays, Sundays), which are subject to automatic adjustments.

With thanks to Peter Fedor, Andrej Katrusin, and Tomas Rybar of Cechova & Partners for their invaluable collaboration on this update.




Major amendment to the Slovak Labour Code

From 1 November 2022 a major change to the Slovak Labour Code is in force, introducing various new instruments or amending various existing employment rules. For example, it changes mandatory particulars of employment contracts, extends information duties toward employees, regulates providing of information in electronic form, provides new limits to probation period rules, etc.

Even though already applicable as of November, legal consequences and potential issues will start to appear most notably in 2023 (during which the majority of employers should already be adapted to the new rules). It will most notably impact larger employers, who should thus asses the introduced changes in detail to ensure that they are compliant with the law.

The employers should take appropriate actions depending on their internal compliance status/situation, e.g. review the current employment contracts templates, update the employment contracts templates where needed, decide whether to provide the relevant “information” in paper form or in electronic form, set-up or amend existing methods of information provision, check whether the restriction on the maximum probation period is complied with, etc.


Increase in the minimum monthly wage for 2023

For the first time ever in the Slovak republic, employers and trade unions have found a consensus on a new minimum wage applicable as of 2023. This is also in response to the inflationary price rises.

Minimum wage increases to EUR 700 gross as of 1 January 2023 for the standard full-time employees. The amount of the minimum wage for each hour worked by an employee is 1/174 of the amount of the monthly minimum wage, i.e. the hourly minimum wage increases to EUR 4.023.

Employers should be advised to reflect on this change, which will be binding and which has impact on various other wage components by law (e.g. non-active parts of stand-by regime on workplace).


Allowance for state supported rental housing

As of 1 January 2023, the Labour Code introduces a new social mechanism - the Allowance for State Supported Rental Housing. Introducing this allowance, the Slovak legislator has decided to address the problem of housing unaffordability. The Labour Code will allow the employers to support the employee, who is a tenant of a state supported rental housing flat with a contribution of no more than EUR 4 per square metre of the flat’s area (but no more than EUR 360 per calendar month).

The conditions are:

  1. the tenant lives in state supported rental housing;

  2. an existing employment relationship.

This allowance is expected to benefit both the employee and the employer. For the employee, the allowance shall be exempt from income tax; on the employer’s side, the allowance provided shall be treated as a tax expense. Interested employers should keep monitoring the situation and prepare internal documentation for executing this new social benefit.

With thanks to Peter Fedor, Andrej Katrusin and Tomas Rybar of Cechova & Partners for their invaluable collaboration on this update.




Elimination of inequalities in taxation of meals provided by the employer

With effect from 1 March 2021, employees who are not provided with meals in their own canteen or in another (contractual) catering facility are entitled to choose between receiving a meal voucher or a financial contribution for meals which is to be paid with the employee's salary. However, this resulted in practical issues due to the differences in the tax treatment of meal vouchers and the financial contribution.

A new regulation was therefore adopted by the Slovak Parliament and came into effect on 1 January 2022 which eliminates the inequalities in taxation of various forms of meal provision, and meal vouchers in particular. As of 2022, the tax deductions for meal vouchers and the financial contribution are now the same.

The originally proposed amendment to the Labour Code envisioned that employers should be given the opportunity to make a contribution of up to 100% of the employee's meal allowance for meals provided during working trips lasting between 5 to 12 hours. However, this proposal was ultimately rejected. The final (adopted) version of the amendment to the Slovak Labour Code provides that 55% of the meal value (currently max. EUR 2.81 EUR) is tax-deductible for both forms of employer contributions (financial contribution or meal vouchers). However, the social fund contribution to the meal value remains tax-free for employers.


New ground for termination of employment

With effect from 1 January 2022, an employer was supposed to be able to terminate the employment of an employee if: (i) they had reached the age of 65; and (ii) they had reached the age for entitlement to a retirement pension. Both of these conditions had to be met simultaneously and there was no requirement for the employer to meet any of the other conditions applicable for other termination reasons. However, in December 2021 the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic suspended the effectiveness of this provision so it will no longer apply from 1 January 2022 (as originally expected).

The new regulation was justified by the effort to support employment in the Slovak Republic, the intergenerational exchange of employees in the workplace and to reflect on the possibility of termination of the civil service relationship. However, on the other hand, termination by an employer on the basis of such grounds may potentially be perceived as age discrimination. The Constitutional Court will therefore need to decide whether this provision of the Labour Code is in accordance with the Constitution of the Slovak Republic and whether it should come into force or instead be deleted.

If the Constitutional Court decides that this new ground for termination of employment should be permitted, it should be noted that the entitlement to severance pay would also be triggered. Severance pay would be calculated based on the same formula as applied for redundancies and would depend on the employee's length of service. Employers should therefore continue to monitor developments in this area.


Adoption of new Act on support in the times of short-time work

On 4 May 2021, the Slovak Parliament approved the Act on Support in the Times of Short-time Work, also referred to as the Act on “Kurzarbeit”. The Act came into effect on 1 January 2022 and aims to provide support to the employer in order to reimburse the costs of employment, in cases when the employer was forced to reduce working hours of certain employees due to an unfavourable situation caused by external influences, which resulted in the employer’s inability to assign work to the employee in the extent of at least 10% of the prescribed weekly working time. The Act seeks to maintain employment in times of crisis, as employers will not be pushed to terminate employment.

The implementation of the support is linked to the introduction of a new social insurance contribution of 0.5% of the assessment base (under the Act on Social Security). However, the adoption of the Act is also associated with a reduction in the rate of social insurance contribution for unemployment insurance from 1% to 0.5% of the assessment base.

Therefore, the employer’s contribution burden does not change in most cases. However, this does not apply if the employer does not pay an unemployment insurance contribution for certain employees (for example, persons granted a retirement pension allowance or disability pension allowance due to a decrease in the ability to perform work activities by more than 70%).

The period during which the support is being provided is time-limited. The support may be granted for a maximum of 6 months in a period of 24 consecutive months. This period may be extended by a government regulation if the support is provided based on the influence of an external factor, which constitutes an emergency situation, state of emergency and state of distress (as defined in Slovak law). The regulation can also establish that the support may be provided for a period of two months after the end of such external factor.

Employers are obliged to maintain the position for which the support was received for at least 2 months following the calendar month for which the support was provided. However, if the employee voluntarily terminates his/her employment during this period, this would not be considered a violation of this condition.




Modernizing changes to work at home and telework

The COVID‑19 pandemic forced a significant number of employers to either allow or (if possible) require their employees to perform their job duties from their homes (or other places outside the originally agreed workplace). Even though some changes were already introduced back in 2020, the Slovak Government only recently decided to substantially update and modernise the existing legal framework on work‑at‑home and telework reflecting upon many legal and practical issues, which due to the pandemic, became even more eminent and concerning (e.g., in relation to employer's H&S duties, distribution of working time, or in relation to so called "mobile workers" or "digital nomads" working from various different places). The amendment to the respective laws is scheduled to come into force on 1 March 2021.


Meal vouchers as a voluntary option

Under the existing legislation, employers, who do not provide their employees with mandatory hot meals directly at the workplace or nearby catering facilities of other employers, are required to give them meal vouchers in the amount set by law (whereas employers are required to partially contribute a certain pre‑set amount of a voucher's value). Employees can then use the vouchers to pay for lunch in restaurants or buy food in shops, for example. With effect from 1 March 2021, the Slovak Government changed the mandatory nature of meal vouchers and employees can now individually decide whether they want to keep receiving the meal vouchers or instead obtain the employer's financial contribution directly as a payment.


Social benefits administered in 2021

Despite the negative consequences of the COVID‑19 pandemic, several changes in Slovak labour and social security law have been adopted or announced, including:

  • an increase in the minimum monthly wage to EUR 623 gross as of 1 January 2021;
  • mandatory surcharges for work on Saturday, Sunday and public holiday were changed to fixed amounts as of 1 January 2021 (formerly set as a percentage of minimum wage);
  • a new social contribution called "pregnancy allowance" in the approx. amount of EUR 210 monthly was applicable as of 1 January 2021; and
  • a permanent "kurzarbeit" scheme (i.e., the short‑time work scheme allowing employers to temporarily reduce working time of their employees, whereas the state would participate in compensation for the loss of the employees' income due to the reduced working time via a state allowance provided from the state social security scheme) was introduced by the Slovak Government (planned to be effective from 1 January 2022).




Vacation entitlement for young parents

As of 1 January 2020, all employees who have permanent childcare responsibilities are entitled to five weeks of paid leave if they are ‘continuously taking care of a child'. This entitlement was previously only available to employees over the age of 33, and employees who did not meet the age limit were generally only entitled to four weeks of paid holiday, regardless of their childcare responsibilities (although specific exemptions applied).


Introduction of the sports activities allowance

On 1 January 2020, a new type of benefit - a sport activity allowance - was introduced to give employers the opportunity to contribute to the costs of employees' children's sports activities. The structure, concept and amount of the sports activities allowance is similar to the existing recreation allowance (i.e., the allowance will only be granted to an employee who has been employed for a continuous period of at least two years, the employee must apply for the allowance and it is limited to 55% of the eligible expenditure but is capped at EUR 275 per employee per calendar year), but the main difference is that the sport activity allowance is a voluntary benefit. The alleged motivation for employers to provide this new benefit to employees will be the favourable tax treatment of the benefit.


Changes in cross-border posting of workers

An amendment to the legal regulation of the cross-border posting of employees came into effect on 30 July 2020 and distinguishes between a short-term posting lasting for a maximum of 12 months (or 18 months if the extension of the short-term posting and its reasons are communicated to the National Labour Inspectorate in advance) and a long-term posting lasting longer than 12 or 18 months. Further to the division of postings into short-term and long-term postings, the amendment also defines rules for the calculation of the duration of a posting and has introduced the inclusion of 'successive postings' in the duration of a posting. Another change introduced by the amendment is that, in the case of temporary cross-border posting of a worker to an employer in the territory of Slovak Republic, the employer may post the posted worker to perform work for another employer in another EU Member State, under certain conditions. Further, the amendment has extended the so-called core terms and conditions of employment, that is, the obligatory provisions of Slovak labour law that must apply to the employment relationship of a worker posted to perform work in the territory of the Slovak Republic. For example, the core terms and conditions of employment have now been extended to allow reimbursement of expenditure to cover travel expenses and to include the conditions of accommodation provided by an employer.


New rules regarding remote work

Until late March 2020, employers were not legally authorised to unilaterally order a 'home office', or ask an employee to work remotely if the employee's employment contract did not contain a provision allowing the employer to do so. However, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the home office regime was naturally considered as an important mechanism to ensure the health & safety of employees, and the Slovak Labour Code has now been amended to allow employers to order employees to work from home, provided that the work they are employed to do can be performed from home. Similarly, employees are also entitled to demand to work from home (and the employer must permit it), unless there are serious operational reasons not enabling such work to be carried out from home. Although these new rules regarding remote working were intended to be temporary (i.e., applicable only during the COVID-19 pandemic and two months after it), their permanent introduction into Slovak legal order is currently being discussed.


Introduction of specific state-subsidized "Kurzarbeit" scheme

The Slovak Government has introduced a specific state-subsidized "Kurzarbeit" scheme, pursuant to which employers will be entitled to receive a state subsidy if they cannot assign work to their employees, or there has been a drop in activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the scheme, employees' compensation will be reduced to 80% of their average earnings (from the original 100%), without the need to obtain employees' consent or consent from the employees' representatives, and the State will reimburse 80% of employees' salaries to employers whose operations have closed, or whose revenues have fallen by a set percentage (even it not mandatorily closed).


Planned abolishment of mandatory meal vouchers

In order to improve the business environment in Slovakia, the new Slovak Government has announced a change to the current legislation regarding the provision of mandatory meal vouchers to employees in Slovakia (which is generally applicable to employers who cannot provide employees with one hot meal and a drink at the workplace or a nearby catering facility). It is envisaged that meal vouchers should be provided on a voluntary basis, whereas a monetary compensation in the same amount should be the legal alternative. Further details have not yet been published.




New obligation to provide recreation contributions for employees

A new obligation to provide “recreation contributions” to be spent on holidays and other "recreation" activities in Slovakia came into force on 1 January 2019. The contribution shall be provided at the request of the employee. The employee must have a continuous period of at least 24 months service with the employer (as of the start of the recreation) to make the request. The contribution shall be mandatory for companies employing 50 or more employees. Companies with less than 50 employees may offer this on a voluntary basis. The contribution is 55% of eligible expenses (as defined in the Labour Code) up to a maximum of EUR 275 per calendar year. The contribution will be exempt from income tax.


Proposed changes to whistleblowing regulations

The proposal for a new Act on Whistleblowing has been published. Protection of employee-whistleblowers is being significantly extended by several new mechanisms such as the establishment of an independent Whistleblowing Office, material extension of existing definitions and extension of protective periods. Employers with 50 or more employees will be required to adopt appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure and demonstrate their compliance with the Whistleblowing Act and internal whistleblowing policies. Such employers will be also be explicitly required to uphold the independence of responsible persons, provide them with any necessary cooperation and continuously ensure their qualification in this respect.

The wording of the new Whistleblowing Act is still subject to legislative procedure. The regulation is however expected to enter into force in Spring 2019.


Announced social benefits coming in 2019

Due to the recent macro-economic growth in Slovakia, the following remuneration aspects are changing:

  • an increase in the minimum wage to EUR 520 gross as of 1 January 2019;
  • an increase in the surcharge for working at night (40% of minimum wage);
  • an increase in the surcharge for work during public holidays (100% of average earnings) as of 1 May 2019; and
  • an increase in the surcharges for working on Saturdays (50% of minimum wage) and Sundays (100% of minimum wage) as of 1 May 2019.




Industry-Level Collective Agreements

As of 1 September 2017, Higher Level Collective Agreements (HCAs) will be automatically considered as representative and thus binding on other employers in the same industry (with certain exemptions), who had not originally committed to the HCA. The Ministry of Labour will no longer decide if it will extend an HCA.


Liability of Entrepreneurs for Illegal Employment Conducted by Third Parties

Pursuant to amendments to the Act on Illegal Employment, entrepreneurs (whether a corporate entity or natural person) are not allowed to accept any work or service which is delivered or provided by a third party employing individuals illegally. In practice, this means that a company which orders certain services or works (e.g. uses the services of a temporary employment agency) must verify whether the employees of its supplier/assigned workers perform illegal work; otherwise the company may be subject to sanctions up to EUR 200.000.


Announced Social Benefits Coming in 2018/2019

Due to the recent macroeconomic growth in Slovakia, the Slovak Government has announced several upcoming changes in Slovak labour and social law including:

  • an increase in the minimum wage to EUR 480 gross as of 1 January 2018;
  • an increase in the surcharge for working night or during public holidays;
  • the introduction of surcharges for working on Saturdays and Sundays; and
  • the introduction of parental leave.
With thanks to Peter Fedor, Tomas Rybar and Katarina Szendreiova of Cechova & Partners for their invaluable collaboration on this update.

For More Information

Image: Suzanne Horne
Suzanne Horne

Partner, Employment Law Department

Image: Aashna Parekh
Aashna Parekh

Associate, Employment Law Department

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