Slovakia: Employment law measures proposed by the Slovak government in response to coronavirus
Operational restrictions for companies aimed at slowing down the spread of coronavirus are causing huge financial losses and threaten the survival of some companies. The Slovak government currently discusses the implementation of measures reducing negative economic impacts including employment measures.
Wage compensation of 60% without prior consent of the employees’ representatives
Under the current legislation, there is a possibility to agree in writing with employees’ representatives (trade unions, work’s council) on wage compensation in the amount of at least 60% of employee’s average earnings in case of substantive operational reasons (i.e. COVID-19). According to the proposed measures, the payment of reduced wage compensation should be possible even without the prior approval by the employees’ representatives.
Postponement of the obligation to pay health and social contributions
Another upcoming measure should allow the employers to postpone the payment of health and social contributions for the months of February, March and April 2020. The amount of the temporarily unpaid contributions should then be divided into 18 monthly instalments due from July 2020 through December 2021. The measure would apply only to retail companies and companies providing services, as well as in specific justified cases (firms supplying only retail etc.), and companies affected by the closure of schools (e.g. private nurseries).
Shorter period for announcement of scheduled holiday
According to the Slovak Labour Code, the employer may in general schedule the holiday; however the employer must inform the employees thereof at least 14 days ahead. The proposed measures should shorten the period to 3 days’ prior notice. Moreover, in order to schedule collective holiday (e.g. closure of the whole factory or a substantive part thereof) the consent of the employees’ representatives is required. Under the new measures, employers should be able to schedule collective holiday should even without prior consent of the employees’ representatives.
Sickness benefit for incapacity to work due to quarantine
Under the currently applicable legislation, the sickness benefit for the first 10 days of incapacity to work is paid by the employer, and, from the 11th day onwards, the sickness benefit is paid by the Social Insurance Agency. According to the new measures, the sickness benefits for incapacity to work due to quarantine should be paid by the Social Insurance Agency already from the first day.
EUR 100 per employee for disinfectants
Each company should receive EUR 100 per employee from the government for the purchase of disinfectants.
The government is currently discussing also other measures concerning the change of conditions for mass redundancies or provision of severance pay in monthly instalments. Further details are not available yet.