Slovakia: Changes in the Labour Code as of November 2022
The Slovak Parliament adopted the amendment to Act No. 311/2001 Coll. the Labour Code, as amended (Amendment). The Amendment enters into force on 1 November 2022 and mainly aims to transpose directives of the European Parliament, namely Directive (EU) 2019/1152 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union, and Directive (EU) 2019/1158, on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU. Below we summarize the most important changes:
Delivery of documents
The employers may no longer shorten the period for takeover of registered mail by their employees to less than 10 days.
The Amendment also introduces new rules for informing employees by electronic means, if:
- not specifically prohibited by law;
- the employees have access to the electronic form of the information;
- the employees can save such information and print it;
- the employer retains evidence of transmission or receipt.
The employers are not allowed to restrict the employees from engaging in any other gainful activity outside of the working hours except for activities that are competitive to the employer's business.
The employment contract must contain the employer's and employee's identification data in addition to the already required essential requirements.
If not already included in the employment contract, the employers must inform the employees in writing on their working conditions and employment conditions (information can be provided also electronically), such as:
- determination of the place of work, resp. main place of work;
- weekly working time, method and rules for the distribution of working time, including the expected working days, extent and timing of work breaks and rest period, rules of overtime, including overtime pay, etc;
- vacation entitlement;
- payment of wage, including pay dates;
- rules for employment termination, length of notice period, time limit for challenging employment termination at court;
- trainings provided by the employer.
The above information must be provided:
- within 7 days as of the commencement of the employment, to the extent of information referred to in points (a), (b) and (d),
- within 4 weeks as of the commencement of the employment, to the extent of information referred to in points (c), (e) and (f).
Work outside the Slovak Republic
In case of work performance outside the Slovak Republic, the employer and the employee must agree on specific essential requirements (such as place of work, duration, currency for payment of wage, wage conditions, repatriation) if:
- not included in the employment contract;
- the period of work outside the Slovak Republic exceeds 4 weeks.
Pursuant to the Amendment, employees with a fixed-term employment may not have a probationary period longer than half of the agreed duration of the employment relationship. For instance, if the employment was concluded for 4 months, the probationary period cannot be longer than 2 months.
Deductions from wage
The Amendment allows for deductions from wage to be made for unbilled meal allowances (in other cases a specific agreement or an agreement in the employment contract is required as before).
Agreements on work performed outside the employment
New rules for minimum predictability of work have been introduced. The employer must inform the employees on
- days and periods during which they may be required to work;
- period, during which the employees must be informed about work prior to its commencement (this may not be less than 24 hours).
In addition to maternity and parental leave, the Amendment introduces the institute of paternity leave.
Fathers on paternity leave will be protected to the same extent as mothers during maternity leave (e.g., from employment termination).
Fathers can take 2 weeks of paid leave within 6 weeks as of the child's birth, even if the mother receives maternity or parental allowance at the same time.
Employer's information obligation relating to the current employments
Even for existing employments, we recommend reviewing the employment contracts and their contents in detail. If the employment contracts do not contain the required extent of information on working conditions (as referred to in points 3 and 4. above), the employers must provide their employees with such written information upon the employees' request.