Slovakia: COVID-19 related rules for employers and access to workplace
1. Access to workplace
As of 29 November 2021, employers must temporarily restrict access to workplace and allow entry only to fully vaccinated, negatively tested employees or employees who recovered from COVID-19 (so called OTP regime).
For this purpose, the employers must regularly control the digital EU COVID passes (or similar confirmation including the determination of employee´s identity) proving the following status:
|an individual at least 14 days* after the 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with a two-dose schedule||an individual with a negative COVID-19 test (for instance RT-PCR test, LAMP test, Ag test, nasal test) not older than seven days||an individual who recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days (must be documented by a positive result of a RT-PCR test)|
|an individual at least 21 days* after the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with a single-dose schedule|
|an individual at least 14 days* after the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (if the 1st dose of the vaccine was given within 180 days of recovering from COVID-19)|
* but not more than one year after the last dose
The OTP regime applies to all employees and persons performing work for the employer, such as:
- full-time employees,
- employees performing work on the basis of an agreement for performance of work,
- students working on part-time agreements,
- “management” contracts pursuant to the Slovak Commercial Code.
The only exception are employees who do not encounter any other person at the workplace or other premises of the employer.
Decree No. 264 of the Public Health Authority (hereinafter referred to as Decree No. 264) determines the obligations of the employer and the respective conditions for the entry of employees into the employer's premises in detail.
2. Testing of employees
In relation to the OTP regime, the employers shall provide free testing to their employees. The form of testing is up to the employer (eg providing self-tests or mobile testing unit).
The employer can offer free testing also to all employees (besides the OTP regime, employees who have been in contact with a positively tested person, etc) on a voluntary basis.
As guidance for the employers, the Ministry of Economy issued the Manual for employers regarding testing of employees (hereinafter referred to as the Manual). The Manual is valid for testing of employees until 31.12.2021.
According to the Manual, the employer shall:
- provide for a sufficient amount of Ag self-tests,
- ensure a suitable space for testing,
- empower an authorized person with the supervision over self-testing of employees.
The authorized person oversees the proper performance of the Ag self-test by the employees and keeps records of its outcome, including name, surname, birth number, test date, test result, employee's signature and signature of the authorized person.
The state will reimburse the costs of the Ag self-test and costs associated with testing (manipulation) on the basis of the employer´s request in January 2022 to the following extent:
- EUR 6 for each tested employee once a week,
- EUR 6 for each tested employee once a week for testing via mobile testing unit,
- Maximum 5 Ag self-tests per employee who is not fully vaccinated or who has not recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days.
3. Compensation of wage
The employer must deny entry to workplace if the employee does not present the digital EU COVID pass and also refuses the possibility of free testing offered by the employer. In such case, the employee is not entitled to wage compensation during the effectiveness of Decree No. 264 if not agreed otherwise with the employer.
4. Waste disposal from testing
Disposal of waste shall be secured by the employer in accordance with the applicable legislation at its own costs (it is advised to follow the enclosed test leaflet).
Waste from COVID-19 self-testing is not considered to be hazardous waste according to the Manual. It shall be handled as ordinary waste, placed in mixed waste and sealable plastic container and disposed of in the municipal waste (black container) regardless of the test result.
5. Home office and Curfew
As of 25 November 2021, the Slovak Government declared state of emergency for 90 days.
During the state of emergency, the employer has the right to order the employee to work from home (if the agreed type of work allows working from home). The employee has the right to work from home if there are no serious operational reasons impeding the employee to work from home.
The Slovak Government also imposed a curfew from 5am until 1am of the following day until further notice, but not later than 9 December 2021. Currently it however seems realistic that the lockdown will be prolonged.
Commuting to and from work is an exception from curfew. The employer must issue a confirmation to its employees and specify:
- work hours,
- exact location of the place of work, and
- confirm that the nature of work does not allow it to be performed from home.
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