Who May Become an Employee Under the Slovak Law?
Employee is an individual (natural person) performing paid work for an employer under employment, or a similar labour relationship. Only persons above 15 years of age may become employees.
Who May Become Employer Under the Slovak Law?
Employer is deemed both an individual (natural person) or legal person. Employer may also be a foreign person and any other person regardless of whether such person has, or has not established a business branch (organizačná zložka) in Slovakia.
Do Employers in Slovakia Owe any Obligations to Future Employees Before They Start Working?
Employers are required to inform their future employees in advance about the:
- employees’ rights and obligations/responsibilities resulting to them from their employment contracts
- work conditions under which work is to be performed
- wage conditions under which work is to be performed.
When concluding the employment contract, employers are not allowed to agree with future employees on wages below the basal portion of the wage the employer advertised in the job offer.
What Types of Employment Contract Are Recognized in Slovakia?
There are two types of employment contracts in Slovakia:
- Employment contract concluded for a definite period of time
- Employment contract concluded for indefinite period of time
Both of the above employment contracts guarantee to employees full-time employment, which usually comprises 40 hours per week.
In addition, employees may perform work also under other agreements having as their subject matter part-time employment, such as:
- Agreements for on-call work (dohoda o vykonaní práce) – the scope of work defined by certain outcome must not exceed 350 hours in a calendar year
- Agreements for performance of work (dohoda o pracovnej činnosti) – this type of work contract allows for performing work that is not defined by a specific outcome for not more than 10 hours per week. It is concluded for a definite period not to exceed 12 months
- Agreements for student part-time work (dohoda o brigádnicej práci študentov) – these are similar to agreements for performance of work, the difference being that it allows working for 20 hours per week in average. These types of agreements may only be concluded with persons who are either full-time high school or university students according to special legal regulation, and who are below 26 years of age.
Are There Mandatory Time Frames in Slovakia Restricting the Conclusion of an Employment Contract for a Definite Period?
No restrictions apply to full-time employment contracts concluded for indefinite period of time.
On the other hand, employment contracts for a definite period may be concluded for not more than two years, while such contracts may be renewed or extended only two times in a row. Subsequently, the labour relationship in question will change to employment for indefinite period.
Is It Possible to Agree on a Probationary Period in Employment Contracts in Slovakia?
The Labour Code allows for this and any probationary period must be agreed upon in writing. Probationary period agreed in an employment contract must not exceed three months. For managerial staff exercising directly powers of an executive and representative body (štatutárny orgán), or a member of such body, and for senior managerial staff, the probationary period is up to six months.
The advantage of the probationary period is that both employers and employees may terminate the labour relationship in writing at any time during this period and without the need to state a reason.
What Are the Options for Termination of Employment in Slovakia?
The Slovak law recognizes five possibilities for termination of employment:
- by mutual agreement for whatever reason;
- by termination notice, provided that employees do not state a reason while employers may serve termination notices only for reasons defined by law;
- by instant termination for reasons defined by law;
- by termination within any probationary period without giving a reason;
- by expiry of the period for which employment was agreed.
What Notice Periods Apply in Slovakia?
The Slovak Labour Code does not prescribe any uniform duration of notice periods; as a rule and depending on the duration of employment and termination reasons, notice periods of one to three months can be defined.
Are There any Restrictions Preventing Employers in Slovakia from Serving Termination Notices?
Apart from the fact that employers may serve termination notices on employees only in cases precisely defined by the law, there are also circumstances (protection period) under which law expressly forbids serving termination notices on employees. The following situations are concerned:
- employee temporarily recognized as unfit for work;
- employee is recalled to extraordinary duty in crisis/emergency situations;
- during voluntary military training;
- pregnant female employees;
- female employee on maternal leave;
- employee (female or male) on parental leave;
- lone parent (father or mother) providing care for child under three years of age;
- employees released for a protracted period to discharge a public office;
- employee carrying out night work is recognized as temporarily unfit for night work under a medical assessment.
What Are the Cases Warranting Instant Termination of Employment?
Employers are allowed to terminate employment with instant effect only when an employee is convicted of wilful criminal offence, or in the case of employee’s gross misconduct.
Employees are allowed to terminate their employment with instant effect if it is proven under a medical assessment that the employee is no longer able to perform his work without serious damage to his health, if the employer failed to pay to employee his wage or other compensation within 15 days of the payment’s due date, or in the case of serious threat to the employee’s health or life.
Similarly to termination notices, instant termination – either by employer or employee – must be notified in writing, while the termination reason must be defined unambiguously so that it is not interchangeable with any other reason, and such reason cannot be subsequently changed.
Can Employees Perform Work From Home and Homeoffice Work in Slovakia?
Yes, they can. However, the Labour Code permits working from home from home and homeoffice arrangements only employees having a regular employment contract in place with the employer and as long as this type of work has been agreed in the employment contract. Employees working under contract outside employment are not permitted to perform this type of work.
To What Leave Are Employees Entitled Under the Slovak Legislation?
In general, the basic allowance for leave of absence is at least four weeks. Employees having completed at least 33 years of age and employees taking permanent care of a child are entitled to a leave of absence of at least of five weeks. For example educators, university teachers, research scientists and similar professions are entitled to a leave of absence of eight weeks.
Are Employers in Slovakia Required to Pay a Severance Payment to Employees Upon Termination of Employment?
Depending on the employment termination manner, termination reason and duration of service before the termination, employers are required to pay severance allowances to employees. This obligation does not apply if employment is terminated during a probationary period, in the case of termination upon expiry of the agreed definite period and also in the case of instant termination. When employment is terminated by mutual agreement or termination notice, employers may be required to pay to employees, depending on each particular case, a severance payment of one to ten times the employee’s average wage.
Is It Possible to Include a No Competition Clause in an Employment Contract?
Yes, this is possible.
The Labour Code introduces restrictions on the performance of other gainful activities and parallel gainful activities by an employee during his/her principal employment, and also restrictions on gainful activities after termination of the employment. Such restrictions may be imposed on employees for not more than one year on the condition that the employer will compensate the employee observing the ban on competition by paying to the latter at least 50% of his/her pre-termination average wage while the restriction is in place.
Are there Special Courts for Hearing Labour Law-Related Cases in the Slovak Republic?
There are no special labour courts in the Slovak Republic. Labour law-related cases are heard by general courts. However, employees are exempted from the payment of court fees and are thus provided with a better access to judicial protection.