News - Slovakia

Slovakia - January 2013

Major amendments to the Labour Code extend employment protection rights

An extensive amendment to the Labour Code ("Amendment") came into effect as of 1 January 2013.

The following are the most significant changes brought about by the Amendment:

Severance pay

Under the Amendment an employee is entitled to mandatory severance pay if his/her employment is terminated by notice or by agreement due to (i) organisational reasons (closure or relocation of the business or redundancy) or (ii) the employee's inability to perform his/her work on medical grounds. The amount depends on the length of service and varies depending on whether the employment terminates by notice or by agreement. Until 31 December 2012, an employee was entitled to severance pay only if his/her employment was terminated by agreement due to the above stated reasons.

The Amendment has not affected the mandatory severance pay for employees whose employment terminates due to work-related health reasons.

Notice periods now minimums

From 1 January 2013, the Labour Code stipulates notice periods as the minimum to be applied allowing the parties to agree on longer notice periods if they desire.

Comprehensive Consultation on terminations – Failure invalidates termination

The Amendment restores a previously abolished provision requiring that every notice and immediate employment termination by the employer must be consulted on in advance with employee representatives. Failure to do so invalidates the termination of the employment.

Unpaid overtime limited

Until the end of 2012, under a collective agreement, up to 150 hours overtime work per calendar year could be included in the salary of designated employee groups. The Amendment abolishes this possibility. However, overtime work can still be included in written agreements with individual employees in managerial or so called "creative" positions.

Agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship

The Amendment extends the applicability of certain provisions of the Labour Code relating to work time to relationships established under agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship. Moreover, the provisions regulating the minimum salary will apply to these relationships.

Government regulation on minimum salary

With effect from 1 January 2013 the minimum monthly salary is EUR 337.70 and the minimum hourly rate (based on a 40 hour week) is EUR 1.941.

Commentary

The Amendment will probably raise the necessity of updating sample employment contracts and agreements on work performed outside the employment relationship used by employers.

Resources

Act no 311/2001 Coll. the Labour Code, as amended

Government regulation No. 326/2012 Coll. stipulating the minimum salary for 2013

For further information or to discuss any of the issues raised, please contact Andrea Olšovská on +421 (0) 232 333 232 or Veronika Hrušovská on +421 (0) 232 333 232 at PRK Partners, Bratislava - www.prkpartners.com.

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