Living and working in Slovakia

18 October 2017

  •   Population: 5.4 million (2017)
  •   Real GDP growth: 3.3% (2016)
  •   Unemployment rate: 9.6% (2016)

Data source: Eurostat

Eurofound provides research, data and analysis on a wide range of social and work-related topics. This information is largely comparative, but also offers country-specific information for each of the 28 EU Member States. Most information is available in English but some has been translated to facilitate access at national level.

Eurofound strives to strengthen the ongoing link between its own work and national policy debates and priorities related to quality of life and work. Increasingly important in this context is the Europe 2020 growth and jobs strategy launched in 2010, which has five headline targets, covering employment through to social inclusion and poverty reduction. The strategy is implemented in the context of the European Semester process – the EU's annual cycle of economic policy guidance and surveillance – which ensures that Member States keep their budgetary and economic policies in line with their EU commitments through, in part, National Reform Programmes. These programmes form the basis for the European Commission's proposals for country-specific recommendations (CSRs) for each Member State.

European Commission: The European Semester
European Commission: The European Semester - EU country-specific recommendations
European Commission: European Semester documents for Slovakia

2015 Eurofound EWCS survey results in Slovakia: 27% of people don’t receive the recognition they deserve for their work

Survey results

Satisfaction with quality of life
Data source: 2012 EQLS survey

Ability to choose or change
methods of work

Data source: 2015 EWCS survey

Possibility to accumulate overtime
for days off

Data source: 2013 ECS survey

News and quarterly country updates

Eurofound contacts in Slovakia

Correspondents in Slovakia

Correspondents report on topics related to developments in the countries working life and inform Eurofound’s pan-European comparative analysis. Read more

Institute for Labour and Family Research (IVPR)

Eurofound governing board members from Slovakia

Eurofound's Governing Board represents the social partners and national governments of all Member States, as well as the European Commission. Read more

Silvia Gregorcova Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family

Radovan Maxin Association of Employment Services (APSZ SR)

Miroslav Hajnos Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic (KOZ SR)

Related content

Other country-specific information may be available in certain areas on demand. Please feel free to contact your country contact at Eurofound for this or any other information at information@eurofound.europa.eu

Working life in Slovakia

About

  • Author: Ludovit Cziria
  • Institution: Institute for Labour and Family Research

This profile describes the key characteristics of working life in Slovakia It aims to complement other EurWORK research, by providing the relevant background information on structures, institutions and relevant regulations regarding working life. This includes indicators, data and regulatory systems on the following aspects: actors and institutions, collective and individual employment relations, health and well-being, pay, working time, skills and training, and equality and non-discrimination at work. The profiles are updated annually.

Key figures

Key figures

Comparative figures on working life in Slovakia

 

2011

2016

% (point) change
2011–2016

Slovakia

EU28

Slovakia

EU28

Slovakia

EU28

GDP per capita

12900

25800

14500

26900

12.4%

4.3%

Unemployment rate – total

13.7

9.7

9.6

8.5

-4.1

-1.2

Unemployment rate – women

13.7

9.8

10.7

8.7

-3.0

-1.1

Unemployment rate – men

13.7

9.6

8.8

8.4

-4.9

-1.2

Unemployment rate – youth

33.7

21.7

22.2

18.7

-11.5

-3.0

Employment rate – total

68.7

71.1

71.9

73.0

3.2

1.9

Employment rate – women

60.8

64.8

65.4

67.4

4.6

2.6

Employment rate – men

76.6

77.5

78.3

78.6

1.7

1.1

Employment rate – youth

30.1

42.5

32.4

41.6

2.3

-0.9

Source: Eurostat - Real GDP per capita (chain linked volumes [2010], in EUR) and percentage change 2011-2016 (both based on tsdec100). Unemployment rate by sex and age - annual average, % [une_rt_a]; Employment rate by sex and age - annual average, % [lfsi_emp_a].

Background

Background

Economic and labour market context

Between 2011 and 2016, GDP in Slovakia increased substantially by 12.4%, greater than the EU average growth of 4.3% for the same period. Unemployment figures decreased in all categories, with the biggest decrease in youth unemployment rate, which fell 11.5 percentage points in the five years to 22.2% in 2016. Total unemployment stood at 9.6% in 2016, compared with an EU average of 8.5% for the same year. Employment rates for all categories increased, in particular for women, rising in this group 4.6 percentage points from 2011 to 2016. Total employment in 2016 was 71.9%, slightly below the EU average of 73% for the same year. 

More information on:

Legal context

Since 1 April 2002, the new Labour Code ( Act No. 311/2001 ) regulates employment conditions and industrial relations in the private and public sectors. Employees are traditionally represented by trade unions, and where trade unions are not present, also by works councils. However, from 1 July 2003, the Labour Code allows works councils in unionised enterprises. Nevertheless, only trade unions are entitled to be involved in collective bargaining. More information on changes in the Labour Code is available through Eurofound . In addition to the Labour Code, working conditions, including occupational safety and health, are regulated by Act No. 124/2006. Collective bargaining, including the extension of agreements and labour conflicts resolution, is regulated by Act No. 2/1991 on collective bargaining.

Industrial relations context

The current industrial relations system was formed in the early 1990s, when the social partner organisations were established. Social dialogue takes place at tripartite and bipartite levels. The social partners are consulted by the government through tripartite social dialogue. Bipartite social dialogue consists of two-tier collective bargaining conducted at sector and company levels.

The nature of industrial relations in Slovakia is mostly consensus oriented and rather peaceful. Most collective disputes are settled by conciliation and only a few of them need to use the arbitration procedure. Strikes rarely happen and none of the registered collective disputes have resulted in a strike so far.

Collective bargaining plays an important role in the formation of employment conditions and wages. Collective agreements on a national level do not exist in Slovakia. Collective bargaining is voluntary, but concluded agreements are legally binding. Single-employer collective agreements and multiemployer agreements are concluded in the private as well as public sectors. Multiemployer collective agreements are concluded in most of the relevant sectors in the economy. Extensions of collective agreements are allowed. In the public sector, separate multiemployer (multisector) collective agreements are concluded for civil and public services.

Due to the economic crisis, thousands of jobs were lost in 2008–2009, which caused a decrease in trade union density. Nevertheless, the industrial relations system was not impacted significantly. During the crisis, trade unions focused their activities mainly at maintaining employment in enterprises threatened by the recession and they did not organise any significant social action. There have been only minor changes in the industrial relations system during the last three years.

Actors and institutions

Actors and institutions

Trade unions, employers’ organisations and public institutions play a key role in the governance of the employment relationship, working conditions and industrial relations structures. They are interlocking parts in a multilevel system of governance that includes European, national, sectoral, regional (provincial or local) and company levels. This section looks into the main actors and institutions and their role in Slovakia.

Public authorities involved in regulating working life

The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (MPSVR SR) is the main public authority that plays a decisive role in the legal regulation of industrial relations. Via the Labour Code, MPSVR SR regulates basic individual and collective labour relations, employment and working conditions, and wages and facilitates bipartite social dialogue. Through Act No. 2/1991 on collective bargaining, as amended, it regulates collective bargaining and conciliation and arbitration procedures for the resolution of collective labour disputes to facilitate the enforcement of employees’ rights. MPSVR SR also regulates the legislation that defines the rules and standards for occupational health and safety at work. In relation to the protection of health and safety at work, the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic (UVZ SR) also operates under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health Care (MZ SR). In addition, MPSVR SR regulates the provision of employment services for jobseekers through the headquarters of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVAR). The National Labour Inspectorate (NIP) is the competent state body to enforce the labour legislation in practice. Its activities are regulated by Act No. 125/2006. Labour inspectorates perform checks in companies in this field. When employers are found to be breaching the legislation, the labour inspectorates are entitled to require them to implement remedial actions as well as to impose penalties.

Representativeness

Rules concerning the representativeness of social partners are specified only in relation to the national-level tripartite body, the Economic and Social Council (HSR). According to tripartite Act No. 103/2007, only peak-level trade unions and employers’ organisations that represent at least 100,000 employees and employers in at least five (out of eight) regions (higher territorial units, VUC) can participate in the HSR. Trade unions have to be active in several sectors. There is no representativeness criterion for trade unions regarding collective bargaining and the conclusion of collective agreements. ( a representativeness criterion was temporarily introduced from 1 September 2011 to 31 December 2012.)

More information on the representativeness of the main social partner organisations can be found in Eurofound’s representativeness study of the cross-industry social partners or in Eurofound’s sectoral representativeness studies.

Trade unions

About trade union representation

Trade unions have a long tradition in Slovakia. Membership in unions is voluntary and – with the exception of professional soldiers – no particular group of employees is excluded from joining trade unions. The operation of trade union organisations is regulated by Act No. 83/1990 on the association of citizens. As a holdover from the organisation of trade unions operating in the socialist political system before 1989, trade unions are usually organised by sectors. They are present in the private as well as public sectors.

Trade union density has been declining during the last 10 years. It was also affected by the economic crisis in 2008. For instance, while trade union density in 2004 was about 25%, in 2007 it declined to about 20% and decreased further to about 12% in 2015. Trade unions are organised at sector as well as local company levels. Trade unions usually have active members, but some trade unions retain the membership of their retired members as well.

Trade union membership and trade union density

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Source

Trade union density in terms of active employees

16.95%

16.96%

16.76%

Around 15–16%

Around 13% .

Around 12%

OECD/Visser (2014)

2013–2015 (estimate by author)

Trade union membership in 1,000s

313

288.3

282

About 270­–280

About 250-260

About 240

OECD/Visser (2014)

2013–2015 is based on information from KOZ SR, NKOS and VSOZ and estimations regarding KUK

Main trade union confederations and federations

There is one dominant trade union confederation in the country: the Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic (KOZ SR). In 2015, KOZ SR associated 26 sectoral trade union associations with about 231,000 members. The second largest is the Independent Christian Trade Unions of Slovakia (NKOS), followed by the General Free Trade Union Association (VSOZ) and the Confederation of Art and Culture (KUK), all of which have a substantially lower membership – according to available information and estimations, they may have about 10,000 members in total.

Main trade union confederations and federations

Long name

Abbreviation

Members

Involved in collective bargaining?

Konfederacia odborovych zvazov Slovenskej republiky (Confederation of Trade Unions of the Slovak Republic)

KOZ SR

231,000 (2015)

Yes

Nezavisle krestanske odbory Slovenska (Independent Christian Trade Unions of Slovakia)

NKOS

About 5,000 (2016)

Yes

Vseobecny slobodny odborovy zvaz (General Free Trade Union Association)

VSOZ

About 2,000 (2016)

Yes

No significant organisational changes took place in the KOZ SR until 2006. Mergers of sector trade unions affiliated to KOZ SR took place mainly in 2007–2009. In 2007, the Slovak Trade Union of Public Services, in 2008, the Independent Public Road Transport Union and in 2009 the Metallurgy Union merged with the Metal Trade Union (OZ Kovo). In 2008, the Textile, Clothing and Leader Union and Transport Union merged with the Construction Trade Union Association (OZ Stavba) and established the Integrated Trade Union Association (IOZ) on 1 January 2009. In 2009, the Chemical Trade Union merged with the Slovak Trade Union Association of Energy Workers and established a joint Energy and Chemical Workers Union (ECHOZ). No information is available about changes in the structure of NKOS, KUK and VSOZ.

Employers’ organisations

About employers’ representation

Before 1990, the only employer was the state. Employers’ organisations were established in the beginning of the 1990s practically from scratch. The density of employers’ organisations increased step by step and has been relatively stable during the past 10 years. According to available information, their density fluctuated between 30–35% in terms of employees covered. Employers’ organisations that are established according to Act No. 83/1990 on the association of citizens, as amended, are entitled to participate in collective bargaining (similar to trade unions). Membership in employers’ organisations is voluntary. Employers are organised by sectors (similar to trade unions). In 2016, employers’ organisations were affiliated to four peak employer organisations at the national level. Representatives of sector-level employers’ organisations can participate in multiemployer collective bargaining. In order not to be covered by multiemployer collective agreements, some employers avoided participating in sector collective bargaining and/or blocked the extension of collective agreements as far as it was possible. Employers’ organisations fulfilling the criteria participate in national-level tripartite social dialogue.

Employers’ organisations – membership and density

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

Source

Employers’ organisation density in terms of active employees

30–35%

About 35%

(including AZZZ SR, RUZ SR and ZMOS)

n.a.

About 34%

(includes AZZZ SR, RUZ SR and ZMOS)

Based on estimations from employers and the authors’ own calculations

Employers’ organisation density in private sector establishments*

n.a.

33%

n.a.

n.a.

European Company Survey 2013

* Percentage of employees working in an establishment that is a member of any employers’ organisation that is involved in collective bargaining.

Main employers’ organisations and confederations

From 1991, all employers’ organisations were affiliated to the Federation of Employers Association of the Slovak Republic (AZZZ SR). In 2004, the National Union of Employers of the Slovak Republic (RUZ SR) was established as the second peak-level employers’ organisation. AZZZ SR and RUZ SR associate sector-level employers’ organisations and their members employed about 570,000 people in the economy. Besides AZZZ SR and RUZ SR, the Association of Cities and Municipalities (ZMOS) also represents employers. It associates employers established by cities and municipalities for the provision of public services. AZZZ SR, RUZ SR and ZMOS participate in the national-level tripartite consultations at the HSR. ZMOS also participates in multiemployer collective bargaining for the conclusion of collective agreements for public servants (employees performing activities for the public interest). Organisations affiliated to ZMOS employ around 125,000 people. In 2016, employer ogranisations from the industry left AZZZ SR and RUZ SR and established a new peak employer organisation - the Association of Industrial Unions (APZ).

Main employers’ organisations and confederations

Long name

Abbreviation

Members

Year

Involved in collective bargaining

Asociacia zamestnavatelskych zvazov a zdruzeni Slovenskej republiky (Federation of Employers Associations of the Slovak Republic)

AZZZ SR

27 employer associations and 2 individual companies employing about 300,000 employees

2016

Yes

Republikova unia zamestnanvatelov (National Union of Employers)

RUZ SR

23 employers’ organisations and 16 individual companies employing more than 220,000 employees

2016

Yes

Zdruzenie miest a obci Slovenska (Association of Cities and Municipalities of Slovakia)

ZMOS

2,787 organisations with more than 125,000 employees

2013

Yes

Asociacia priemyselnych zvazov (Association of Industrial Unions)

APZ

Six employer associations with about 125,000 employees

2016

Yes

Tripartite and bipartite bodies and concertation

From 1993 to 2004, national tripartite social dialogue took place in the Economic and Social Concertation Council (RHSD). In 2004, this body was renamed as the Economic and Social Partnership Council (RHSP) and since 2007 it has operated as the Economic and Social Council (HSR). The HSR is a consultation body for social dialogue between the government and social partners. KOZ SR (on the employee side) and RUZ SR, AZZZ SR and ZMOS (on the employer side) represent the social partners at the HSR. Tripartite social dialogue usually deals with the implementation of public policies and the adoption of legislation related to the development of the business environment, citizens’ standards of living and employment conditions as the most important issues. The conclusion of national-level social pacts, called Generalna dohoda (General Agreement), are another significant outcome of tripartite social dialogue. From 1993 to 2000 seven General Agreements were concluded in Slovakia, but no such agreement has been concluded since then. During the economic crisis, the adoption of anti-crisis measures was first consulted in tripartite social dialogue at the HSR. Sectoral tripartite social dialogue also takes place in some sectors. For instance, the transport, post and telecommunications sectors are an example of sectoral tripartism. In 2013, Industry Bipartite was established by social partners in industry and construction, among others, in order to better prepare themselves for tripartite consultations at the HSR.

Main tripartite and bipartite bodies

Name

Type

Level

Issues covered

Hospodarska a socialna rada – HSR (Economic and Social Council)

Tripartite

National

All relevant issues affecting economic and social policy in the country. Regarding working life, this is mainly employment conditions and wages.

Priemyselna bipartita (Industry bipartite)

Bipartite

Cross-sectoral

Usually issues related to topics discussed at the HSR.

Odvetvove tripartity Unie dopravy, post a telekomunikacii (Sectoral tripartite bodies in the transport, post and telecommunications sectors)

Tripartite

Sectoral

All relevant issues related to the transport, post and telecommunication sectors.

Odvetvova hospodarska a socialna rada v rezorte zdravotnictva (Sectoral tripartite council in the healthcare sector)

Tripartite

Sectoral

Issues related to the management of the sector.

Workplace-level employee representation

Employee representation is regulated by the Labour Code. Until 2001, employees were represented only by trade unions. Since 2002, employees can be represented either by trade unions or by works councils or employee trustees. Since 2003, a dual channel of representation has been implemented whereby works councils/employee trustees can coexist with trade unions at establishments.

Employee representatives have the right to information, consultation, co-decision and control of activities. Nevertheless, only trade unions are entitled to enter into collective bargaining. In establishments without collective agreement , works councils can conclude agreements with management on employment and working conditions (but these agreements do not have the same status as collective agreement). Trade union organisations, members of works councils and employee trustees are elected by the employees at establishments. In most cases, the main employee representative bodies at the workplace are trade unions. Details about the operation of trade unions and their cooperation with management are usually agreed in collective agreements. Works councils are not entitled to participate in collective bargaining, but hey can conclude some agreements with the management in enterprises where no collective agreement is concluded.

Regulation, composition and competences of the bodies

 

Regulation

Composition

Competences of the body

Involved in company-level collective bargaining?

Thresholds/rules when they need to be/can be set up

Zamestnanecka rada (Works council)

Yes, by the Labour Code

Employees

No

At companies with at least 50 employees

Odborova organizacia (Trade union)

Yes, by the Labour Code

Unionised employees

Yes

At least three employees

Zamestnanecky dovernik (Employee trustee)

Yes, by the Labour Code

Employees

No

At companies with

3–49 employees

Employee representation at establishment level

In the figure, we see a comparison between Slovakia and European Union for the people with 'Establishment size : All' when asked 'Official structure of employee representation present at establishment'. For the 'Yes' answer, Slovakia's score is higher than the European Union score. For the 'No' answer, Slovakia's score is lower than the European Union score. The National comparisons visualisation presents a comparative overview for the values of all answers between two selected countries.

Source: ECS 2013. Private sector establishments with more than 10 employees. Eurofound data visualisation.

Collective bargaining

Collective bargaining

Bargaining system

Collective bargaining is voluntary for the social partners and takes place without interference from the state. Two-tier collective bargaining takes place at sector and company levels, where multiemployer and single-employer collective agreements can be concluded. No national-level collective bargaining exists in Slovakia. Provisions agreed in multiemployer as well as single-employer collective agreements are legally binding for the contracting parties. There is no separate collective bargaining for white- and blue-collar workers. Multiemployer collective agreements can be extended to employers performing comparable activities by NACE. Collective agreements are equally applied to all employees, regardless of whether or not they are a member of a trade union.

During the last 10 years there has been a trend in the decentralisation of bargaining from the sector to the company level. For instance, 27 and 23 new multiemployer collective agreements were registered by the MPSVR SR in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2015 and 2016 – respectively – 22 and 20 new multiemployer agreements were registered.

Wage bargaining coverage

According to the social partners, up to 35% of employees in the national economy are covered by a collective agreement. According to the ECS 2013, about 30% of employees are covered at the company level as well as all levels. At the sectoral or regional level, the coverage is about 10%. Similarly, at the occupational and cross-sectoral levels, the coverage is also 10%.

Collective wage bargaining coverage of employees at different levels

Level

 

Source

All levels

30%

2013 – ECS

All, excluding national level

29%

2013 – ECS

All levels

56%

2006 – SES

All levels

64%

2010 – SES

Sources: Eurofound, European Company Survey 2013 (ECS), private sector companies with establishments >10 employees (NACE B–S) – multiple answers possible; Eurostat, Structure of Earnings survey, companies >10 employees (NACE B–S), single answer: more than 50% of employees covered by such an agreement. For more information on the methodology, see here.

No official national data exist on collective bargaining coverage. When comparing information from social partners on overall collective bargaining coverage and data from the ECS 2013, there is a small difference, which can be explained by the lower collective bargaining coverage in the private sector, where the ECS was conducted. No information is available about significant changes in coverage in the past three years.

Bargaining levels

Collective bargaining takes place on two levels. Besides single-employer collective bargaining at the company/establishment level, multiemployer collective bargaining also takes place in most sectors in the economy. Multiemployer and single-employer collective bargaining plays an important role in the working conditions, working time and wages of employees. Multiemployer collective bargaining is important, but single-employer collective bargaining is dominant. Collective bargaining exists in the private as well as public sectors. For instance, in the public sector separate multiemployer (multisector) collective agreements are concluded for civil and public services. The collective agreement for public services covers primarily employees in the education (including research) and healthcare sectors.

Levels of collective bargaining, 2016

 

National level (intersectoral)

Sectoral level

Company level

 

Wages

Working time

Wages

Working time

Wages

Working time

Principal or dominant level

       

x

x

Important but not dominant level

   

x

x

   

Existing level

n.a.

n.a.

       

Articulation

However, vertical coordination exists because collective bargaining at sector and company levels is interlinked. In company-level collective agreements, more favourable employment and working conditions can be agreed than what is defined in the respective multiemployer collective agreement.

Timing of the bargaining rounds

Both parties can start negotiations. Nevertheless, trade unions usually start collective bargaining by submitting their first proposal to the employer/company management or employers’ organisation. The major bargaining rounds take place in the autumn. Employer representatives should respond within 60 days. Bargaining rounds usually start a couple of months before the end of the calendar year, when collective agreements usually expire. Collective bargaining usually consists of one or more (usually) bargaining rounds. The number of bargaining rounds differs and usually depends on the demands of the trade unions and the economic situation on the employers’ side. It can also be influenced by the style of negotiation (consensual or conflicting).

Coordination

Collective bargaining is coordinated vertically across different bargaining levels. There is a direct link between multiemployer and single-employer collective bargaining. Due to the link between the two bargaining levels, multiemployer bargaining rounds usually precede single-employer bargaining rounds. According to the Labour Code, in company collective agreements, provisions can only be agreed that are equal or more favourable for employees than defined by the Labour Code or by provisions agreed in the multiemployer collective agreement. For instance, an equal or higher wage increase can be agreed. There is no ‘pattern-setting’ collective bargaining/agreements. Collective bargaining in individual sectors is formally independent without formalised horizontal coordination.

Extension mechanisms

The extension of collective agreements is allowed by law. Multiemployer collective agreements can be extended to other employers according to the rules specified by the Act on collective bargaining, as amended. A proposal for the extension can be submitted by either contracting social partner, but it is usually done by trade unions. The proposal should be submitted to the MPSVR SR and a special working group is dealing with it. Due to frequent changes in the regulation of extension regarding the consent of employers concerned by the extension, extensions are rarely applied. For instance, in 2005–2006 there were four extensions, there were five extensions in 2009 and no extension was in place during 2010–2013. Since 2014, the extension of a collective agreement has been possible without the consent of the employer concerned by the extension. Some trade union associations, particularly OZ Kovo (Metal Union), have utilised this option. In March 2016, the Constitutional Court decided that the present form of extensions is not in compliance with the constitutionally acceptable spirit of legislation. Since then, no related amendments to the legislation were adopted and there were no extensions in Slovakia.

Derogation mechanisms

Deviations from multiemployer collective agreements are allowed only in favour of employees. For instance, it is not possible to derogate from collective wage agreements in order to pay wages below the collectively agreed level. Opt-out clauses are usually not applied in collective agreements and opening possibilities are subject to mutual agreement between contracting parties.

Expiry of collective agreements

The collective agreement can remain valid if related conditions are specified in the collective agreement. When the date of validity/expiration is not specified in the collective agreement, it is considered to be valid for one year. Company collective agreements and multiemployer collective agreements in the public sector used to be agreed for one year. Multiemployer collective agreements in the business sector used to be agreed for two to three years.

Other aspects of working life addressed in collective agreements

Besides weekly working time and wage increases, the following issues are common subjects of collective agreements: workers’ representation rights, occupational health and safety, rules regarding dismissals (mainly severance pay), supplementary payments (for example, for overtime work, working on holidays or night work), flexible forms of working time, the creation of a social fund in companies and its utilisation, and non-discrimination and gender equality at work.

Industrial action and disputes

Industrial action and disputes

Legal aspects

Industrial actions and the resolution of collective labour disputes are regulated by the law on collective bargaining. To push through their demands, employees have the right to strike and employers have the right to lock out their business unit. However, these tools are considered to be extreme and can only be applied when other options for settling the industrial conflict have failed. According to the law on collective bargaining, before calling a strike, trade unions have to try to resolve the dispute through a conciliation procedure. If conciliation fails, either party can decide either to ask for an arbitrator or trade unions can call a strike and employers can use a lockout. The trade union should make a decision on the strike based on the results of secret voting, where a majority of votes is needed. Trade unions can decide on different types of strike, which is usually stopping work and only rarely to work to rule. Before going on strike, trade unions used to declare a strike alert or call a short-time warning strike to put pressure on the employer when bargaining. A strike can be considered illegal if it is not preceded by a formal claim for a collective agreement and an attempt at conciliation (apart from solidarity strikes), if it takes place while the collective agreement is still valid on the issue or if the arbitration process has started.

Strikes happen relatively rarely – there were only three genuine strikes during 2005–2010. In 2011, there were only two symbolic warning strikes, while in 2012 two short-term strikes were organised by teachers. During 2013–2015 there were no significant strikes. Most of the strikes were not organised according to the Act on collective bargaining, which regulates the strikes: they were based on implementation of the constitutional right of Slovak citizens to strike.

In addition to these tools, internal mechanisms/rules for conflict resolution can be agreed in collective agreements to prevent open conflicts. Internal mechanisms are usually agreed in collective agreements. In multiemployer collective agreements, bilateral parity committees are usually established to deal with disputes.

Incidence of different forms of industrial action between 2010 and 2013

Work-to-rule or refusal to do overtime

2

Work stoppage or strike for less than a day

0

Strike of a day or more

0

Blockade or occupation

0

Note: Percentage of private sector establishments reporting any form of industrial action during the indicated period.

Source: European Company Survey

Industrial action developments, 2012–2016

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Source

Working days lost per 1,000 employees

0

0

0

. 0

n. n. a.

According to ETUI data

Number of strikes

2

0

1

1

2

Slovak Statistical Office

Dispute resolution mechanisms

Collective dispute resolution mechanisms

The standard mechanisms for dealing with collective labour disputes are conciliation and arbitration procedures. Collective labour disputes can concern the conclusion of a new collective agreement and/or the fulfilment of provisions/duties agreed by the contracting parties in existing multiemployer collective agreements and/or company agreements. Collective labour disputes usually concern dismissals and wage issues.

Conciliation takes place only if the parties desire it, and is aimed at bringing the two parties in a collective dispute to an agreement. Conciliators are available from the list of conciliators maintained by the MPSVR SR. If conciliation fails, the parties may agree to refer the dispute to arbitration. The MPSVR SR, at the request of any of the contractual parties, may appoint an arbitrator if the dispute concerns the interpretation of an existing collective agreement or in cases where concluding the collective agreement is in companies where strike action is forbidden due to the nature of the profession or work, such as in some specialised civil and public services. Either party can appeal the arbitrator’s ruling to the civil court within 15 days once the decision has been delivered; otherwise, the ruling is legally binding. If the arbitrator’s ruling is endorsed as invalid, the same arbitrator shall deal with the case again. If this is not possible, the MPSVR SR shall appoint another arbitrator.

Individual dispute resolution mechanisms

Specialised labour courts do not exist in Slovakia. Disputes between an employee and employer over claims deriving from labour law relations, mainly from the Labour Code, shall be heard and decided by civil courts. Participants can resolve their disputed claims by an agreement on the disputed claims, which must be in writing; otherwise it will be invalid. An expression of will shall be interpreted in such a way that it shall correspond to good morals, taking into account the circumstances in which it was made.

Use of dispute resolution mechanisms

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Number of cases registered by MPSVR SR

15

13

11

14

17

Source: Správa o socialnej situacii obyvatelstva Slovenskej republiky v roku 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, MPSVR SR. And MPSVR SR data for 2016.

Individual employment relations

Individual employment relations

Individual employment relations are the relationship between the individual worker and their employer. This relationship is shaped by legal regulation and by the outcomes of social partner negotiations over the terms and conditions governing the employment relationship. This section looks into the start and termination of the employment relationship and entitlements and obligations in Slovakia.

Start and termination of the employment relationship

Requirements regarding an employment contract

An employment relationship shall be established by a written employment contract between the employer and the employee. The employer is obliged to provide the employee with one written copy of the employment contract. An employment relationship shall be established on the day agreed in the employment contract as the day of taking up work.

In an employment contract, the employer is obliged to stipulate the following substantial items to the employee:

  • the type of work for which the employee was accepted and a brief description of it;
  • the place of work performance (municipality, part of municipality, or a place otherwise determined);
  • the day of work take-up;
  • wage conditions, unless agreed in a collective agreement.

In addition to the above, further working conditions, particularly concerning payment terms, working time, duration of paid holidays and the length of the notice period, can also be outlined in the contract.

An employer can only conclude an employment contract with an adolescent (less than 18 years of age) upon medical examination of the adolescent.

Dismissal and termination procedures

The Labour Code regulates the termination of the employment relationship and dismissal procedures. An employment relationship can be terminated by agreement, by notice, by immediate termination and by termination within a probationary period. By agreement, the employment relationship shall terminate upon the agreed day. Notice must be given in writing and delivered to the other party or it will be invalid. An employer may only give notice to an employee for reasons expressly stipulated in the Labour Code. The period of notice shall be from one to three months, depending on the employee’s number of years in service for the employer. The reasons for immediate termination are strictly defined by law. An employment relationship concluded for a fixed period shall terminate upon expiry of the agreed period.

Employees who are made redundant for defined reasons are entitled to receive severance pay according to the number of years in service, which is at least equal to their average monthly earnings but up to four times the amount of their average monthly earnings. Rules regulating the dismissal of employees and the amount of severance pay are usual subjects of collective bargaining.

See also further information on unemployment benefit provisions in Slovakia.

Entitlements and obligations

Parental, maternity and paternity leave

In 2015, average maternity benefit was provided monthly to 24,395 people. Parental allowance was provided to 142,391 people per month on average. Almost all these people were women. No figures are available on the share of parental leave. Paternity leave is not applied.

Statutory leave arrangements

Maternity leave

Maximum duration

The standard duration is 34 weeks (6–8 weeks before the birth), 37 weeks for a single mother and 43 weeks for a mother who has given birth to twins or more children.

A woman usually begins maternity leave 6 weeks before the planned birth, or for a first-time mother, 8 weeks before birth.

If she does not use this period of maternity leave for any reason, she can only use 22 weeks after the birth.

Reimbursement

Maternity allowance is calculated as 70% of the daily assessment base or the probable daily assessment base (average earning).

Who pays?

Social Insurance Agency

Legal basis

Act No. 461/2003 on social insurance, as amended.

Act No. 311/2001 on the Labour Code, as amended and related to healthcare legislation.

Parental leave

Maximum duration

If the father takes care of the newborn child, he has the same leave as the mother – up to three years of age.

Reimbursement

In 2016, it was €203.20 monthly (at one child).

Who pays?

Social Insurance Agency

Legal basis

Act No. 571/2009 on parental allowance as amended.

Act No. 311/2001 on the Labour Code, as amended, and related healthcare legislation

Paternity leave

 

No legal basis

Sick leave

Sick leave is regulated by Act No. 461/2003 on social insurance and by Act No. 462/2003 on income replacement in case of an employee’s temporary incapacity for work. Some sickness-related issues are also regulated by the Labour Code. Sickness pay is provided according to the duration of the sickness. For the first 10 days of sickness, the benefit (as a wage compensation) is paid by the employer of the sick employee. For the remainder of the duration, the benefit is paid by the Social Insurance Agency. The maximum duration of sickness benefit is 52 weeks. The sickness benefit is paid in cases of long-term sick leave: it is 55% of the assessment base (daily earnings calculated on the basis of the previous year, with a monthly ceiling of twice the national average monthly wage) from the eleventh day of incapacity for work. According to the Labour Code, terminating the employment relationship while the employee is on sick leave is not allowed.

Retirement age

In 2004, the retirement age for receiving the old-age pension was increased to 62 years for all population groups (except for women with multiple children, for whom this retirement age will be reached in 2023). From 2017 onwards, the legal retirement age will gradually increase depending on the increase in life expectancy. In 2017, the retirement age is prolonged to 62 years and 76 days.

Pay

Pay

Pay: For workers, the reward for work and main source of income; for employers, a cost of production and focus of bargaining and legislation. This section looks into minimum wage setting in Slovakia and guides the reader to further material on collective wage bargaining.

Minimum wages

A minimum wage is statutory and monthly and hourly wage rates are determined. According to Act No. 663/2007 on the minimum wage, as amended, social partners negotiate the level of the minimum wage. Negotiations usually take place at the tripartite Economic and Social Council. The statutory deadline for negotiations is 15 July of the calendar year. When social partners themselves do not reach an agreement, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family should propose the level of the minimum wage for the next year. The government takes the proposal from the MPSVR SR into consideration and then makes its decision. The decision is published in a government decree. The minimum wage level enters into effect on 1 January and is valid for the whole calendar year. It is effective for all employees, branches of industry and regions. Wages in Slovakia are quite low and the minimum wage increases nearly every year. The monthly minimum wage increased from €81.30 in 1993 to €435 in 2017 – some 7.4% higher than the level prevailing in 2016.

For more information regarding the level and development of minimum wages, please see Eurofound’s topical update on statutory minimum wage in the EU 2017 or visit Eurostat.

Collectively agreed pay outcomes

For more detailed information on the most recent outcomes in terms of collectively agreed pay, please consult Eurofound’s collectively wage bargaining portal.

According to the Information System on Working Conditions (ISPP) issued by MPSVR SR and Trexima, s.r.o. Bratislava annually, the following average increases in nominal wages were agreed in collective agreements: 3.2% in 2014; 3.5% in 2015; and 3.6% in 2016. According to ISPP, nominal wages increased in almost all sectors. The highest increases were agreed in the manufacturing, agriculture, extractive industry and commerce.

Working time

Working time

Working time: ‘Any period during which the worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activities or duties, in accordance with national laws and/or practice’ (Directive 2003/88/EC). This section briefly summarises regulation and issues regarding working time, overtime, part-time work as well as working time flexibility in Slovakia.

This section briefly summarises regulation and issues regarding working time, overtime, part-time work as well as working time flexibility in Slovakia.

Working time regulation

Working time is regulated by the Labour Code, according to which working time is the time when an employee shall be at the disposal of the employer, performs work and discharges obligations pursuant to the employment contract. A rest period shall be any period that is not working time. For the purposes of determining the extent of working time and planning working time, a week shall be seven consecutive days. Working time in the course of 24 hours usually cannot exceed eight hours. The working time of an adolescent employee(less than 18 years of age) may not exceed 8 hours in the course of 24 hours. The maximum weekly working time of an employee shall be 40 hours. For employees performing work in two shifts it is 38.75 hours, and for employees working in three shifts it is 37.5 hours.

Working time is a typical issue in collective bargaining, where weekly working time standards set by the Labour Code can be shortened in favour of employees in multiemployer collective agreements, and consequently in single-employer or company-level collective agreements as well.

For more detailed information on working time (including annual leave, statutory and collectively agreed working time), please consult Eurofound’s report on Working time developments in the 21st century: Work duration and its regulation.

Overtime regulation

Overtime is regulated by the Labour Code. Overtime work is work performed by an employee by order of the employer or with the employee’s consent beyond the determined weekly working time arising from the predetermined distribution of working time, and performed outside the scope of the timetable of work shifts. The average weekly working time of an employee, including overtime, may not exceed 48 hours for a period of four consecutive months. In the case of a healthcare employee under other relevant regulation, if the employee agrees to the given extent of working time, the average weekly working time shall not exceed 56 hours. The total amount of overtime hours in a calendar year is limited to 150 hours (or 250 hours for healthcare employees) by order of the employer and to 400 hours in total, including overtime work, agreed with the employee. Overtime work shall be compensated by supplementary payments – a wage surcharge equal to at least 25% of the employee’s average earnings. Details for overtime work are usually agreed in collective agreements.

Part-time work

Part-time work is regulated by the Labour Code and implemented in individual employment contracts. According to the Labour Code, an employer may agree with an employee in the employment contract a shorter weekly working time than the determined standard weekly working time. Reduced working time does not need to be distributed over all working days. An employee with reduced working time shall be entitled to wages corresponding to the agreed reduced working time. An employee in an employment relationship with reduced working time may not be advantaged nor constrained in comparison to a comparable employee.

Part-time work is used to a limited extent, but its share in employment is slowly increasing. According to Eurostat, the share of employees working part time increased from 3.9% in 2011 to 5.7% in 2016.

Persons employed part-time in Slovakia and EU28 (% of total employment)

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Total - EU28

18.2

18.6

19.0

19.0

19.0

18.9

Total - SK

3.9

3.9

4.5

5.0

5.7

5.7

Women - EU28

31.0

31.4

31.8

31.7

31.5

31.4

Women - SK

5.6

5.4

6.0

6.7

8.0

7.8

Men - EU28

7.4

7.7

8.1

8.2

8.2

8.2

Men - SK

2.6

2.8

3.2

3.7

3.9

4.0

Source: Eurostat Labour Force Survey [lfsi_pt_a] – Persons employed part-time (20 to 64 years of age) – total and by sex.

The share of part-time employment of women is, over the long term, nearly double than that of men. The difference is usually attributed to the fact that women still predominantly take care of the family.

Night work

Night work shall be work performed between 22:00 and 06:00. For the purposes of the Labour Code, an employee working at night shall be an employee who performs work requiring regular performance at night, to the extent of at least three consecutive hours or, presumably works at night, for a minimum of 500 hours per year. An employer shall be obliged to negotiate regularly the organisation of night work with the employees´ representatives. An employer who regularly employs employees at night shall be obliged to notify the competent labour inspectorate and employees’ representatives of such fact, if they so request. An employer shall arrange – with an employee working at night – the established weekly working time in such a way that the average length of a shift does not exceed eight hours in a period of at most four consecutive calendar months (the calculation shall be based on a five-day working week). An employee performing night work is entitled to wage surcharge for each hour worked out at least at 20% of the hourly rate of the minimum wage.

Shift work

A work shift is part of the stipulated weekly working time which, on the basis of a predetermined timetable of work shifts, an employee is obliged to work within 24 consecutive hours and work break. Shift work is a manner of organising working time in which employees alternate at the same workplace according to a certain schedule and, in the course of a certain period of days or weeks, work at differing times. The beginning and end of working time and the timetable of work shifts shall be determined by the employer after agreement with employees’ representatives, and shall be announced by the employer in writing at the place that is accessible to employees.

  • A morning shift is a work shift of which the greater part falls between 06:00 and 14:00.
  • An afternoon shift is a work shift of which the greater part falls between 14:00 and 22:00.
  • A night shift is a work shift of which the greater part falls between 22:00 and 06:00 hours.

The maximum weekly working time of an employee is 40 hours. An employee who regularly performs work in two shifts, shall have a maximum weekly working time of 38.75 hours. In three-shift operation or in continuous operation, maximum working time is 37.5 hours per week.

Weekend work

The Labour Code allows working on weekends. However, an employer is obliged to arrange working time in such a way that an employee has two consecutive days of continuous rest once per week, which must fall on Saturday and Sunday or on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday and a public holiday, it shall be possible to charge an employee with such work only which may be charged on days of continuous rest in the week, work in continuous operations and work necessary for guarding the premises of the employer. Wage surcharges for working on Saturday and/or Sunday are not obligatory but can be agreed in collective agreements. If a public holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, an employee is entitled to a wage surcharge of at least 50% of his or her average earnings. According to acts on the civil service and public service, a public employee working on Saturdays and Sundays is entitled to a wage surcharge of 30% of their hourly functional salary.

Rest and breaks

Rest days are the days on which the continuous rest of an employee falls in the week, and public holidays. Work on rest days may only be demanded exceptionally and upon prior negotiation with employees’ representatives. An employer is obliged to arrange working time in such a way that, between the end of one shift and the beginning of another, an employee has a minimum rest of 12 consecutive hours within 24 hours and – for an adolescent employee – at least 14 consecutive hours within 24 hours. Such a rest period may be reduced to eight hours for an employee older than 18 years of age in continuous operations and with work batches when performing urgent agricultural work, providing a universal postal service, performing urgent repair work concerning the averting of a threat endangering the lives or health of employees and in the case of extraordinary events. If an employer shortens the minimum rest period, they are obliged to additionally provide the employee with a continuous equivalent rest period as compensation within 30 days.

An employer is obliged to provide an employee whose work shift is longer than six hours with a break for rest and eating for duration of 30 minutes. An employer is obliged to provide an adolescent employee whose work shift is longer than 4.5 hours with a break for rest and eating for duration of 30 minutes. If the work cannot be interrupted, an employee must be provided adequate time for rest and eating in such a way that the work is not interrupted. An employer shall agree with employees’ representatives detailed conditions for providing breaks for rest and eating, including its extension.

Working time flexibility

Flexibility of working time is regulated by the Labour Code, according to which flexible working time is a method for the even or uneven distribution of working time that an employer may introduce by collective agreement or through agreement with employee representatives. Basic working time is a time segment in which the employee is obliged to be in the workplace. Optional working time is a time segment during which the employee is obliged to be present in the workplace in order to complete operational time. A flexible working period can be implemented as a working day, working week, four-week working period or another working period. The length of a work shift where flexible working time is implemented may be at most 12 hours. According to the ECS 2013, in 33% of establishments, more than 80% of employees had the option to adapt the start and end of their working day according to their personal needs. In 23% of establishments, between 20–80% of employees had this option, and none or less than 20% of employees had this opportunity in 44% of establishments. This implies that in almost half of the surveyed establishments, only a minor group of employees had this option.

Under specified circumstances, working time flexibility can also be applied by working time account. When it is implemented, an employer can schedule working time so that when there is a greater need for work, employees work more hours than the established weekly working time, and when there is less need for work, employees work fewer hours or may not work at all. In this case, the employer is obliged to pay an employee the basic wage corresponding to the employee’s determined weekly working time.

Do you have fixed start and finishing time in your work?

In the figure, we see a comparison between Slovakia and European Union for the workers with 'Age : All' when asked 'Do you have fixed starting and finishing times in your work?'. For the 'No' answer, Slovakia's score is lower than the European Union score. For the 'Yes' answer, Slovakia's score is higher than the European Union score. Data is based on question 39d from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey (2015).The National comparisons visualisation presents a comparative overview for the values of all answers between two selected countries.

Source: European Working conditions survey 2015.

Health and well-being

Health and well-being

Maintaining health and well-being should be high-priority for workers and employers alike. Health is an asset closely associated with a person’s quality of life and longevity, as well as their ability to work. A healthy economy depends on a healthy workforce; organisations lose productivity through ill-health of their workers. This section looks into psychosocial risks and health and safety in Slovakia.

Health and safety at work

The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (MPSVR SR) pays particular attention to health and safety at work, which is regulated by Act No. 124/2006 on occupational health and safety. The implementation of health and safety at work (OHS) is also high on the social partners’ agenda. In addition, the NIP also pays particular attention to OHS at the workplace and regularly performs related checks in companies. The continuous efforts made by central administration bodies, trade unions and employers to implement the legislation is evident from the data, which show a continuous decrease in the number of accidents causing absence at work. The table below provides evidence of this trend.

Accidents at work, with four days’ absence or more – working days lost

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

All accidents

10,598

8,112

8,102

7,734

7,469

7,471

7,365

Percentage change on previous year

n.a.

-23.5

-0.1

-4.5

-3.4

0.0

-1.4

Per 1,000 employees

5.1

4.1

4.2

4.0

3.8

3.8

3.7

Note: The Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic reports the number of cases of any day of absence caused by an accident at work. These figures are a little higher: 9,802 in 2010, 9,442 in 2011 and 8,767 in 2012.

Source: Eurostat, [hsw_mi01] and [lfsa_eegaed]

Psychosocial risks

Psychosocial risks at work belong to risk factors at work, which are regulated by Act No. 355/2007 on public health protection, support and development. Section 30 of the Act assigns particular obligations to employers to deal with workplaces where risk factors, including physical and psychological workloads, emerge. According to the Act, occupational health services are established in companies that cooperate with employers, for example by provision of consultations when perform health-related supervision at work. Some indicators of psychosocial risks are also regulated by labour legislation. For instance, long working hours and non-discrimination are regulated by the Labour Code, while Act No. 124/2006 on occupational health and safety also deals with these issues.

The European Working Conditions Survey analysed high work intensity, long working hours and discrimination over a 10-year period. The figures for Slovakia show that while some of these indicators are below the EU27 average (working to tight deadlines), others are above it (long working hours). Discrimination is around the EU27 average. The incidence/relevance of most of these indicators slightly declined over the reference period. For instance, working to tight deadlines was identified by almost 55% of respondents in 2000 and 2005, but this figure declined to about 53% in 2010. A significant share of respondents also indicated that they worked long hours – almost 46% in 2000 and 49% in 2005, but this fell to about 39% in 2010. About 5% of respondents indicated being subjected to discrimination in 2005 and 2010.

Work intensity: Do you have enough time to get the job done?

In the figure, we see a comparison between Slovakia and European Union for the workers with 'Age : All' when asked 'Do you have enough time to get the job done?'. For the 'Always or most of the time' answer, Slovakia's score is lower than the European Union score. For the 'Rarely or never' answer, Slovakia's score is higher than the European Union score. For the 'Sometimes' answer, Slovakia's score is higher than the European Union score. Data is based on question 61g from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey (2015).The National comparisons visualisation presents a comparative overview for the values of all answers between two selected countries.

Source: Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey 2015.

More detailed figures are available from Eurofound’s European Working conditions survey.

Skills, learning and employability

Skills, learning and employability

Skills are the passport to employment; the better skilled an individual, the more employable they are. Good skills also tend to secure better-quality jobs and better earnings. This section briefly summarises the Slovakian system for ensuring skills and employability and looks into the extent of training.

National system for ensuring skills and employability

The national system for ensuring skills and employability is based on the elaboration of the national system of occupations (Narodna sustava povolani, NSP) by SK ISCO – 08. The NSP is defined as an important tool for ensuring skills and employability by Act No. 5/2004 on employment services – it is a national-level description of labour market standards for individual workplaces.

For individual occupations, the required qualification specifying the necessary education and skills is developing slowly. The NSP development project aimed at connecting the system of occupations and required qualifications and skills was managed by the Education Centre (Centrum vzdelavania) at the MPSVR SR. Social partner representatives from AZZZ SR, RUZ SR and KOZ SR and Trexima, s.r.o. were involved in the project as partners. The project was supported by Employment and Social Inclusion (EFS). Outcomes of the project NSP are available on their website.

The development of the NSP in individual sectors is supported by sectoral councils, which are voluntary associations of professional experts from public administration as well as representatives of employers, employees, education and other relevant institutions. They monitor the labour market demands in sectors and ensure their transfer to lifelong learning. The activities of the sectoral councils are coordinated by a steering committee, which consists of representatives from the relevant central administration bodies, social partners, regional self-government and association of municipalities. The first stage of the project took place in 2009–2012. The development of the NSP will continue in order to link all relevant occupations with the corresponding qualification and skills.

Since 1 September 2015, the system of dual education has been implemented in Slovakia. After finishing primary school, students can enter the dual system of vocational secondary education in more than 30 branches across the country. The aim of the dual education is to better prepare the students for the labour market. Besides lectures in classrooms, students have the opportunity to acquire practical skills at employers’ premises. The goal is to involve about 30% of the total number of students in the vocational secondary education in the dual education system.

Training

The State Training Institute (Statny institut odborneho vzdelavania, SIOV) is the main national public institution responsible for training regulation and development. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport (MSVVaS), it participates in the preparation of legislation related to vocational training and prepares methodical pedagogical guidelines for education. SIOV also provides consultations related to practical teaching for vocational education and training.

According to the Labour Code, employees can participate in training aimed at skill development related to their work. Employers can provide unpaid or paid time off for employees participating in job-related training. According to the ECS 2013, the share of private establishments where different proportions of employees received paid time off for training depended on the existence of employee representation. For instance, more than 80% of employees received paid time off in 21% of the large establishments with employee representation that were surveyed, while in small and medium-sized establishments, more than 80% of employees received paid time off for training in 20% and 22% of establishments, respectively. However, in more than 50% of any size establishment without employee representation, none or fewer than 20% of employees received paid time off for training.

Training: Have you had any on the job training in the past year?

In the figure, we see a comparison between Slovakia and European Union for the workers with 'Age : All' when asked 'Have you had on-the-job training in the last 12 months?'. For the 'No' answer, Slovakia's score is lower than the European Union score. For the 'Yes' answer, Slovakia's score is higher than the European Union score. Data is based on question 65c from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey (2015).The National comparisons visualisation presents a comparative overview for the values of all answers between two selected countries.

Source: European Working conditions survey 2015.

More detailed figures are available from Eurofound’s European Working conditions survey.

Work organisation

Work organisation

Work organisation underpins economic and business development and has important consequences for productivity, innovation and working conditions. Eurofound research finds that some types of work organisation are associated with a better quality of work and employment. Therefore, developing or introducing different forms of work organisation is of particular interest because of the expected effect on productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of companies, as well as on workers’ working conditions. Ongoing research by Eurofound, based on EurWORK, the European Working Conditions Survey and the European Company Survey, monitors developments in work organisation,

For Slovakia, the European Company Survey 2013 shows that between 2010 and 2013, 35% of establishments with 10 or more employees reported changes in the use of technology, 27% introduced changes in ways to coordinate and allocate the work to workers and another 12% saw changes in their working time arrangements.

According to the study Innovative forms of organising work, 3.7% of employees used teleworking in 2011 (Mikušová Meričková, B. and Svidroňová, M., 2015). The Information System on Working Conditions (ISPP), maintained by MPSVR SR and Trexima, s.r.o., also deals with some aspects of work organisation. According to the ISPP 2013, the application of telework emerged for 0.15% of the surveyed employees – about 1,200 employees in total. It is interesting that 0.11% of teleworking employees were men. By sectors, the highest incidence of telework was for employees in the IT sector, at 5.23%, followed by the art, entertainment and recreation sector at 0.12%. According to the ISPP 2013, flexible working time was applied at about 30% of the surveyed establishments.

Work organisation: Are you able to choose or change your methods of work?

In the figure, we see a comparison between Slovakia and European Union for the workers with 'Age : All' when asked 'Are you able to choose or change your methods of work?'. For the 'No' answer, Slovakia's score is higher than the European Union score. For the 'Yes' answer, Slovakia's score is lower than the European Union score. Data is based on question 54b from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey (2015).The National comparisons visualisation presents a comparative overview for the values of all answers between two selected countries.

Source: Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey 2015.

More detailed figures are available from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey.

Equality and non-discrimination at work

Equality and non-discrimination at work

In addition to the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, equality and non-discrimination is ensured by the special Act No. 365/2004 on equal treatment in certain areas and on the protection against discrimination and on amendments to certain Acts (Antidiscrimination Act). Equality and non-discrimination at work is regulated by the Labour Code, according to which natural persons shall have the right to work and to the free choice of employment, to fair and satisfying working conditions and to protection against arbitrary dismissal from employment in accordance with the principle of equal treatment. These rights belong to them without any restriction and discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status and family status, sexual orientation, race, colour of skin, language, age, unfavourable health state or health disability, genetic traits, belief and religion, political or other conviction, trade union activity, national or social origin, national or ethnic group affiliation, property, lineage or other status. Regional labour inspectorates are entitled to control the implementation of equality and non-discrimination principles in companies.

Equal pay and gender pay gap

The Labour Code includes fundamental provisions to ensure equal pay for equal work at workplaces, including gender equality at work. The social partners (mainly trade unions) are also dealing with this issue and provisions aimed at ensuring equal pay for equal work are usually negotiated and included in collective agreements. Regional labour inspectorates regularly conduct checks in companies to ensure the labour legislation is being observed by employers, including gender pay equality.

The gender pay gap was rather high in the early 2000s, but it has slowly decreased. According to the Eurostat LFS, in 2002 it was 27.6% but in 2008 it had decreased to 20.9%. Since then, the gender pay gap fell slightly below 20%: in 2014, it was 19.7% . According to the Information System on Average Earnings (ISCP), for Q3 2016, issued by MPSVR SR and Trexima, s.r.o. Bratislava, the average gender gross monthly pay gap was 22.23%.

Quota regulations

There are no specific gender-related quotas, but quotas are specified for the employment of people with disabilities. All employers with 20 or more employees (with the exception of the police and state security forces) must employ at least 3.2% disabled people. If they do not, the employer pays a penalty amounting to 0.9 times the total average wage per year per vacancy for which a disabled person should have been hired (one person whose capacity for work has been reduced by more than 70% compared to a non-disabled person is equal to three disabled people). Employers pay lower health insurance contributions for their disabled employees (5% instead of 10%). Instead of employing the disabled person, employers may assign custom work to a disabled person.

Bibliography

Bibliography

Mikušová Meričková, B. and Svidroňová, M. (2015), Innovative forms of organising work, Banska Bystrica, University of Matej Bel.

Visser, J. (2014), ‘ICTWSS: Database on institutional characteristics of trade unions, wage setting, state intervention and social pacts in 34 countries between 1960 and 2014’, Institute for Advanced Labour Studies, AIAS, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Informačný systém o pracovných podmienkach (ISPP), issued annually by the MPSVR SR and Trexima, s.r.o. Bratislava.

Informačný systém o priemerných zárobkoch (ISCP), issued quarterly by the MPSVR SR and Trexima, s.r.o. Bratislava.

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