24 March 2004
This report is part of a series of projects from the Foundation which focuses on aspects of industrial relations in the run-up to enlargement. The national report for the Slovakia is part of the second phase of a project on ‘Social dialogue and EMU’ carried out by the Foundation in 2002-3, in cooperation with the Swedish ‘Work Life and EU Enlargement’ programme. This report gives an overview of the conflict resolution mechanisms in Slovakia. The main report (EF0421) provides an overview of the whole project, looking at the current mechanisms for resolving industrial conflicts prevailing in each of the ten acceding countries involved in the project.
12 February 2004
In 2002, Slovakian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continued to grow, rising by 4.4% from 2001. However, only a limited part of this economic growth was transformed into new jobs. While GDP increased, labour productivity also rose by 4.3%, influencing negatively the creation of new jobs.
29 January 2004
The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family (Ministerstvo práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny Slovenskej republiky, MPSVR SR ) charged the National Labour Inspectorate (Národný inspektorát práce, NIP ) (SK0311103F ) with investigating implementation of the national 'Concept on equal opportunities for women and men' adopted in 2001 (SK0209102F ), with particular reference to equal pay for equal work and for work of equal value. In 2002, the NIP thus provided the inspection offices with appropriate guidelines, including a questionnaire. Companies were selected for inspection from sectors known to have a higher level of violations of the Labour Code and of Act 330 on Occupational Health and Safety (1996). The companies selected also employed an approximately equal number of men and women in the same jobs and tasks.  http://www.employment.gov.sk/en/index.php  http://www.safework.gov.sk/  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/national-labour-inspectorate-assesses-activities  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/equal-opportunities-programme-implemented
21 October 2003
The Labour Protection Information Centre (Informacné centrum ochrany práce, ICOP ) completed its first year of operations in spring 2003. The Centre was created within the framework of a 'twinning' project under the EU's Phare programme and opened on 1 March 2002. ICOP was established under the National Labour Inspectorate (Národný inspektorát práce) and is intended to provide information to both employees and employers (SK0208101N ) on labour protection and occupational health and safety.  http://isop.safework.gov.sk/  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/labour-protection-information-centre-starts-operations
31 July 2003
Since 1990, the relationships between the social partners and the state have played an important role in the process of economic and social transformation in Slovakia. Although the transformation process was not entirely without conflicts during the 1990s and early 2000s, disputes between the social partners did not result in any serious industrial action. Indeed, after Slovakia became independent in 1993, no genuine strikes were recorded until January-February 2003, when railway workers held two stoppages (SK0306101F ). Over this period, as a result of privatisation and the development of a market economy, the role of the state in the economy has been redefined. This new role has manifested itself in a reduction of direct interventions by the state authorities in the activities of individual sectors, enterprises and plants, and in efforts to influence the economy more indirectly through the tools of tax and fiscal policy. In the industrial relations area, the state has restricted itself to setting the legal framework for the labour market and social policy, including the rules for collective bargaining (SK0210102F ) - though it should be noted that the state is still a significant employer in the public services (eg education, healthcare and railways). The main role of the state in the social dialogue which has developed in Slovakia is the fulfilment of various tasks within the tripartite'concertation' process, involving the employers and the employees representatives at the top level or, in some cases, at sector level.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/slovakias-first-strikes-hit-railways  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/collective-bargaining-procedures-structures-and-scope
08 July 2003
Slovakia is one of the EU candidate countries that have asked for support within the framework of the EU's PHARE  programme in the reinforcement of social dialogue and collective bargaining at all relevant levels and in the implementation of relevant EU Directives into national legislation. Thus, in 2001, representatives from Slovakia, the Netherlands and the UK concluded a 'twinning' covenant for PHARE project SR 0006.01. The twinning involves Dutch and British experts from governments, employers' organisations and trade unions transmitting their knowledge and experience to their Slovak colleagues. The project aims to achieve the following results:  http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/pas/phare/
15 April 2003
A general election was held on 20 and 21 September 2002, with the opposition Movement for Democratic Slovakia (Hnutie za demokratické Slovensko, HZDS) winning most seats. However, it was unable to form a workable coalition in parliament and the the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (Slovenská Demokratická a Krestanská Únia, SDKÚ), led by the previous Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, had the opportunity to form a new coalition government. The new government is a coalition of three parties which had been in the previous government - SDKÚ, the Hungarian Coalition Party (Magyar Koalíció Pártja/Strana Madarskej Koalície, MKP/SMK) and the Christian-Democratic Movement (Krestansko Demokratické Hnutie, KDH) - plus the New Civic Alliance (Aliancia Nového Obcana, ANO). The principal difference is that two parties in the former government - the Democratic Left Party (Strana Demokratickej Lavice, SDL) and the Party of Civil Understanding (Strana Obcianskeho Porozumenia, SOP), both located more to the left of the political continuum - are not members of the new coalition, pushing the government towards the right. The new administration characterises itself as centre-right. The first actions of the new government were focused on the implementation of a more 'rational' economic policy, especially with regard to more effective utilisation of the public resources. It should be noted that in the election the Communist Party of Slovakia (Komunistická strana Slovenska, KSS) won parliamentary representation for the first time since 1989.
27 November 2002
The Collective Bargaining Act (No. 2/1991 in the Collection of Laws), as amended, defines how collective disputes between employers and trade unions can arise, regulates the conduct of industrial action, and provides for mediation and arbitration procedures in advance of any action.
28 October 2002
Collective bargaining is one of the most important pillars of social dialogue in Slovakia, and below we examine the legal framework for bargaining procedures and structures, and the current situation in practice.
20 August 2002
The social partners in Slovakia established new organisational structures, which are still largely in place, soon after the fall of the former communist regime in November 1989. The trade unions reacted quickly to the changed political s ituation in such a way that they actively supported the political changes in the country and, at the same time, restructured the organisational structures built up under the old regime. Employers had to build their organisational structures from scratch because, under the previous system, the state was the only employer. Below, we examine the development of both trade unions and employers' organisations since 1989, and also at the changing role of the state.