Slovakia: Working conditions of young entrants to the labour market

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Job quality,
  • Published on: 19 December 2013



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Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Currently, the working conditions of young employees and those young people entering the labour market in Slovakia are often a topic at the governmental level, but also in media. This is due to the high unemployment of young people in Slovakia. Part of those discussions is also the issue of working conditions, which is, however, in background. The working condition are laid down in the Labour Code and in the legislation on OSH which are being respected, but the mentioned target group of employees is not specially monitored. The comparative study provides data that are monitored and indicate the status of the working conditions of young people entering the labour market in Slovakia.

Introduction

This EWCO CAR is specifically focused on the group of “young entrants to the labour market”. This group includes all young people (between 15 and 30 years old) who have recently entered into the labour market (i.e., people with a work experience shorter than 1-2 years in the labour market), with relative independence of their age and for whom work is their main and core activity. This definition excludes young people for whom studies are their main activity but who combine their studies with some remunerated activity as part of their training programmes (e.g. apprenticeships in dual systems), as well as unemployed young people, even if they are actively looking for a job (see Background note for more detailed information on the concept of young entrants to be considered in the research).

The CAR coordinating team is conscious that such as “narrow” definition of “young entrants to the labour market” can make difficult the identification and collection of relevant information on the topic. Therefore, and in the case no national information is available using this “narrow” definition, National Correspondents can use a “proxy” definition of “young entrant to the labour market” as any young person (i.e. between 15 and 30 years old) who is in employment, irrespectively of the number of years of experience that he/she has in the labour market (again, unemployed young people are excluded from the analysis).

The questionnaire focuses on the following topics:

  • General description and characterisation of the main current working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in your country in comparison to other age groups (around 700 words)

  • Identification and characterisation of existing differences in working conditions within the group of young entrants to the labour market in your country (around 600 words)

  • Evolution of working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in the last five years. Effects of the economic crisis (around 500 words)

  • Initiatives taken by national governments/social partners in order to improve employment levels and working conditions of young entrants to the labour market (around 500 words)

  • Final commentary on the main results (around 100 words)

Block 1: General description and characterisation of the main current working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in your country in comparison to other age groups

NCs are kindly requested to provide the most updated information (coming from national surveys, administrative registers or ad-hoc national research/studies) on a number of working conditions-related variables specifically related to young entrants to the labour market in comparison to other age groups. Please provide the information only for those variables where significant/important differences, either positive or negative, can be identified in relation to other age groups, stressing the causes and rationale of these differences

Suggested extension of this section: around 700 words

1.1 Career and employment security issues

Working conditions and employment contract are the same as with the other employees; the exceptions are the young employees (15-18 years) which are subject to the limitations of the Labour Code. The Labour Code stipulates that an employer has to provide at the beginning and at the end of the employment relationship statement and space for commenting the employment contract also by the legal representative of the young employee.

The tables include information about the education of employees. The education level (Edu.) is divided into three groups:

  • A Primary education .

  • B Secondary education ,

  • C University (including the 3rd level).

Basic File (BF) includes all employees in the sample of ISCP database, about 1mil employees from all regions of Slovakia.Sample File (SF) covers employees with m aximum two years job experience and education group A with maximum 18 years of age, group B with maximum 24 years and group C with maximum 27 years of age. The tables 2- 4 also include the share (%) of SF employees in the BS.

The table below provides information about the number of young employees employed on part-time:

According to the table below, only the Group C has recorded an increase in part-time work during all these years. Other groups experienced a decline in part-time work in 2012.

Table 1a: Number of young people working part-time

Edu.

2008

2009

2010

Number of young people workingpart-time

Number of young people working

part-time

Number of young people workingpart-time

SF

BF

SF

BF

SF

BF

A

558

47 757

267

44 969

396

46 117

B

27 775

554 355

25 583

588 950

27 779

626 022

C

19 385

141 964

22 721

171 936

24 496

191 676

Table 1b: Number of young people working part-time

Edu.

2011

2012

Number of young people working

part-time

Number of young people working

part-time

SF

BF

SF

BF

A

316

45 684

221

41 683

B

29 191

640 164

26 844

629 643

C

25 865

208 982

26 331

226 083

Source: Trexima, 2012 ISCP survey

The table below provides information about the working hours is included in the following tables: According to the table below, only young workers (SF) of the group C had an increase in hours worked compared to all employees (BF).

Table 2a: Hours worked

Edu.

2008

2009

2010

Hours worked

Hours worked

Hours worked

SF

BF

SF

BF

SF

BF

 

Percentage of SF.

hour

hour

Percentage of SF

hour

hour

Percentage of SF.

hour

hour

A

1.17%

106.91

143.05

0.59%

90.19

141.80

0.86%

116.37

143.68

B

5.01%

146.75

144.93

4.34%

146.04

144.10

4.44%

146.50

145.16

C

13.65%

144.63

137.82

13.21%

143.11

136.96

12.78%

143.31

136.89

                   
Table 2b: Hours worked

Edu.

2011

2012

Hours worked

Hours worked

SF

BF

SF

BF

 

Percentage of SF

hour

hour

Percentage of SF

hour

hour

A

0.69%

131.96

143.51

0.53%

103.39

143.23

B

4.56%

146.70

144.89

4.26%

146.96

145.49

C

12.38%

142.99

137.10

11.65%

145.64

138.18

Source: Trexima, 2012 ISCP survey

The payroll system is the same as with other groups of employees, however, it reflects also the length of service in the enterprise.

According to the table below, the value of the number of overtime hours varied in all groups of employees during all these years.

Table 3a: Number of overtime hours by young people

Edu.

2008

2009

2010

Number of overtime hours by young people

Number of overtime hours by young people

Number of overtime hours by young people

Percentage of SF.

SF

BF

Percentage of SF

SF

BF

Percentage of SF.

SF

BF

A

1.17%

2.19

4.51

0.59%

1.54

3.49

0.86%

2.39

4.32

B

5.01%

3.24

3.39

4.34%

2.71

2.97

4.44%

3.13

3.30

C

13.65%

1.45

1.30

13.21%

1.53

1.47

12.78%

1.62

1.46

Table 3b: Number of overtime hours by young people

Edu.

2011

2012

Number of overtime hours by young people

Number of overtime hours by young people

Percentage of SF.

SF

BF

Percentage of SF.

SF

BF

A

0.69%

2.08

4.21

0.53%

1.80

3.92

B

4.56%

3.63

3.37

4.26%

3.63

3.22

C

12.38%

1.91

1.43

11.65%

1.83

1.62

Source: Trexima, 2012, ISCP survey

The table below provides information about the gross monthly wage of young people:

According to the table below, the value of the average gross wage was the highest in the group of workers with C education. The highest value in this group was in 2012.

Table 4a: Average gross wage in €

Edu.

2008

2009

2010

Average gross wage

in €

Average gross wage

in €

Average gross wage

in €

Percentage of SF

SF

BF

Percentage of SF.

SF

BF

Percentage of SF

SF

BF

A

1.17%

281

493

0.59%

267

506

0.86%

358

517

B

5.01%

535

702

4.34%

538

711

4.44%

550

733

C

13.65%

776

1 124

13.21%

793

1 153

12.78%

795

1152

Table 4b: Average gross wage in €

Edu.

2011

2012

Average gross wage in €

Average gross wage in €

Percentage of SF

SF

BF

Percentage of SF

SF

BF

A

0.69%

423

537

0.53%

375

559

B

4.56%

563

753

4.26%

613

784

C

12.38%

793

1 162

11.65%

872

1 186

Source: Trexima, 2012, ISCP survey

Currently, there are not available any studies which would register differences in working conditions of employees who work for a longer time and new employees, neither about the remuneration system of employees.

The employers use the basic legal act, i.e. the Labour Code which stipulates that an employment relationship could be extended for a fixed period maximum two times. Currently, the new employees are being recruited mainly for a fixed period which is associated also with a trial period, or they are recruited on an agreement for work.

The largest age group among the job seekers are the young people.

In September 2011, young people aged 20 - 29 years formed nearly one third (30.3 %) of unemployed. Other categories (30-, 40- and 50-year old) were on the level of 22 %.

The table shows the number of unemployed in the age group 15-24 years, which formed nearly 20.2 % of job seekers from the total number of unemployed.

Table 5: Structure of job seekers by age (September 2011)

Age

Number

%

15 -24 years

79 218

20.2%

25-29 years

55 947

14.3%

30-34 years

44 461

11.4%

above 34 years

210 933

54.10%

Total

390 559

100.0%

Source: Headquarters of Labour, Social Affairs and Family , 2011

1.2 Skills development

Currently, there are no data available.

1.3 Health and well being

Exposure to risks and hazards, stress at work, job intensity, psychosocial risks, information on existing health and safety risks at work, monotonous/complex work, social support at work, organisational issues, etc

Information about danger and risks at work is not available. Such data are not collected. The Labour Code is used for protection of young employees (from 15-18 years). The Labour Code stipulates that young people cannot be employed to perform work that could put into danger their development and health. They undergo more often medical examinations and an employer must have a documentation of working activities prohibited for young employees. Young employees have limited overtime work and night work. An employer cannot implement such remuneration for work that would result in increase of work performance and in endangering occupational safety and health of young employees.

1.4 Reconciliation of working and non-working life

They focus mainly on getting education, employment and keeping a job.

Block 2: Identification and characterisation of existing differences in working conditions within the group of young entrants to the labour market in your country

NCs are kindly requested to provide the most updated information (coming from national surveys, administrative registers or ad-hoc national researches/studies) on differences of working conditions within the group of young entrants to the labour market, for a series of variables. Please provide the information only for those variables where significant/important differences, either positive or negative, can be identified, stressing the causes and rationale of these differences

Suggested extension of this section: around 600 words

2.1 Personal characteristics of young entrants

At present, there are no studies available that would provide information about the existing differences in working conditions between individual groups of young people entering the labour market in Slovakia. We can provide only information about the established working conditions.

According to the Labour Code and the Act of the National Council SR on Occupational Safety and Health No. 124/2006 Coll. as amended, the differences are mainly in the established working conditions.

Young employees aged 15-18 years (juveniles) are more protected at the work place concerning the labour relations and OSH. The employer has to prepare a list of works that are forbidden to be executed by young people; young people cannot work at night and overtime. The preventive medical examinations in relation to work are focused on age. The standardised weight limits for lifting loads are adjusted to age. Work must be adjusted to their age, health and physical and mental abilities. The legal representative of a juvenile must agree with all work that he/she has to carry out.

Despite of it, the young employees aged 18-30 years do not have any special working conditions, and they are subjects to the same requirements resulting from the Labour Code and related legal regulations in OSH.

According to the Labour Code and the Act on Occupational Safety and Health No. 124/2006 Coll. as amended, there are no differences in the established working conditions.

Exceptions are pregnant women, nursing mothers and mothers caring for children under 9 months of age. The employer must prepare a list of prohibited work for those groups and must create a space for nursing children and ergonomic conditions for pregnant women. However, there are no differences within the group of young employees.

2.2 Occupational characteristics

No data available.

Block 3: Evolution of working conditions of young entrants to the labour market in the last five years. Effects of the economic crisis

NCs are kindly requested to provide information on the following items: NCs are kindly requested to provide information (coming from national surveys, administrative registers or ad-hoc national researches/studies) on differences of working conditions amongst the group of young entrants to the labour market in comparison to the situation five years ago. Please provide the information only for those variables where significant/important differences, either positive or negative, can be identified, stressing the causes and rationale of these differences

Suggested extension of this section: around 500 words

3.1 Please provide information on the evolution of working conditions of young labour entrants in the last five years. Have working conditions of this group improved/deteriorated in comparison to the existing situation five years ago (before the economic crisis began)? What are the reasons for these changes

In the last five years, the working conditions of young employees did not change substantially. The conditions were changed in line with amendments of the Labour Code but the changes applied to all employees regardless of their status at work.

In the recent years, the access of young people to the labour market became more difficult what was linked with the unemployment at the Slovak labour market as such. The crisis caused economic downturn and dismissals of employees what affected also young employees or job seekers.

3.2 Based on possible existing prospective studies, please provide information on the expected evolution of employment levels and working conditions of young labour market entrants in your country in the near future (coming 2-3 years)

Studies about the expected development of working conditions and employment of young people are not available.

We expect results from Government projects which started in 2012 and are still running.

The projects should increase and improve employment of graduates, mainly those projects implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. The employers can apply for a benefit for employment of young people under 29 years of age. Projects will be supported from European Social Found (ESF). More about the projects is written in the Part 4.

According to the study Flexible forms of employment in the framework of EU opportunities and risks of their implementation in the Slovak Republic (Bellan, Olšovská, 2012), the number of self-employed without employees, whose work, according to the subjective assessment of respondents, fulfils the character of a dependant work, continually increased since the beginning of 2010 until the end of 2011 - 38% increase. According to the LFS 3Q/2011, the share of young people aged up to 24 years among self-employed without employees was about 3%. The data base of young people working in the form of dependant work in the so called “forced self-employed” is not available.

According to the study Culture of the world of work, the highest number of young people aged 15-24 years work on agreements ("agreement on temporary job of a student") during summer. The largest group of workers working on agreements is the group of workers aged 25-49 years. The study Agreements on work performed outside the employment (Kostolná 2011) stated, that despite the uniqueness of the status of students and possibility to conclude with them an agreement on temporary job of a student, the LFS data on temporary employment cover the whole employment in case of fixed-term jobs.

Block 4: Initiatives taken by national governments/social partners in order to improve employment levels and working conditions of young entrants to the labour market

4.1 Identify main recent national measures/initiatives (1-2) put in place in your country by public authorities in order to improve employment opportunities and working conditions for young entrants to the labour market.

National measures and initiatives of the SR Government:

Programme Declaration of the Slovak Government for the period of 2012 to 2016 (May 2012)

In its Programme Declaration of May 2012, the Slovak Government committed to fulfil the key tasks including also: „decrease of high unemployment of young people and systematically solve the problem of long-term unemployment, especially the regional unemployment,“

Projects implemented by the Headquarters of the Labour Social Affairs and Family SR (subordinated organisation of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family SR)

National project „Practical experience of graduates“

The project was implemented on the whole territory of the Slovak Republic except of the Bratislava Region. The Bratislava region was excluded from the project because of the high GDP per capita and low unemployment of the young people in the region. Other regions of Slovakia were favoured.

The Bratislava region was excluded from the project because of the high GDP per capita and low unemployment of the young people in the region. Other regions of Slovakia were favored.

The project was financed from the Operational Programme „Employment and Social Inclusion“ an co-financed from the European Social Fund. It was implemented in the period from July 2010 – December 2011.

The objective of the project was the support of graduates to enter the labour market and their employment with emphasis on acquiring practical experience and professional skills in a concrete working environment through this project of practical experience of graduates focused on increase of their employability. It should serve as a prevention of long-term unemployment of young people less than 25 years of age, mainly school graduates, through gaining practical experience adjusted to their individual needs as preparation for the labour market, and thereby support of young people in their transition from school to employment or change of employment.

Project activities: ¨Provision of benefits for execution of the practical experience of graduates according to the Article 51 of the Act on Employment Services. The school graduate will, in line with the Article 51 paragraph 4 of the Act on Employment Services, carry out the practical experience up to 6 months for 20 hours per week in a concrete employer without any possibility for its extension and re-execution.

Project No. XXI - „Support of Jobs Creation“

The project is financed from the Operational Programme Employment and Social Inclusion. It is implemented by the offices of labour, social affairs and family in the whole Slovak Republic without the Bratislava Region as an active labour market measure in line with the Article 54 of the Act No. 5/2004 Coll. on Employment Services and on amending and supplementing certain acts, as amended. The support of employment of young unemployed people from the target group unemployed young people – job seekers - under 29 years of age, is also an active labour market measure for the purpose of this project. If an employer creates a job and recruits for its execution young person, he can get a financial contribution for creation of such job. Subsequently, jobs created in this way must be maintained for a specified period even after the contribution. Costs of the projects will be 70 mil EUR and in the framework of the projects could be created up to 14,460 jobs. The project should concentrate mainly upon young people and those who enter the labour market.

Project XX. – „Support of employment of unemployed in self-government“.

The project is financed from the Operational Programme Employment and Social Inclusion. It is implemented by the offices of labour, social affairs and family in the whole Slovak Republic without the Bratislava Region as an active labour market measure in line with the Article 54 of the Act No. 5/2004 Coll. On Employment Services and on amending and supplementing certain acts, as amended. The objective of the project is to support employment, adaptability and decrease unemployment of a selected target group of job seekers.

The specific objective of the project is to support motivation of employers to employ young unemployed people and disadvantaged job seekers over 50 years of age, to increase employability of young unemployed at the labour market through acquiring skills and working habits in the created jobs and to renew the working habits of disadvantaged job seekers over 50 years of age and to increase their employability and success at the labour market.

Projects implemented by the Ministry of Economy SR

The projects are financed from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth. There are several projects, objective of which is support of entrepreneurship, increase of competitiveness and employment. Condition of each project is creation of at least one job for a young person or a graduate under 29 years of age.

The state will pay for the labour costs of young people under 29 years of age employed through this project for 6 months and the employers in transport will guarantee that they will maintain the job for the next 24 months. The project was implemented on the territory of the whole Slovakia without the Bratislava Region. This applies to all projects of the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Labour.

The project for support small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)

The project is financed from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth. The project will be implemented on the territory of the whole Slovak Republic without the Bratislava Region. Programs and projects to promote the employment of young people under 29 started in November 2012 and continued throughout 2013 and will end in 2014. Evaluation will be in the second half of 2014.

The target group: SME and young people (unemployed and school graduates)

The state offers to SME that it will pay for each created new job 95 % of labour costs for the period of 12 months and the company must guarantee that the job will be maintained for further six months.

It is expected that by using these sources approximately 1,200 jobs, which will be created and directly supported in SME before the end of 2015. Each supported project must, according to the Ministry of Economy, commit to create at least one job for young people.

Project in the transport area

The project deals with the passenger and freight transport. It will initiate creation of approximately 2,000 new jobs. The state will pay labour costs for young people under 29 years of age employed through this project during the period of six months and the employers in the transport sector guarantee that they maintain the created job for further 24 months.

The place of the project implementation: the project was implemented at the territory of the whole Slovakia without the Bratislava Region.

The Ministry of Economy plans to provide for this project 225 mil EUR from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth. This will support creation of approximately 1,200 jobs in small and medium-sized enterprises before the end of 2015.

4.2 Identify main recent initiatives (1-2) put in place in your country by social partners (either at national, sector or company level) in order to improve working conditions amongst young entrants to the labour market.

Representatives of employers and employees as the social partners support the government measures related to decrease of unemployment of young people and young people entering the labour market. However, they do not develop their own initiatives and projects in this area.

Commentary by the NC

At present, the issue of employment of young people and school graduates entering the labour market is very actual in SR. Due to the high unemployment of this age group, more funds from the European Union are being used to support the projects in this area. Costs of those projects will be approximately 250 million EUR and approximately 15,000 jobs could be created which should focus upon young people and those entering the labour market. Results of these measures and projects are, however, not available yet and therefore no conclusions could be drawn and success of the project could not be evaluated. According to the government officers, the projects should help to improve employment of young people and thus to decrease the level of unemployment in SR.

From the point of view of working conditions of young employees and those entering the labour market, it could be stated that they have the same conditions for work as all other employees and they are protected by the Labour Code and the Act on Occupational Safety and Health, as well as by the Act on Promotion and Protection of Public Health and relevant Government regulations in this area and there do not exist any differences in the established working conditions. Due to the fact that there are no studies in this area, there are no relevant data on working conditions of this target group.

References:

Noviny SME (daily newspaper SME ) available at http://ekonomika.sme.sk/c/6643213/na-vyse-tisic-novych-pracovnych-miest-da-vlada-225-milionov.html#ixzz2OYxWtIkn

Programové vyhlásenie vlády SR (The Government's Policy Statement ) available at http://www.vlada.gov.sk/programove-vyhlasenie-vlady-sr-na-roky-2012-2016/

Web MOLSAF http://www.employment.gov.sk/ministerstvo-startuje-realizaciu-projektov-na-podporu-zamestnavania-mladych.html

Kostolná, Z., Hanzelová, E.: Unemployment of school graduates and approaches to its solution in EU member states in the period of the global economic crisis. IVPR 2010.

Tesits, R., Hanzelová, E.: Atypical forms of employment: tendencies and perspectives. IVPR Bulletin 6/2007.

Kostolná, Z.: Agreements on work performed outside the employment. IVPR 2011.

Culture of the world of work. Institute of employment and FESS Slovakia .2012

Inštitút zamestnanosti (website on Employment Institute) available at http://www.iz.sk/sk/projekty/kultúra-sveta-prace

Bellan, P., Olšovská, A.: Flexible forms of employment in the framework of EU- opportunities and risks of their implementation in SR. IVPR, 2012.

Informácie o vysokých školách a ich absolventoch (Informations about higer educations and their graduates) available at http://vs.iedu.sk/sk/welcome

Miroslava Kordošová, Miroslav Novotný , Institute for Labour and Family Research

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