Changes in the Labour Code starting November 01, 2022

Barbora Palenikova

On October 04, 2022, the Parliament of the Slovak Republic approved an amendment to Act No. 311/2001 Coll. (Labour Code) in order to transpose the EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions.

The amendment also aligns Slovak legislation with the EU directive on work-life balance for parents and people with responsibilities of a caretaker.

This article will provide you with a selection of the most significant changes coming into effect on November 01, 2022.

1. Mail delivery

The amendment establishes the minimum length of the retention period of mail delivery of documents via the Post Office, i.e. 10 days.

Current labour law legislation does not regulate the length of time of the deposited parcel at the post office (it is governed by the postal regulations). Determination of the time limit is crucial for example, when employer deliveries a termination letter to an employee.

2. Particulars of the employment contract

The employment contract is now to contain only general essential elements (what type of job/its brief characteristics; place of work; date of commencement of work; wage terms and conditions), without which the employment contract would not have been concluded.

For other terms and conditions of employment, the employer is free to decide if they want to provide them to the employee in the form of written information or agreeing them in the employment contract as additional terms and conditions of employment (e.g. amount of leave, pay date of wage, etc.).

3. Information regarding working conditions and conditions of employment

Form of information

Employer's obligation to inform employees about other terms and conditions of employment under the Labour Code or other regulations, which are not part of the employment contract, can now be implementable via electronic communication. However, only if employees will have access to it and can save it and print it out, and the employer keeps electronic proof the information being sent and received.

Time limit for the provision of information

The employer must provide the employee with written information about the terms and conditions of employment within the following time periods:

(a) within 7 days of the commencement of the employment relationship, if the information concerns: the place of employment the place of work, hours of work, payment and payment of wages, including pay dates.

(b) within 4 weeks of the start of the employment relationship, regarding information on: salary, leave, termination rules, length of notice period, period for filing a complaint, to receive a declaration that the termination of employment is invalid, the right to a professional training provided by the employer (if any) and all that it covers.

4. Transfer to another form of employment

Employees with a fixed-term or a short-term contract of employment who have been employed for more than 6 months and whose probationary period has expired the probationary period, may apply to the employer for a transfer to an employment relationship of indefinite duration or to a fixed weekly working time (full-time). If the employer refuses to do so, the employer must give proper reasons related to his refusal.

5. Trial period

In the case of a fixed-term employee, the probation period mustn´t exceed more than half of the agreed duration of the employment relationship.

6. Deductions from wages - catering

The employer will now be able to make deductions from an employee's wages in the case of an unsettled advance payment for catering, or in the case of financial contributions on meals, unilaterally, i.e. without an agreement on deductions from wages.

This will remove the unnecessary administrative burden from the employer, so that they no longer need to  conclude agreements on deductions from wages and thus ensure the smooth recovery of the allowances related to meals from employees, e.g. on termination of employment.

7. Introduction of the concept of "paternity leave"

Our legal system already recognizes the Institute of parental leave for men (paternity leave) (Article 166(1) of the Code Labour Code), which is equal to a woman's maternity leave. A new benefit for the father of the child is the possibility of a leave of 10 working days after the birth of a child with entitlement to the "paternity" benefit, which will be gradually paid out by the Social Insurance Agency over the following 14 calendar days.