After confusing support projects, order is being brought to employment law by a brand new law on short-time work.
From 2022, Slovak employment law will finally have clear and understandable rules for state support during the period when employers cannot provide their employees with work or can provide less work.
The new Act on Short-Time Work is seen as a novel instrument for granting state aid, which clearly serves the purpose of compensating for an employee’s wage during a period when the employer cannot assign employees to work to the extent originally agreed and short-time work therefore occurs. Although the Slovak Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has proposed including self-employed persons in this scheme, the law ultimately applies only to employees and employers ─ but not to employers and employees in public administration.
State financial support for employers consists of a contribution to the partial reimbursement of wage costs per employee for each hour of work lost by the employer during short-time work, amounting to 60% of the employee’s average wage. This support is intended to help employers and workers in times of crisis, similar to the first aid project that has supported them to date. State assistance during short-time work is activated when the employer is not able to assign work to at least one-third of employees in the amount of at least 10 % of the fixed weekly working time, due to a labour obstacle on the employer’s side.
A prerequisite for the grant of state aid is the existence of a temporary external factor beyond the employer’s control. This is in particular an exceptional situation, a state of emergency or exception, an extraordinary circumstance or a case of force majeure. But also, for example, an unexpected reduction in subcontracting by the employer’s contractors.
The state provides support during short-time work for a maximum of 6 months in a period of 24 consecutive months.
The conditions for receiving support include maintaining the job for which the state has provided support for at least two months after the support has ended and a separate written agreement with the trade union or with the employee on the application of this procedure.
Act No 215/2021 Coll. on short-time work