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Expected changes to the Labour Code related with transposition of EU Directives from 1 August 2022

Here you will find a brief overview of the newly adopted provisions of the Directives of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) in the field of labour law.

More extensive changes to Act No. 311/2001 Coll., the Labour Code, as amended (the hereinafter referred to as the "Labour Code") can be expected with effect as of
1 August 2022. These changes reflect the newly adopted Directives of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU), namely (i) Directive (EU) 2019/1152 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union (hereinafter referred to as the “Directive (EU) 2019/1152“); and (ii) Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU (hereinafter referred to as the "Directive (EU) 2019/1158") (Directive (EU) 2019/1152 and Directive (EU) 2019/1158 hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Directives“).

The aim of the Directives is to improve working conditions by promoting more transparent and predictable employment, while at the same time ensuring labour market adaptability and facilitating work-life balance for employees who are parents or have caring responsibilities (work-life balance).

Several provisions enshrined in the Directives are already included to a certain extent in the current legislation of the Labour Code or in other labour law regulations.

The proposal for a law amending the Labour Code and other labour law regulations in connection with the transposition of the Directives (hereinafter referred to as the "Amendment") was approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic on 26 May 2022 (with comments). The Parliament itself will decide on the approval of the Amendment.

Below is an overview of the most important changes regulated by the Directives themselves, which have not yet been transposed in our legal order:

(i) the possibility of transfer to another form of employment: an employee whose probationary period (if agreed in the employment contract) has ended and who has worked for at least six months for the same employer shall have the right to ask the employer for a form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions (e.g. a request for a change from a fixed-term to an indefinite period); the employer is at the same time obliged to reply in writing to such an employee and must duly justify its decision (however, the employer does not have to comply with the employee's request);

(ii) the form in which the information is provided: where information is provided to an employee, it should be permissible, in addition to providing the information in paper form, to provide the information in electronic form, provided that the employee has access to the electronic form of the information, can save and print it, and the employer keeps a record of the sending or receipt of such information in electronic form;

(iii) probationary period: in the case of fixed-term employment relationships, the agreed probationary period may not be longer than half of the agreed duration of the employment relationship (the length of the probationary period should thus be proportionate to the expected duration of the employment relationship);

(iv) parallel employment: an employer may not prohibit an employee from commencing employment with another employer outside the hours of work determined by that employer, nor disadvantage him in any way because of that;

(v) information on working conditions and terms and conditions of employment:

- the employer is obliged to provide the employee no later than within seven days of the commencement of the employment relationship with information on:

  • the method of determining the place of work or the designation of the main place of work if several places of work are agreed in the employment contract;
  • the length of the employee's standard working day or week and any rules regarding overtime and overtime pay, and rules regarding shift change when the work schedule is fully or substantially predictable; and
  • salary due and salary payment, including payment dates (according to the legislation currently in force, this obligation should be fulfilled by the employer within one month from the beginning of the employment relationship, i.e. Directive (EU) 2019/1152 will shorten the deadline for providing this information);

- the employer will also have to provide the employee with new, additional information that previously did not have to be provided to the employee, namely information on the time limit for filing an action for a declaration that the termination of the employment relationship is invalid and information on the right to training provided by the employer.

The employer is obliged to provide this information no later than one month from the date of commencement of employment.

(vi) the institute of paternity leave: on the occasion of the birth of a child, the male employee (the father of the child) is to be entitled to paternity leave of 10 working days (we already know this institute to a certain extent in our legislation, namely in Section 166 para. 1 of the Labour Code, which refers to male parental leave, and thus Directive (EU) 2019/1158 only renames the already known in Slovakia male parental leave to paternity leave).

The Slovak Republic, as an EU Member State, is obliged to bring into force the laws and regulations necessary to comply with Directive (EU) 2019/1152 by 1 August 2022 and to comply with Directive (EU) 2019/1158 by 2 August 2022.

After the National Council of the Slovak Republic approves the Amendment, or after the Amendment is published in the Collection of Laws of the Slovak Republic, we will present to you in more detail the individual changes to the Labour Code or other labour law regulations.

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