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Slovakia

Source: EURES The European Job Mobility Portal. For up-to-date information visit the Living and Working Conditions section about Slovakia on the EURES Portal.

How to find a job

If you are planning to find a job in Slovakia, we recommend that you select the type of work you are interested in. When choosing a suitable occupation, we recommend considering the actual jobs currently available within our labour market, occupations in which there are labour shortages, and your own qualifications and practical skills.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest number of vacancies in the Slovak labour market are available especially in the transport, healthcare and warehousing sectors. The Slovak economy is gradually recovering and the demand for workforce is increasing, too, in particular in the automotive and mechanical engineering industries. Some jobs available in the information technology sector offer the possibility of working from home, known as ‘teleworking’. Doctors, nurses, nurse assistants and care workers also continue to be occupations that are in demand in Slovakia.

Formal letters of recommendation from former employers and informal references from relatives, acquaintances and friends can also help you to be successful in our labour market. You should choose your job search strategy after considering the above factors. You have the following options:

Today, one of the most common ways that people search for work online in Slovakia is by turning to government and privately-run job sites. Some job sites are multilingual, let you register your CV, and offer to test your job prospects.

Labour, Social Affairs and Family Offices maintain up-to-date job offers at their regional branches. At every Labour Office, EURES advisers are available to help you in your search for employment. If you are unemployed, Labour, Social Affairs and Family Offices can also offer various counselling services.

Because of COVID-19 safeguards, Labour Offices prefer to communicate with clients electronically and by telephone. Selection interviews for employers are conducted in line with stringent epidemiological and safety rules.

Job agencies can also help you to find a job. Please note that they may charge administration fees for their services in some situations.

Temporary employment agencies and supported employment agencies are another avenue you can explore when searching for work in Slovakia.

If you come across a job that is suited to you, you should respond as quickly as possible and send your CV and a cover letter using the contact details provided in the job advert. When you prepare these documents, make sure you do the best you can as this is your first contact with your future employer. In the current circumstances, we recommend that you do not hand in CVs personally to employers, but send them via email or post. Most recently, the SLOVENSKO SK portal, which operates in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council, has also been used for sending out CVs and applying for jobs. The coordinated electronic services of SLOVENSKO SK are also available to EU citizens on the basis of coordinated electronic cooperation in the eIDAS system.

One of the best and most effective ways to find work is to contact employers by phoning them.

You will find the following websites particularly helpful when you are actively searching for work or need information about the job market:

Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family   

https://www.employment.gov.sk

Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and the Family

https://www.upsvr.gov.sk

Vacancies in Slovakia

https://www.istp.sk

Central Public Administration Portal

https://www.slovensko.sk/en/title

Vacancies in EU/EEA countries

https://www.eures.sk

Job offers

https://www.profesia.sk

Job offers

https://praca.sme.sk

Job offers

https://www.jobagent.sk

Job offers

https://kariera.zoznam.sk

Job offers

https://www.careerjet.sk

Job offers

https://www.azu.sk/job/zoznam

Job offers

https://www.studentservis.sk

Salary

http://www.naseplaty.sk

EU financial support for labour mobility

https://ec.europa.eu/eures/public/sk/your-first-eures-job-js

EU financial support for labour mobility

https://ec.europa.eu/eures/public/sk/reactivate-js

National Health Information Centre

https://www.korona.gov.sk/en/

 How to apply for a job

The most common way of applying for a job is to send a cover letter and a CV (curriculum vitae). A written job application is your first means of contact with a potential employer. Your application, along with your attached CV, serves as a calling card and personal advertisement, so you should prepare it carefully. Pay attention to the style, quality of expression and spelling. Avoid phrases and statements that are empty or have no meaningful value. Your application should be persuasive. It is meant to create interest in arranging an interview. It should be no longer than one sheet of A4 paper.

Structure of the application

In the header, state your contact details: your first name, surname, title, address, telephone number and email address (provide a formal email address consisting of your name and surname, not an email address such as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Under the header, write the name and address of the employer, the place and the date. It is a good idea to state the name of the person in charge of recruitment.

The main body of the application should contain: the position you are applying for, where you heard about the job, why you are applying for that particular position. Briefly state your qualifications and skills for the position, your work experience or education, knowledge and skills that the potential employer could make use of, your work achievements supported by concrete examples, and when you would be available to start work.

At the end, write a polite sentence expressing interest in an interview. Sign the application by hand.

Don’t forget to attach your consent to the processing of your personal data so that employers can enter your application in their database.

Sample application

Adam Veselý , Hlavná 30, 040 01 Košice, tel. kontakt: 090X 123 456, email: adam.vesely@ABC, s . r. o

Severná trieda 72

040 01 Košice

Košice, 25 May 2021

 Job application

Further to the advert you published in Korzár on 24 May 2021, I would like to apply for the position of international trade agent at your company.

After graduating from university, I worked as a sales representative at an international company for two years. I can communicate effectively in English, German and Spanish, both in writing and speaking. In my previous job, I actively used all these languages when communicating with foreign partners. I am proficient in typing and able to work well online and utilise standard MS Office applications. My strengths include flexibility, creative thinking, the ability to work in a team, resistance to stress, communication, presentation skills and creative approach to problem-solving.

I would be delighted to accept an invitation for an interview at a time convenient to you. Thank you in advance for considering my application.

In accordance with Act No 18/2018 on the protection of personal data and amending certain acts and Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), I hereby give consent to the employer (insert the employer’s official name), registration number: ABC, s.r.o., to manage, process and disclose all of the personal data provided in my personal profile, CV, cover letter and other attached documents related to my job application for the purposes of entry in the jobseekers register and recruitment. I declare that all of the personal data I have provided is true, correct and complete. This consent is voluntary and will remain valid for three years. This consent may be revoked at any time in writing.

Yours sincerely,

Attachments:

- CV

 Finding accommodation

Many people in Slovakia live in privately-owned houses or flats. In urban areas, privately-owned flats and rented accommodation are the most common type of housing. In smaller towns and villages, people are more likely to live in houses. Accommodation in Slovakia is generally easy to find if you wish to buy a house or flat. Property prices in the capital and in university towns and their suburban areas are higher than in other regions. Regional and local newspapers are a good source of information about available accommodation. There are also private estate agencies, although these charge a fee for their services.

Buying a property: The price of property is often calculated on a price-per-square-metre basis. If you do not have enough capital, you may be eligible to apply for a loan to buy a flat or a house, or to build your own house. Banks and financial institutions provide loans to buy property in the form of mortgages.

To avoid unnecessary problems when buying property, you should consult the cadastral offices and the seller.

It is also advisable to involve an expert in the buying process. The expert should have practical experience of the sale and transfer of property rights, and be familiar with sales and other relevant contracts. Such a person might be an experienced estate agent or a lawyer.

The main steps required when buying a property are as follows:

  • Verification of the property. First of all, it is essential to verify that the property or flat is not encumbered by any charges and that the seller is indeed the sole owner of the flat. If relevant, also check whether the co-sellers are actually the co-owners of the flat. You can obtain this information from the deed of title at the relevant land registry (cadastral) office.
  • Preparation of documents. If everything is in order, prepare all the necessary documentation for the conveyance of the property. The most important document is the purchase agreement.

Renting a property: There is also the option of renting, if you do not wish to buy a flat or house. Renting a house is not common practice; it is much more common to rent a flat. There are relatively good rental opportunities. It is possible to do so in any town in Slovakia. Information on renting can be found in the advertising sections of newspapers, on the internet, or directly from estate agencies, which can be found in every town. Please note, however, that estate agents charge a commission for their services. This type of accommodation is relatively expensive. Renting is most expensive in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, while in smaller towns the prices are more affordable but the range of accommodation is more limited than in the capital. In addition to rent, tenants are usually required to pay for utilities themselves, which means that the monthly cost of renting, especially in some towns, may effectively be doubled. Rent is normally paid monthly. A deposit of several months’ rent is usually required. It is standard procedure to sign a tenancy agreement.

 Recognition of diplomas and qualifications

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

  • An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
  • The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

1.The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

2.The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

3.The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

4.Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

Types of employment

The majority of employment contracts in Slovakia are permanent.

Employment is of indefinite duration, unless the employment contract expressly specifies the duration or if the employment contract or an amendment to it does not fulfil the statutory requirements for fixed-term employment. Employment is also of indefinite duration unless an agreement concerning a fixed term basis is drawn up in writing.

Fixed-term employment may be agreed for a maximum of 2 years. Fixed-term employment may be extended or renewed for a two-year period no more than twice.

Employment beginning less than 6 months after the end of any previous fixed-term employment between the same parties is treated as the renewal of that fixed-term employment.

The further extension or renewal of employment for a fixed period of up to or more than 2 years is possible only on the following grounds:

  • for covering an employee during maternity leave, parental leave, leave immediately following maternity leave or parental leave, temporary incapacity to work, or an employee seconded long-term to perform a public function or trade union function;
  • for work where it is necessary to significantly increase the number of employees for a transitional period not exceeding 8 months per calendar year;
  • for work that linked to certain seasons and is repeated every year and does not exceed 8 months in any calendar year (seasonal work);
  • for work covered by a collective agreement.

The reason for extending or renewing the employment relationship is stated in the employment contract.

Further extension or renewal of the employment relationship for a fixed period of up to two years – or over three years for a university lecturer or creative employee in science, research and development – is also possible if there is an objective reason based on the nature of the work of the university lecturer or creative employee in science, research and development, specified by separate legislation.

An employment relationship with a shorter working time

In the employment contract, the employer may agree working hours shorter than the designated working week with the employee. The employer may agree with the employee to change the established weekly working hours to shorter working hours or to change a shorter working week to the established weekly working hours.

The shorter working time need not be spread over all working days.

An employee in an employment relationship with a shorter working time will receive wages corresponding to the agreed shorter working time.

An employee employed for a shorter working time may not be favoured or disadvantaged in comparison with other employees.

Job sharing

A job-sharing post is one in which employees in an employment relationship with shorter working time allocate among themselves the working hours and workload attributed to that post.

Working from home and teleworking

The employment relationship of an employee doing work for an employer under conditions agreed in the employment contract at home or at another agreed place, or doing work for an employer under conditions agreed in the employment contract at home or at another agreed place, using information technologies during the working time scheduled by the employee him/herself, is governed by this law, albeit with some exceptions.

Working conditions for an employee working from home or teleworking may not disadvantage the employee vis-à-vis comparable employees at the employer’s workplace.

Work done by the employee on an occasional basis or in exceptional circumstances, with the employer’s consent or following agreement with the employer, at home or at a place other than that of the usual place of work, shall not be deemed to constitute working from home or teleworking, subject to the condition that the type of work that the employee does under the employment contract allows this.

Employees doing religious work

Provisions on working time and on collective labour-law relations do not apply to the labour-law relations for employees of churches and religious communities who do religious work.

An employment contract with a student of a secondary vocational college or a secondary apprenticeship school

An employer may conclude an agreement on a future employment contract with a student of a secondary vocational college or a student of a secondary apprenticeship school, no earlier than the date on which the student reaches 15 years of age. The agreement can be a commitment by the employer to accept the student into an employment relationship after the final examination, baccalaureate-level exam or graduation test, and a commitment by the student to become an employee of the employer. In this case, no probation period may be agreed. The type of work agreed must correspond to the qualifications obtained by the student upon completion of the field of training or study. The agreement on the future employment contract must be concluded with the consent of the student’s legal guardian, otherwise it is invalid.

An agreement on a future employment contract must include a commitment by the student of the secondary vocational school or secondary apprenticeship school to remain, on completion of his final exams, in the employment of the employer for a fixed term of not more than three years. Otherwise the employer may demand that the student reimburse the costs incurred in training him or her in the relevant field of study.

Agreements on work performed outside an employment relationship (independent contractor agreements)

In exceptional cases, in order to get their tasks performed or meet their needs and requirements, employers may enter into independent contractor agreements (examples of which are known under Slovak law as an ‘agreement on the performance of work’ or an ‘agreement on casual student labour’) if the work is defined by the result it achieves (an ‘agreement on the performance of work’) or if it concerns occasional activity defined by the type of work (an ‘agreement on work activity’ or an ‘agreement on casual student labour’).

Seasonal work

Seasonal work is characterised by dependence on seasons, regular annual repetition and a length not exceeding eight months in a calendar year. The most common summer seasonal jobs in Slovakia are jobs in agriculture, forestry, food and tourism.

Employers may seasonally employ jobseekers exclusively in accordance with the Labour Code (Act No 311/2001), on the basis of:

  • fixed-term or part-time employment contracts,
  • agreements on the performance of work,
  • agreements on work activity, or
  • in case of a student, an agreement on casual student labour.

If seasonal employment is concluded on the basis of a fixed-term employment contract, it must clearly state the agreed period, which can be defined either by a time period (e.g. exact date) or by the completion of specific work performed.

 Employment contracts

Prior to concluding an employment contract, the employer is required to inform the individual of his or her rights and obligations arising from the employment contract, and the working and remuneration conditions. An employment relationship is based on a written employment contract between the employer and the employee. Employment is established as of the date agreed in the employment contract as the work start date. The employment contract must be concluded on the basis of the Labour Code. The employer is required to issue one written copy of the employment contract to the employee. In the employment contract, the employer is required to agree with the employee on essential particulars, such as: the type of work for which the employee has been recruited, a brief job description, the place of work (the municipality, part of municipality or other specified place), the work start date and wage conditions, unless already agreed in the collective agreement. In the employment contract, the employer must also state other working conditions, including paydays, working hours, holiday allowance and notice period. The employment contract may also specify conditions that the parties wish to include, in particular bonuses or benefits in kind. A valid employment contract must be concluded no later than the start of employment (first day of work).

If work is to be carried out in another country and the duration of employment abroad exceeds one month, the length of the work abroad, currency of the salary or relevant part of the salary, other monetary benefits or benefits in kind related to the work abroad, and any terms and conditions concerning the return of the employee from abroad are specified by the employer in the employment contract.

Probationary period

The employment contract may specify a probation period which may not be more than three months, and in the case of a manager directly reporting to the statutory body or a member of the statutory body, and a manager directly reporting to such a manager, the probation period is a maximum of six months. A probation period may not be extended. The probation period will be extended for the duration of any time that the employee is unable to work. The probation period must be agreed on in writing, otherwise it is invalid. It is not possible to agree a probation period when renewing a fixed-term employment contract.

Amendments to an employment contract

The agreed content of an employment contract may be amended only if the employer and employee agree on the changes. Any amendment to an employment contract must be make in writing by the employer.

 Working hours

The statutory working week in Slovakia may not exceed 40 hours. Depending on the type of work, normal working hours may range from 37.5 to 40 hours a week. Employees normally work five days a week. The work break, of 30 minutes, is generally not included in working hours and employees are entitled to it if the work shift is longer than 6 hours. A different arrangement of weekly working hours may be set out in a collective agreement or employment contract. The Labour Code also provides for a minimum uninterrupted daily rest period of 12 hours in a 24-hour day, uninterrupted rest of two consecutive days per week, regulating work at weekends and public holidays, work at night, and overtime. It is not the norm to work overtime and, if there is overtime, employees are entitled to additional compensation on top of their normal wage. However, if the employer and employee have agreed that the employee will take time off in recompense (time in lieu) for working overtime, the employee is not also entitled to wage compensation. The average weekly work time, including overtime, must not exceed 48 hours. There are also specific provisions regulating the working hours of adolescents, pregnant women, male or female employees caring for children and employees with reduced working capacity.

Leave (annual leave, parental leave, etc.)

Employees in Slovakia are entitled to the following types of leave:

Annual leave – you are entitled to claim annual leave from your employer after working at least 60 days in a calendar year. If you do not work for the whole year (but at least 60 days) for your employer, you are entitled to pro rata annual leave.

The pro rata portion for each calendar month is calculated as 1/12th of the annual leave.

The Labour Code clearly stipulates that the basic annual leave allowance is a minimum of four weeks. Leave is a minimum of five weeks for employees who are at least 33 years old by the end of the current calendar year or who have a child in their permanent care. Teaching staff, as defined in special legislation, university teachers, research and artistic staff of public or state universities and staff with at least a second-degree university education who carry out research, teaching, scientific or development activities are entitled to more annual leave than the basic annual leave allowance, specifically annual leave of at least eight weeks.

Annual leave for employees on flexitime arrangements – one day’s leave is considered to be the time corresponding to the average working time per day, which is derived from the employee’s stipulated weekly working hours and assumes a five-day week.

Leave for days worked – if your job at a particular employer lasts for fewer than 60 days before the end of the year, you are entitled to leave for days actually worked at a rate of one twelfth of annual leave for every 21 days worked during the current calendar year.

Supplementary leave – granted when the work is classified as particularly demanding or harmful to health. Legislation designates the workplaces or areas where this type of work is carried out. Employees who do such work for the entire calendar year are entitled to one week’s additional leave. If employees under these conditions work only part of a calendar year, they are entitled to pro rata leave, one twelfth of the supplementary leave for each 21 days worked. Additional leave must be taken, and it has priority over other leave; it is not possible to provide wage compensation for untaken leave.

Curtailment of leave – for any employees who have worked for at least 60 days in the calendar year, the employer may curtail by one twelfth the leave for the first 100 missed working days, and by a further twelfth for every additional 21 missed working days, if the employee did not work for reasons stipulated by the Labour Code (Section 109). The leave entitlement for the relevant calendar year may be curtailed only for reasons arising in that year.

For each shift (working day) missed without authorisation, the employer may curtail the employee’s leave by one or two days. Unauthorised absences for shorter parts of individual shifts are aggregated.

Maternity leave – this leave lasts for 34 weeks (37 weeks for a single mother or 43 weeks if the mother has two or more babies at the same time). As a rule, the entitlement to maternity leave starts at a minimum of six and a maximum of eight weeks before the due date.

Parental leave – employees may request parental leave from their employer in order to spend more time looking after their children. Employers must grant such a request. Parental leave is provided for as long as the parent requests it (as a rule for at least one month) until the child reaches three years of age. If a child suffers long-term ill health requiring special care, employers must approve a request for parental leave until the child reaches six years of age.

Paid leave to obtain more qualifications – this leave may be provided by the employer with pay amounting to the employee’s average earnings, especially if the qualifications to be obtained by the employee are relevant to the employer’s needs. ‘Obtaining more qualifications’ is also taken to mean the acquisition of new qualifications or an extension to existing qualifications.

Paid leave may also be granted for the following reasons:

  • the examination or treatment of an employee at a healthcare facility;
  • accompanying a family member to a healthcare facility, accompanying a disabled child to a social care facility or special school;
  • the birth of an employee’s child;
  • the death of a family member;
  • the employee’s own wedding;
  • other serious reasons.

National and public holidays – days of continuous rest for employees during the week or on public holidays. Employees may be ordered to work on such days only in exceptional cases and after consultation with employee representatives.

On 1 January, 6 January, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 1 May, 8 May, 5 July, 29 August, 1 September, 15 September, 1 November, 17 November, 24 December after midday, and 25 and 26 December, employees may not be ordered to do work – nor may agreement be reached with them to do work – involving the sale of goods to final consumers, including any associated work, i.e. retail sales. Exempted from this rule are sales:

  • of fuel and lubricants at petrol stations;
  • and the dispensing of medicines at pharmacies;
  • at airports, ports, other public transport facilities, and hospitals;
  • of travel tickets;
  • of souvenirs;
  • of flowers on 8  May and 1  September and the sale of flowers and decorative items for graves on 1  November

National holidays:

1.1., 5.7., 29.8., 1.9., 17. 11

Public holidays (other than Sundays):

6 January, Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1 May, 8 May, 15 September, 1 November, 24 December, 25 December, 26 December.

The employer must pay a wage to the employee for national and public holidays.

Remuneration

In Slovakia the statutory minimum wage is set by law and an implementing government regulation. The amount is based on the average earnings of employees in the previous year and adjusted by a factor indicated in an agreement between representatives of employers’ associations, trade unions and the government. In sectoral collective agreements (known as ‘higher-level collective agreements’) and company collective agreements between employer representatives and employees, a higher minimum wage may be negotiated. As of 1 January 2021, the minimum wage is EUR 623 per month for employees paid monthly, otherwise EUR 3.58 per hour worked by an employee.

Pay conditions are set out in collective agreements negotiated between the employer and relevant trade union, or directly in the employment contract between the employer and employee. If the remuneration is not set out in a collective agreement, the employee is entitled to be paid a wage in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the employment contract. As part of these pay conditions, the employer specifies in particular the forms of remuneration for employees, the basic wage component and other components of remuneration for work and the conditions for providing them. The basic wage component is the component provided according to the time worked or performance achieved. The wage must not be less than the minimum wage set by the special regulation.

In addition to these entitlements, the Labour Code also guarantees specific financial compensation for overtime on public and national holidays, at night or in conditions harmful to health, as classified by an independent authority for health protection. Such compensation is provided in the form of a wage supplement. When wages are paid, the employer is required to issue the employee with a written statement itemising the wage components, the deductions and the total cost of the work. The document shall be provided in paper form, unless the employer agrees with the employee that it be provided by electronic means. The total cost of work comprises the wage and related allowances (including compensation for being on standby to work) and, in particular, contributions to cover health insurance, sickness insurance, pension, disability insurance, unemployment insurance, guarantee insurance, accident insurance, solidarity reserve fund and any pension fund contributions that the employer pays. At the employee’s request, the employer is required to provide access to the documentation used to calculate the wage.

The employer deducts tax monthly on behalf of employees. Income tax rates: 19% of that part of the taxable income not exceeding EUR 37 981.94 per year (i.e. 176.8 times the current subsistence level) and 25% of that part of the taxable income exceeding EUR 37 981.94 per year. When the calendar year has ended, employees are required to settle their income tax bill. They must either ask their employer to create an annual tax assessment for them (annual assessment of tax advances from the income of a natural person from dependent activity) or must submit a tax declaration on their own.

The employer is required to deduct employee insurance contributions from an employee’s wages. Employers make the following deductions from employees’ wages as a matter of priority: social security contributions, public health insurance contributions, arrears arising from the annual assessment of public health insurance contributions, contributions to pension plans paid by employees under special legislation, advance tax payments, arrears of advance tax payments, outstanding tax balances, arrears of advance tax payments and taxes incurred through the fault of the taxpayer, including penalties, and any arrears arising from the annual assessment of advances on employment-related income tax. Wages are payable monthly in arrears. They are paid by the end of the following calendar month, unless agreed otherwise in the collective agreement or employment contract. The wage is paid on the pay-day agreed in the employment contract or in the collective agreement. Employers pay wages to employees’ bank accounts so that the amount can be credited to the account on the specified payday. Employers may provide advance wage payments on agreed dates in between paydays.

Ending employment

Employment may be terminated by:

  1. agreement;
  2. notice of termination;
  3. immediate dismissal;
  4. notice of termination during a probation period.

Any agreement to terminate an employment relationship between an employer and employee must be made in writing. Fixed-term employment is terminated upon expiry of the agreed period. Either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship by serving notice of termination, in writing and duly delivered, otherwise it is invalid. The notice period is at least one month. The Labour Code governs cases where the notice period may be longer.

An employer may immediately terminate an employment relationship by dismissing an employee in exceptional circumstances only, for example where the employee has been convicted of committing a criminal offence or has seriously breached work discipline. Employees need not cite reasons for ending their employment when they hand in their notice to their employer. Employees may immediately terminate their employment if a medical report states that they are unable to continue working without serious risk to their health and the employer fails to transfer them to more suitable work within 15 days of receiving that report, or if the employer fails to pay their wages, wage compensation, travel expenses, compensation for work standby, sick pay, or any part thereof, within 15 days of the due date for payment, or if their health or life is in immediate danger.

Fixed-term employment ends when the agreed period expires.

Unless already terminated in another way, the employment relationship of a foreigner or a stateless person is terminated on the day:

  1. on which the person’s right to reside in Slovakia is to end according to an enforceable decision to cancel the person’s residence permit;
  2. on which a ruling for the deportation of the person concerned from Slovakia comes into force;
  3. on which the person's permit for residence in the Slovak Republic expires;
  4. on which the period for which the work permit was granted expires;
  5. on which the work permit was revoked.

Employment lapses upon the death of the employee.

The following retirement options exist in connection with the termination of employment:

  1. old-age retirement;
  2. early retirement;
  3. disability retirement.

The old-age pension is the most frequently granted pension. Insured persons are entitled to this pension if they have had pension insurance for at least 15 years and have reached retirement age. The retirement age is set within the range of 53 to 64 years of age of the insured person. The exact retirement age depends on the insured person’s year of birth, gender and the number of children raised. The Social Insurance Agency provides indicative calculations of the retirement age to anyone interested.

An early retirement pension is a pension benefit granted to those who decide to retire early. They must have paid pension insurance contributions for at least 15 years and have no more than two years left until retirement age, and the amount of the early retirement pension, calculated as of the date on which they apply for it, must be more than 1.2 times the minimum statutory subsistence level for an adult (since 1 July 2020, this has been EUR 214.83).

A disability pension is a separate type of benefit designed to cover the material needs of those who have become disabled.

The healthcare system

The healthcare system is administered by the Slovak Ministry of Health. Healthcare services are provided by public and private healthcare institutions. Initial examinations are carried out by general practitioners for adults or children. You are free to choose your own doctor, who will provide primary healthcare and who can also refer you for examination or treatment by a specialist. Outside your practitioners’ office hours and at weekends you can use outpatient emergency medical services (EMS). There is a EUR 2 charge. Patients are not required to pay this fee if they come for treatment immediately after an accident (this does not apply to accidents resulting from the use of alcohol, drugs, or medication other than those recommended by a doctor) or if they are subsequently hospitalised. EMS are available in virtually every district town. If no EMS is available, you will be treated by the inpatient emergency service in any hospital. There is a EUR 10 charge for urgent admissions, which is payable if the patient’s condition is not acute as this constitutes misuse of the service.

Medicines, either prescription or over-the-counter, can be obtained in pharmacies. There are lots of pharmacies in Slovakia and they are generally well stocked. Pharmacies normally open on business days between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. At weekends and on public holidays, designated out-of-hours pharmacies provide an emergency service.

Under the Health Insurance Act, employees, self-employed persons, employers and the state are required to pay health insurance contributions. A large part of healthcare costs are paid from health insurance. Certain medicines and healthcare procedures must be paid in full. Fees for medical procedures are charged according to pre-set tariffs. Health insurance does not always cover the full cost of, e.g., the purchase of prescription glasses, certain types of medication or dental treatment.

Employers are required to register employees for health insurance within eight working days of the employment start date, and to provide notification when the employment ends. Other changes in the health insurance payer’s data must be reported to the health insurer by the policyholder, specifically within eight days. If you are self-employed in Slovakia, you are obliged to register with a health insurance company within eight days of the date as of which you are required to have public health insurance, and to deregister within the same time limit.

A list of health insurers can be found on the internet. All employees must be insured with a health insurer, which then issues them with a registration number and a health insurance policy (HIP) card for use at every visit to or from a doctor. A health insurer is required to deliver a health insurance card to an insured person within 30 days of confirming the application.

If you have health insurance provided by a Slovak health insurer because your employment is in Slovakia, but you live in another EU Member State, you should ask your Slovak health insurer to issue an S1 form (formerly E 106). Submit this form to the local health insurer where you live in order to be registered. The S1 form (E 106) entitles you to full coverage, by your Slovak insurer, of healthcare provided in the place of your residence. Your dependants are also covered.

Income and taxes

Taxation in Slovakia is regulated by specific statutory provisions. All taxpayers are subject to tax obligations.

Taxes paid in Slovakia:

Direct taxes are imposed on natural and legal persons, and are levied on their income or property.

TAX ON INCOME FROM:

  • employment
  • business
  • other self-employment
  • the letting of properties
  • royalties
  • capital assets
  • other income – Sections 3 and 8 of the Income Tax Act

Personal and corporate income tax is governed by Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended

LOCAL TAXES:

  • property tax (tax on land, buildings, housing)
  • dog tax
  • tax on use of public space
  • accommodation tax
  • tax on vending machines
  • gaming machine tax
  • tax on the entry and parking of motor vehicles in historic city centres
  • nuclear installation tax

Municipalities also levy local charges for municipal waste and small-scale construction waste.

Indirect taxes are paid by natural and legal persons in the prices of goods and services, and are collected and passed on by manufacturers and service providers.

Value added tax (VAT) – standard rate 20% of the tax base; reduced rate 10% of the tax base – medicines, selected medical supplies, selected types of food, goods and services.

Excise duty – alcoholic beverages; electricity, coal and natural gas; mineral oil; tobacco products

Income from employment

An employee is taken to mean a taxpayer who receives income from employment.

Income from employment means income that is paid to the taxpayer, for example, on the basis of an employment contract or an agreement on work performed outside an employment relationship (independent contractor agreement) under the Labour Code, a service relationship, a civil service relationship (by a current or former employer), or a similar relationship (e.g. a ‘mandatory contract’ or contract of mandate) in which the taxpayer, in the performance of work, is required to follow the instructions and orders of the person paying this income – see Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended.

The tax base is taxable income from employment less insurance and other contributions that the employee is obliged to pay, or contributions to the foreign insurance of an employee who is subject to compulsory foreign insurance of the same type.

Calculation and payment of advances

Advances on tax on the taxable pay cleared and paid to employees comprise:

  • 19% of that part of the taxable pay not exceeding 176.8 times the amount of the current subsistence level, inclusive; and
  • 25% of that part of taxable income exceeding 176.8 times the current subsistence level.
  • These calculated tax advances are reduced by the amount of any tax credit claimed by the taxpayer.

Employers are obliged to pay the state the deducted tax advances, less the sum of any tax credits, within five days of the date of payment, remittance or credit of the taxable pay to the employee.

Tax benefits

By law, taxpayers may claim certain tax benefits and reduce their tax base. If they meet all conditions, they can claim:

  • Tax-free allowance for the taxpayer (only from active income)
  • Tax-free allowance for a spouse (only from active income)
  • Reduction in the tax base by contributions to a complementary retirement pension savings scheme (third pillar)
  • Tax credit for a dependent child
  • Employee premium
  • Tax credit for interest paid

For more information, please visit the website of the Financial Administration of the Slovak Republic.

Tax-free allowance for the taxpayer

In 2021, the monthly tax-free allowance is EUR 375.95. The annual deductible component per taxpayer is EUR 4 511.43 if the tax base is lower than or equal to 92.8 times the current subsistence level. The amount of the tax-free allowance for a different tax base is regulated by Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended.

Tax-free allowance for a spouse

Taxpayers may claim a tax-free allowance for their spouse only from what is known as ‘actively performed work’ (see Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended) and only if the spouse shares a household with the taxpayer and meets at least one of the following conditions:

  • he or she was looking after a dependent minor living in the same household as the taxpayer;
  • in the corresponding tax period, he or she received a carer allowance;
  • he or she was a registered jobseeker;
  • he or she is classified as a disabled person;
  • he or she is classified as a severely disabled person.

If these conditions are met for only one or several calendar months in the tax period, the taxpayers may reduce their tax base by the tax-allowance for spouses at an amount equal to 1/12 of the allowance for each calendar month at the start of which they were eligible to claim this allowance.

The amount of the tax-free allowance for spouses depends not only on the taxpayer’s tax base, but also on the spouse’s own income. The amount of the tax-free allowance for spouses and all conditions are laid down in Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended.

Reduction in the tax base by contributions to a complementary retirement pension savings scheme (third pillar)

The maximum amount of this tax-free allowance in 2021 is EUR 180. The tax allowance for complementary retirement savings schemes may be claimed only on an annual basis, either in the annual tax settlement or in the tax return.

All statutory conditions must be met in order for a tax-free allowance covering contributions to complementary retirement savings schemes to be granted.

Tax credit for a dependent child

The child tax credit is a component that directly reduces personal income tax (not the tax base). Employees’ monthly net pay can therefore be increased by this tax credit if they claim it monthly.

This tax credit is a cash ‘benefit’ that is affected by the taxpayer’s income. Taxpayers wishing to claim a child tax credit must attain a certain set income – see Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended.

Monthly tax credit amounts for a dependent child(ren) applicable for the 2021 tax year:

From 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 – child under 6 years of age – EUR 46.44, child over 6 years of age – EUR 23.22

From 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 – child under 6 years of age – EUR 46.44, child over 6 years of age – EUR 39.47, child over 15 years of age – EUR 23.22

Conditions under which a tax credit for a dependent child can be claimed:

  • any child maintained by the taxpayer in his or her household – a biological, adopted, step, or fostered child who is classified as dependent (under the Child Allowance Act), but not the child of a common-law spouse;
  • attainment of the prescribed taxable income, and
  • production of relevant proof, such as the child’s birth certificate or confirmation of school attendance in the corresponding school year, if the child is educated at a secondary school or university.

The employer is responsible for paying the tax credit. For more information, please visit: https://www.financnasprava.sk

Application and payment of an employee premium

An employee bonus is always applied after the end of the tax period, either on the basis of:

  • the annual tax settlement drawn up by the employer – the person responsible for paying tax on behalf of the employer; or
  • a tax return filed at any tax administrator (tax office); however, the employee premium calculated on the basis of that tax return is paid by the tax administrator (tax office) where the employee is permanently resident.

Employees who are entitled to an employee premium for the corresponding tax period and for whom the employer draws up an annual tax settlement are granted and paid the employee premium, at their request, by that employer. If advances on tax on income from employment are deducted from these employees, the employer, when drawing up the annual tax settlement, makes any tax overpayment refunds, along with the payment of the employee premium, as part of the wages for April at the latest.

Tax credit for interest paid

The tax credit for interest paid applies only to interest on housing loans under Section 1(6) and (7) of Act No 90/2016 on housing loans and amending certain acts, as amended. It may be claimed by a taxpayer who is at least 18 and not more than 35 years of age on the date of applying for the credit and who meets the requirements with regard to the specified amount of income.

Taxpayers (if they meet all statutory conditions under Act No 595/2003 on income tax, as amended) may claim a tax credit for interest paid, calculated on the basis of the amount of a housing loan provided under one housing loan agreement (at most on the basis of EUR 50 000 per domestic residential property, i.e. a flat or house).

The tax credit for interest paid covers 50% of the interest paid in the corresponding tax period, up to a maximum of EUR 400 per year. Taxpayers may claim a tax credit for interest paid over a period of five consecutive years, beginning with the month in which interest begins to accrue on the housing loan. Taxpayers’ tax is reduced by the amount of the tax credit for interest paid. If you are an employee, you may claim this credit in your annual tax settlement.

Annual tax settlement

If, in the previous year, employees earned taxable income only from employment and income subject to withholding tax (e.g. income from unit certificates, where the tax deducted from this income is not regarded as an advance payment by the employee), they have the option, by 17 February of the following year, of making a written request for an annual tax settlement from the last employer with whom they claimed a taxpayer’s tax-free allowance and tax credit. This employer draws up an annual tax settlement encompassing the aggregate amount of taxable wages from all employers who are classified as taxable entities. If employees have had more than one employer, have not claimed a taxpayer’s tax-free allowance and tax credit at any employer (have not signed an income taxation statement), have had taxable income only from employment and have not received income subject to withholding tax, and have decided to include that income in their total income and to treat any withheld tax as an advance on tax, they may ask any of these employers to draw up their annual tax assessment. This employer takes into account the taxpayer’s tax-free allowance and tax credit in the annual tax settlement if the employee demonstrates that he or she was entitled to claim that allowance and credit. If employees submit a request by 15 February, the employer is obliged to draw up an annual tax settlement by 31 March of the year following the end of the tax period.

INCOME

The minimum wage is determined on the basis of how labour-intensive a job is.

The minimum monthly wage in 2021 is EUR 623 for level-one labour intensity. Jobs are classified by labour intensity on a scale of six levels. Each labour-intensity level has a specific minimum wage. The minimum wage is EUR 739 at level two, EUR 855 at level three, EUR 971 at level four, EUR 1 087 at level five, and EUR 1 203 at level six.

Calculation of net wage:

The following deductions (contributions) are taken from an employee’s gross monthly wage:

  • Health insurance – 4%
  • Sickness insurance – 1.4%
  • Retirement insurance – 4%
  • Disability insurance – 3%
  • Unemployment insurance – 1%
  • Total contributions: 13.4%

Gross wage – contributions = monthly tax base

The tax-free allowance is deducted from the monthly tax base (if applicable). Tax at 19% or 25% is calculated based on the resulting amount.

If a tax credit is claimed, it is deducted from the tax, resulting in the following calculation:

Monthly tax base – (tax – tax credit) = net monthly wage

Average monthly wages in the national economy in Q4 2020, by sector:

Industry

EUR 1 306

Agriculture

EUR 885

Construction

EUR 815

Wholesale and retail trade

EUR 1 108

Accommodation and catering services   

EUR 611

Information and communication

EUR 2 116

Transport and storage

EUR 1 176

The educational system

Compulsory school attendance in the Slovak education system lasts for 10 years. It normally starts at the beginning of the school year following the child’s sixth birthday. It lasts from the age of 6 to 16.

Basic school types: nursery schools (3-6 years), primary schools (6-15 years), secondary schools (15-19 years), colleges and universities (from 19). Depending on the administrator, these schools may be state, private or religious schools, but they all provide education to an equal standard.

Nursery schools (for children aged 3-6) teach basic knowledge and skills. They teach basic knowledge relevant to the children’s age, drawing, reciting, singing, how to explore nature, colours and information about things children come into contact with. At preschool age (5-6-year-olds), children learn, for example, how to distinguish geometrical shapes, the months of the year, and the names of days. They also acquire hygiene habits and prepare to start primary school.

Primary schools prepare children for further study and experiences. As a rule, these schools last for nine years and are divided into two levels. Level 1 of primary school normally comprises years 1 to 4, while level 2 comprises years 5 to 9. To reach Level 2, pupils are not required to pass any entrance examination; they continue their studies upon successful completion of year four. Or they may go to a grammar school providing eight years of education. Study at a grammar school is conditional upon passing the entrance examination and acceptable results in Level 1 of primary school.

Level 2 education differs from Level 1. In Level 1, only one teacher teaches most subjects, but in Level 2 each subject is taught by a different teacher.

In Level 1, pupils have at least four and no more than eight periods a day, and on average teaching lasts until 12.30 p.m. Pupils in Level 2 have five or six periods, which end between 1 p.m. and 1.30 p.m. Each lesson lasts for 45 minutes and there are short breaks between lessons.

Younger pupils at primary schools may spend their time after lessons have ended in school clubs.

The education system also allows children to attend primary art schools on a voluntary basis in their free time.

Secondary schools. After completing the ninth year of primary school, pupils continue compulsory school attendance at a selected secondary school, where they were accepted by decision of the relevant school system. Education in Slovakia recognises several types of secondary school.

Vocational secondary schools: at vocational secondary schools and related secondary schools providing apprenticeship training, the study takes two (in a limited number of branches), three or four years. Three-year studies for individual trades is completed with a final examination, after which the student receives a vocational qualification and may continue in a two-year follow-up study in order to obtain a baccalaureate-level qualification. Full secondary school education is achieved by passing the baccalaureate-level exam. Studies that go on for four years are completed with the baccalaureate-level exam.

Secondary and grammar schools: secondary schools provide education for four or five years. In Slovakia, there are electrical engineering, geodetic, hotel management, industrial, nursing, sporting, art, agricultural, forestry, pharmaceutical, chemical and pedagogical secondary schools, as well as conservatories and business academies, among others. Grammar schools in Slovakia provide education for four years (if pupils apply to grammar school after the ninth year of primary school), or eight years (if they apply to the grammar school after the fifth year).

Studies are rounded off with the maturita examination, which has both a written and an oral part.

There is an average of 6-7 lessons; lessons last for 45 minutes and there is a short break between lessons.

Secondary schools also organise post-secondary and post-maturita-level courses. Here, students complete further study in readiness for the qualified pursuit of an occupation, or supplement and deepen the education they have already attained.

Universities and colleges help prepare students to be skilled professionals with tertiary education in scientific, economic, social and artistic disciplines. The school system allows students who have completed secondary or grammar school with a maturita exam to study at universities and colleges. There are currently 20 public universities, 11 private universities, three state universities and one foreign university in Slovakia. Study programmes are organised at three levels. At the end of their studies, students defend their thesis or dissertation and sit a state examination. The first level of study for a Bachelor’s degree takes 3-4 years, the second level is a Master of Arts, Science, Engineering or medical degree which takes 4-6 years (including the Bachelor level) and the third level is the doctorate (3-4 years).

Cultural and social life

Slovak cultural and social life is very rich and diverse. It is influenced by various traditions and customs passed from generation to generation and still surviving today.

Numerous social and cultural events and activities take place in every town and village. People gather to enjoy themselves, meet one another and talk and, of course, enjoy cultural events. Information about social and cultural events and various other activities can be found on the internet, in newspapers, on television and in tourist information or community centres.

Among the more physical activities, trips to the countryside around cities, towns and villages are popular. The most popular sports are football, cycling, water sports and more recently golf. Skiing is a popular winter sport.

Text last edited on: 09/2021

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