- 25 Sep 2009
Slovakia: Anti-crisis measures help to maintain employment
The global economic crisis has led to increased redundancies in Slovakia in 2009. In May, the number of registered unemployed persons reached nearly 336,000 workers, compared with 235,000 in November 2008. Companies have announced mass dismissals of more than 37,000 employees in that period. However, only 9,147 of these workers have registered at the labour offices so far, due to the implementation of measures adopted in order to maintain employment.
- 22 Sep 2009
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Steel sector – Slovakia
The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the steel industry in Slovakia. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.
- 18 Sep 2009
Slovakia – Greening the European economy: Responses and initiatives by Member States and social partners
The Slovak Government has adopted a set of measures in order to alleviate impacts of global economic crisis to the country. It also involved measures related to green issues which mainly concern the reduction of energy consumption and air pollution. Implementation of these measures is supported by state subsidies and concerns several sectors. There was no specialised governmental body established to deal with green issues during the last 12 month. Social partners deal with green issues mainly through tripartite consultations at the Economic and Social Council and partially also at the Council for the Economic Crisis.
- 16 Sep 2009
Slovakia: Overall satisfaction with current bargaining system
In 2007, Slovakia introduced important changes in labour legislation. Most changes came about as a result of requests from trade unions to improve employee protection and collective bargaining. However, employers had serious reservations about the changes. In order to map experiences with the implementation of changes, the Institute for Labour and Family Research conducted a company survey in late 2008. Overall, respondents were mostly satisfied with the current collective bargaining system.
- 15 Sep 2009
Slovakia: Flexicurity and industrial relations
High unbalance in the labour market was reduced in the last two years. However, unemployment is still about 13% and the long-term unemployment increased to more than 70%. Flexicurity approach is applied through partial policy measures. Trade unions demand sufficient social security for employees while employers focus more on flexibility issues supporting their business. Collective bargaining contributes to the implementation of flexicurity differently according to sectors and individual companies. However, social dialogue on development of systemic and reasonably balanced flexibility/security policy is only in initial stage.
- 05 Aug 2009
Slovakia: Further changes to extension of collective agreements
Since 2007, Slovakia has applied a new mechanism for extending multi-employer collective agreements. Employers object to extensions that impose collective agreements on them without their consent. They lobbied members of the political opposition, who applied for a decree of the Constitutional Court on the matter. The government has prepared a new proposal to amend the present mechanism of extensions, in consultation with the International Labour Organization.
- 28 Jul 2009
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Tanning and leather sector – Slovakia
The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the tanning and leather sector in Slovakia. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.
- 13 Jul 2009
Slovakia: Healthcare union demands higher wages despite economic crisis
Although wages increased in the healthcare sector in 2008–2009, the Slovak Trade Union Association of Healthcare and Social Services (SOZZaSS) renewed its demand for higher wages. According to SOZZaSS, wages in the sector are still too low. Nonetheless, the present economic situation threatens the unions’ wage demand, since current figures indicate significant losses to the state budget. It is thus unlikely that additional wage increases will be possible in the healthcare sector.
- 02 Jul 2009
Slovakia: Multinational companies and collective bargaining
Multinational companies played very significant role in increasing Slovakia's GDP, export volume as well as employment during the last ten years. Foreign investors invested about Euro 4.800 billion and created almost 34,800 new jobs during 2001-2007, which contributed much to the decrease of high unemployment rate from 19.2% in 2001 to 11% in 2007. MNCs played significant role in this. MNCs accepted domestic industrial relations system and did not initiate significant changes in it. MNCs are usually affiliated to local employer organisations. In many of them, mainly in subsidiaries of EU-based MNCs, trade unions operate and collective bargaining is present.
- 15 Jun 2009
Slovakia: Trade unions and government unite efforts to fight economic crisis
Recently, the Slovak government adopted a package of anti-crisis measures. In addition, the government and the trade unions adopted a cooperation memorandum to face the impact of the economic crisis in Slovakia. While the government will seek to retain employment as well as not weakening the current protection of employees by amendments in labour legislation, trade unions intend to demand wage increases only in relation to the actual level of labour productivity.
- 28 Apr 2009
Slovakia: Wage flexibility and collective bargaining.
The system of collective bargaining in Slovakia does not provide any room for downwards wage flexibility. However, it provides a relatively wide room for upwards wage flexibility, also in the public sector. Manufacturing companies and retail banks use different types of variable wage systems. They conclude multi-employer collective agreements. The coverage by collective bargaining is 100% in the banking sector and approximately 30% in manufacturing - in terms of companies. Trade unions seek to increase the share of the basic salary in total earnings and the employers try to decrease it. At present, there are no government initiatives supporting wage flexibility.
- 28 Apr 2009
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Hospitals – Slovakia
The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the hospital sector in Slovakia. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.
- 31 Mar 2009
Slovakia: Wage formation
The system of wage formation is a mixture of several approaches. State authorities play a role mainly in defining the minimum level of wages and in defining wages of civil servants and certain public servants. The wage growth did not exceed the growth of labour productivity in the last years. On 1 February 2008, a new Act on minimum wage entered into effect. As regards the IT sector, employment in this new sector makes up only 0.5% of the overall national employment in companies with more than 20 employees. Labour market processes seem to be the main factor for wage formation in the sector.
- 09 Mar 2009
Slovakia: The impact of the information and consultation Directive
The Slovak Labour Code already enshrined employees’ rights to information and consultation before national transposition of the EU Directive on the issue. However, this right was limited in practice because only trade unions were considered to act as employee representatives. The implementing legislation provided for works councils as well as trade unions to represent employees in enterprises and at workplaces, with both bodies entitled to information and consultation. Trade unions were unhappy with the introduction of works council, especially where in companies where unions operate, but employers supported the move.
- 06 Feb 2009
Slovakia: Collective bargaining and continuous vocational training
Continuous vocational training is regulated by legislation as an integral part of the education system. CVT activities are funded from public and private resources. Representatives of social partners were involved in social dialogue on changes in legislation regulating CVT. Trade unions´ and employers´ representatives are involved in application of CVT initiatives in practice through sectoral and enterprise-level collective bargaining. Nevertheless, CVT is not a significant issue of the collective bargaining. Trade unions consider CVT is important for the employment security, but employers expect more engagement of the state, especially in financial terms, in CVT.
- 05 Jan 2009
Slovakia: Immigration and training may ease labour shortage
A lack of qualified labour has become an issue in Slovakia, particularly since 2004 when the country acceded to the EU. The shortage is caused by increasing foreign direct investment, which has created thousands of new jobs, as well as by large numbers of people leaving to work abroad. An international ministerial conference considered the topic in September 2008 and concluded that this problem is common to most of the new EU Member States.
- 05 Jan 2009
Slovakia: Government amends law to allow for higher minimum wage
As social partners did not agree on the minimum wage for 2009, the Slovakian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family proposed to increase it by SKK 590 (€19.66) a month. Employers rejected the proposal, claiming that it was too high. However, the government wished for an even higher minimum wage, but existing legislation did not allow for it. Therefore, the law was amended and the minimum wage will now amount to SKK 8,900 (€295.40) from 1 January 2009.