President Ivan Gašparovič has for the second time rejected amendments on a welfare work provision and the controversial law on collective bargaining, but the legislation will still come into effect.

Gašparovič stressed in his reasoning, on December 3, that his decision stemmed from parliament failing to incorporate any of his objections to the two laws when debating them after he vetoed both laws. By overriding the veto, legislators ensured that the two pieces of legislation will come into force as of January 2014.

The law on a welfare subsistence benefit stipulates that benefit payments of €61.60 will only be paid to those who carry out 32 hours per month of voluntary or minor maintenance work for their municipality. Gašparovič, as quoted by ther TASR newswire, referred to the principle behind the measure as “forced labour”.

The act on collective bargaining will extend higher-level collective agreements to all businesses in a given industrial sector that haven’t signed them individually. Only small firms - defined by the amendment as having up to 20 employees - will be exempt from the obligation. The president stated that the measure runs counter to the principle of collective bargaining at the level of individual companies and disregards EU recommendations that the size of a small company should be set at those with up to 50 employees.

In reaction to the law being passed, MPs for the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-SDKÚ, Christian-Democratic Movement-KDH and Most-Híd have filed a motion to the Constitutional Court. Opposition deputies want also the Constitutional Court to look into the approval of tax licenses. Chairman of the Nova party Daniel Lipsic argues that the law is retroactive. If he decides to take tax licenses to the court also SDKÚ and Most-Híd want to support him, according to Sme.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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