Coming into force: New and amended laws for 2010

As of January 1

As of January 1



Amendment to the Act on Collective Bargaining


This law enables the automatic extension of higher collective


agreements across a whole sector. As a result, agreed wages and


working conditions can be more widely enforced, even to cover


companies that did not participate in negotiations towards a


higher-level collective agreement. The Labour Ministry argued


when it proposed the latest revision that employers which are


not subject to any collective agreement can, by paying their


employees lower wages, compete unfairly with companies


subject to such agreements in the same industrial sector.



Amendment to the Penal Code


This revision makes financing of terrorism a punishable criminal


offence in Slovakia. The new legal norm stipulates that funding


of terrorism can be punished by 20 to 25 years imprisonment, or


even a life sentence in some cases.



Amendment to the Act on Supplementary Pension Saving


This amendment gradually decreases the fees charged by


supplementary pension fund management companies in the


so-called voluntary third pillar, as of 2010. Over the next 10 years,


the maximum administration fee in the voluntary pillar will


drop to 0.165 percent of the net value of assets in the contribution


fund per month, and to 0.083 percent of the net value of assets in


the pension payout fund. The revision also introduces a fee for


asset appreciation, similar to the regime that applies to the


second pension pillar.



Act on financial intermediation and financial advisory


This law unifies supervision across the financial sector and


increases the protection of clients. It distinguishes financial


advisers – also known as consultants – and financial mediators –


also known as agents – in the insurance, capital market,


supplementary old age pension saving, deposit-taking, and


loan-provision sectors. A financial agent (mediator) is defined as


someone who performs mediation on the basis of a written


contract with a financial institution. He or she cannot also


perform financial consultancy. A financial consultant, by


contrast, provides consultancy on the basis of a written contract


with a client. A consultant cannot act as a mediator. Financial


agents as well as consultants are responsible for damage they


cause to their clients and their operations must therefore be


covered by compulsory insurance. A mediator must also inform


their clients how much commission they will receive.



Amendment to the Civil Rules of the Court


The amendment makes free legal aid available to a wider group of


people with low incomes. It is now up to the Centre for Legal Aid


to assess the financial conditions of applicants. In the past, if a


pensioner or a mother with two children did not meet the


financial criterion of being in material need they did not qualify


for free legal aid. The Justice Ministry regarded this as a defect in


the system. The practice of the Legal Aid Centre showed that in


some cases people were not able to get free legal aid solely


because their income exceeded the limit by a few euros or even


cents.



Amendment to the law on universities


The aim of this amendment is to eradicate plagiarism at


universities. It introduces a central register of final works, which


should prevent plagiarism in the final theses of students or


teachers when these are part of state exams at universities.



As of February 1



Amendment to the law on complaints


This amendment introduces changes in the filing, acceptance


and handling of complaints addressed to state administrative or


local self-government bodies. The law introduces the


opportunity to file a complaint by fax or electronically. According


to the new rules, complaints will be handled only if they are filed


within three years of the incident subject to complaint.


Anonymous complaints will not be handled, and the complaint


must be legible and clear.



As of March 1



Amendment to the Civil Code


This amendment, drafted by the Justice Ministry, aims to boost


consumer protection. The application of an unacceptable


condition that is struck down by court proceedings will be


banned in all other cases in which the contested provision is


applied.



Source: SITA, TASR, Profit biweekly


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