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


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


Source: SITA, TASR, Profit biweekly

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