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Frequently asked questions: Working in Slovakia

The Slovak Spectator offers the basic information a foreigner needs to know about employment relations in Slovakia.

(Source: SME)
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Click on a question to find out an answer:

Q: I am an EU citizen. What do I need if I want to be employed in Slovakia?
Q: I come from outside the EU. What do I need if I want to be employed in Slovakia?
Q: What is an average monthly salary in Slovakia?

Q: How much will I really earn?
Q: What else am I entitled to as an employee?
Q: When can I take a break during the working day?
Q: How much do I get paid working overtime, at night or on holidays?
Q: How many paid days off do I get?
Q: What if I don’t use all my holidays?
Q: What should I do if I need sick leave (PN), or leave to care for a family member (OČR)?
Q: Can I get unpaid leave?
Q: What happens when I get fired?
Q: What should I do if I want to quit my job?
Q: I have a work permit and temporary residence valid for another few months.
Can I change my employer and keep the temporary residence? Or do I need to go through the whole work permit process again?
Q: Also, is it a requirement that my new employer also pays my tax and health insurance?
Q: Can I simply not come to work?
Q: What do I get from the state when unemployed?
Q: What happens when I go on maternal leave?

Q: Where should I look when I’m looking for a job?

Do you have more questions about working in Slovakia? Please let us know at spectator@spectator.sk.

Q: I am an EU citizen. What do I need if I want to be employed in Slovakia?
EU and EEA citizens have the same position as Slovak nationals, the only difference compared to employing a Slovak is that the employer has to report that they are employing a foreigner at the local labour office.

Q: I come from outside the EU. What do I need if I want to be employed in Slovakia?
For several groups of third-country nationals, such as foreign students, interns, journalists, clerics, and some asylum seekers, similar conditions as for EU citizens apply. Third-country nationals to whom none of the legal exceptions apply can work legally only with a temporary residence permit. This can be requested at the respective alien police department after the labour office approves the job vacancy can be offered to a foreigner. Police will decide on temporary stay within 90 days.
The application must include:
- a valid passport (original, the police officer will make a copy for their use)
- two photographs 3x3.5cm
- employment contract or promise of employment
- certified document proving the education (The original must be apostilled if you come from a country that signed the Hague Convention or superlegalised for citizens of other countries; this is not required from citizens of the Czech Republic, Austria, and France. That original is then officially translated.)
- extract from the police/criminal records (original or certified translation)
- document proving accommodation in Slovakia (confirmation from your hotel or hostel, or property ownership certificate if you own the property you are staying at, or rental contract with officially certified signature of the property owner and their ownership certificate. If you are staying with family or friends, they can write you a confirmation that you are staying at their address, the signature must be officially certified and they must submit their property ownership certificate.)
- document proving the financial provision of the stay (For those employed, a work contract is enough, otherwise you can prove your financial situation with a bank account statement. The required finances amount to the living wage for each month of your stay, which is €198,09 from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2016)
- administrative fee of €165.50 or €170, depending on whether the application is filed at alien police or a Slovak representation abroad.

Foreigners with temporary stay aimed at uniting a family are entitled to work without the obligation to acquire a work permit for one year after acquiring a permit to stay has elapsed. Asylum seekers, if their asylum request has not been decided upon, after nine months, and foreigners who became victims of human trafficking, for example, after 180 days. Foreign students at college are entitled to work in Slovakia a maximum of 20 hours per week; students of secondary or language schools a maximum of 10 hours a week. Research workers with temporary residence aimed at research and development can only do pedagogical activities a maximum of 50 days in a calendar year, exceeding their contract on visiting work.

Some categories of foreigners who come to work in Slovakia for a very limited period of time do not need a special permit for employment either. These include, for example, participants of scientific or artistic events, the work of which in Slovakia cannot exceed 30 days in a year; or workers doing some industrial construction or repair works, programming works or expert trainings, whose work cannot exceed 90 days in a year. If an employer requires the foreigner to work exceeding these limits, a foreigner would have to acquire a temporary stay permit, aimed at employment, first.
Similar to employees from the EU, also nationals of third countries who are not required to obtain a special permit for work, the administrative difficulty of obtaining it is comparable with employment of a Slovak citizen. Apart from the above-mentioned reporting duty the employer is required to keep a copy of his document proving his stay for the whole duration of employment.

Q: What is an average monthly salary in Slovakia?
There are several approaches to calculate the average monthly wage. One of the most relevant is prepared by the Statistics Office (estimation of wages of self employed included). Based on this statistic the average nominal monthly wage in 2015 was €883 - the highest in the Bratislava region (€1,122), the lowest in the Prešov region (€683).

Q: How much will I really earn?
Contributions to social insurer (9.4 percent) and health insurer (4 percent) are first deduced from your gross salary. Employees can then apply a tax deduction (€316.94 in 2016) which is deducted from the sum that is then taxed. The final sum is taxed 19 percent (if you earn more than €2,919 per month your tax will be 25 percent). The final sum is your net salary. From this salary there might be payment for part of your food vouchers as based on the law your employer is obliged to contribute to your food at a value which is defined by law every year. Remember that your company however pays an additional 35 percent on your health and social contributions, which is the overall price of work, higher than your gross salary.

Q: What else am I entitled to as an employee?
Besides paid holidays, health and social insurance, your employer must contribute to your lunches, most often they do it in the form of food vouchers, which you get for any day you work for more than four hours. You are entitled to one day off unpaid when you are moving within one municipality, and two days when you move to another municipality. You can also get unpaid half-day off every week during your notice period, to go to job interviews.

Q: When can I take a break during the working day?
You get half an hour break after five hours of work.

Q: How much do I get paid working overtime, at night or on holidays?
This explanation is for people whose regular working week is Mon-Fri and do not have a special agreement with employers dealing with overtimes. Based on the type of work as defined by the Labour Code you get a percentage of your average salary for working:
a) at night (between 10 pm and 6 am, minimum 20 percent bonus)
b) during national holidays (minimum 50 percent bonus)
c) overtime, which means working more than 8.5 hours per day (30 min paid break included) or working during weekends (25 percent bonus). Your overtime in one calendar year must be less than 150 hours (after agreement with employers it can be 400 hours per year as maximum)
If you work at the weekend, during state holiday and at night, you are entitled to all three benefits.

Q: How many paid days off do I get?
There are 20 days of paid leave, or 25 days if you are 33 years and older. You are entitled to go for a doctor visit or accompany a person with whom you live in a common household during your working time (56 hours for those working full-time(8 hours per day), each time only for the time necessary to make this visit – not the whole day). You also get a paid day off when you donate blood. You get a paid day off if you are getting married and your wedding takes place during a working day. You are entitled to a paid day off when a family member dies. If you are the one to handle the funeral formalities, you get two days off if it is on working days.

Q: What if I don’t use all my holidays?
All the days that you don’t use are transferred to the next year, but all the transferred days must be used by the end of the next year (e.g. holidays remaining from 2015 are only available until the end of 2016).

Q: What should I do if I need sick leave (PN), or leave to care for a family member (OČR)?
You need a document proving you or your family member are sick and that you need leave from work. This needs to be delivered to your employer within three calendar days. The first 10 calendar days you are paid by your employer: the first three days it’s 25 percent of your daily salary basis and then seven days with 55 percent. The salary basis is calculated based on your income in the past year. From the day 11 on, the social insurer (Sociálna Poisťovňa) pays your sick leave at 55 percent. For OČR, social insurance pays from the first day, 55 percent. However there is a daily limit what maximum can be paid from social insurance. Both OČR and PN have to be delivered to the employer who together with your doctor will communicate with the social insurer.

Q: Can I get unpaid leave?

You need to request it in writing. The employer does not have to agree, but usually they do. During unpaid leave, your employer does not pay your health and social insurance. You are obliged to notify your health insurer about your unpaid leave, and you are obliged to pay the contributions yourself during the leave. The procedure is required even if it is only one day. You are not obliged to pay social insurance, but be advised that these days do not count toward your pension.

Q: What happens when I get fired?
If your employer fires you for organisational reasons, your job position must be cancelled and not replaced by someone else. Based on time you worked for the company notice period and severance pay apply as follows:
- up to one year, the notice period is one month and there is no severance pay
- 2 to 5 years notice period is two months and severance pay is one month’s salary
- 5 to 10 years, notice period is three months and severance two salaries
- 10 to 20 years, notice period is three months and severance three salaries
- more than 20 years, notice period is three months and severance three salaries
In the contract, the company can increase severance and notice period. It is hard to fire an employee for other reasons, such as violating work discipline. In such case, employers and employees usually try to reach an agreement on resignation.

Q: What should I do if I want to quit my job?
You submit a written notice. There is a notice period of one month if you worked for the company for up to one year, or two months if you worked for over a year.

Q: I have a work permit and temporary residence valid for another few months. Can I change my employer and keep the temporary residence? Or do I need to go through the whole work permit process again?
You can change your employer while your temporary residence for the purpose of employment is still valid. However, there is a procedure which must be followed: your new employer is obliged to report a vacancy at the locally competent Labour Office. Within 30 working days you must submit your new employment contract to your respective Foreigner’s Police department. Within a few days, if the Labour Office agrees, the police will issue a document which is called “Additional Information on Employment” (“Dodatočné údaje o zamestnaní“). Afterwards, you can start working with the new employer.

Q: Also, is it a requirement that my new employer also pays my tax and health insurance?
Your new employer, like any other employer in Slovakia, is obliged to pay tax advance payments and health insurance payments.

Q: Can I simply not come to work?
In your work contract you might be obliged to pay one month’s salary back to the employer. If nothing like that is stated in your contract, there is not much an employer can do if an employee doesn’t show up for work and it is impossible to contact them. For the employer, this is a long and complicated process.

Q: What do I get from the state when unemployed?
Every day when you are not employed and not registered with the labour office you must register with the health insurance and pay your insurance alone. This applies also when you have just a day or two between jobs (even if these are a Saturday or a Sunday). If you register with the labour office as unemployed, the state pays your health and social contributions.

Q: What happens when I go on maternal leave?
You are entitled to 34 weeks of maternal leave. Single mothers get 38 weeks of maternal leave. The social insurer will investigate whether the mother lives alone or not (in which case the regular 34 weeks apply). After the maternal leave you can stay on parental leave until your child reaches three years of age. You get the monthly parental allowance of €203.2 from the state.
Your employer must keep your position during maternal leave, and after the three years you must get an adequate job position back.

Q: Where should I look when I’m looking for a job?
Most job offers can be found on the online job portals, among them Profesia.sk that also has an English version. There are also job agencies which offer a variety of jobs. Some employers advertise jobs through labour offices.

Topic: Frequently asked questions


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