Slovakia leads in nonstop work

If night shift was totally cancelled, employers would not only have to hire more people, but also buy new production technologies.

Industry uses night shifts.Industry uses night shifts. (Source: TASR)

The number of night shifts in Slovakia is the highest in the European Union. As much as 16 percent of people work between 22:00 and 6:00, according to the latest survey carried out by Eurostat.

Night shifts are considered one of the tools for companies to increase their productivity, spokesperson for the Confederation of the Trade Unions (KOZ) Martina Nemethová told the Hospodárske Noviny daily. As a result, employees work in three shifts: in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.

If night shift was totally cancelled, employers would not only have to hire more people, but also buy new production technologies. This would then result in higher costs. Thus, they prefer the night shifts for which employees receive a bonus to their salary, Hospodárske Noviny wrote.

Employees working nights are utilised especially in industry, including the automotive sector. The Bratislava-based carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia admits that without night shifts they would not be able to cover the planned production as they lack sufficient production lines.

“The shift models depend on the technical capacity of the production lines,” said Volkswagen Slovakia’s spokesperson Lucia Kovarovič Makayová, as quoted by Hospodárske Noviny.

Companies utilise night shifts particularly because the bonus the employees get is not exceptionally high, opines analyst with Poštová Banka, Jana Glasová. It amounts to at least 20 percent of the minimum wage.

“It is up to every employee whether they accept the night shift work or not,” Glasová told Hospodárske Noviny. “It is also up to respective employers whether they offer their employees other benefits for the night shifts within their internal personnel policy.”

Except for industry, employees in hospitals and police stations, as well as security guards work night shifts. One of the reasons for such a high number of people working at night is the large share of production workers, Labour Ministry’s spokesperson Michal Stuška said, as reported by Hospodárske Noviny.

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