Nearly 700 temporary employment agencies have disappeared from Slovakia in the past two years, following the new rules authored by the Labour Ministry.
In the past, agencies leased workers to big companies which often used a service due to lower wage demands. The ministry, however, limited the leasing of an employee to one company to 24 months, the Hospodárske Noviny daily reported in mid-March.
“In our opinion, the amendment is problematic because it limits the flexibility of employment rather than the number of agencies,” Jana Mesárová of Wincott People told the daily.
She criticises mostly the fact that private companies cannot set the contract relations based on their needs.
The amendment has caused serious problems to several agencies, admitted Veronika Husárová from the Labour Ministry’s press department. Many of them, however, have used rather unfair practices, she added.
“Most companies did not consider the agency work to be a tool to support flexibility, but rather a way to reduce costs per employee which worsened the working conditions for people,” Husárová said, as quoted by Hospodárske Noviny.
Under the new rules, agency employees have to receive the same wages as permanent workers. The fine for violating the rules may amount to as much as €100,000. As a result, the number of permanent employees in companies has increased in the past two years, added Husárová.
Also Juraj Bačé, spokesperson for Žilina-based carmaker Kia Motors Slovakia, has confirmed the trend. They now use the agency employees for no more than one year. If they are satisfied with their work, they offer them a permanent job, he said, as reported by Hospodárske Noviny.