Slovakia is less flexible due to work surcharges

The country has dropped out of the top 30 in the Employment Flexibility Index.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo(Source: TASR)

Slovakia has become less flexible in employment. Its position in the Employment Flexibility Index has dropped by six places in 2019, the Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) economic think tank wrote on its website.

The country ranked 32nd out of 41 surveyed countries, due mainly to the increase in surcharges for night work and weekend shifts in the first half of 2018.

Read also:The most problematic change: work surcharges

However, Slovakia could have moved down by another four places had the index, put together last May, taken into account the situation after May 1, 2018 when the changes to the Labour Code, raising the aforementioned surcharges again, were adopted, the INESS wrote.

These changes, which prevent employers from reacting flexibly to the market, come into force this May.

A tight Labour Code

Slovakia's Labour Code is stricter than in neighbouring countries. For example, the Czech Republic came eighth and Hungary 13th in this year's ranking.

While the length of a fixed employment contract in Slovakia can be a maximum of 24 months, it is up to 108 months in the Czech Republic. Also, the number of leave days is 20 in the Czech Republic, but 25 in Slovakia.

Moreover, the surcharges for night and weekend work are much lower in the Czech Republic, amounting to 10 percent of the average wage. In Slovakia, these surcharges are 25 percent of the average wage for night work and 42 percent for weekend shifts, INESS wrote.

Read also:Slovakia is 26th on the Employment Flexibility Index

Denmark tops the Employment Flexibility Index as its Labour Code does not define, for instance, any minimum wage or the length of employment contract. France placed at the bottom.

The Employment Flexibility Index, based on the World Bank data, is prepared by economic institutes from Slovakia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Poland.

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