Tax expert: Compulsory holiday vouchers are worsening Slovakia’s business environment

Employees can only use vouchers in Slovakia.

Bardejovské kúpele spaBardejovské kúpele spa (Source: SITA)

While compulsory holiday vouchers are pleasing businesses in the tourism sector, they increase wage costs and reduce other employee benefits provided by companies. Additionally, vouchers were introduced in an ad hoc manner, resulting in unplanned costs for companies.

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“This is a benefit artificially made up by the cabinet,” said Silvia Hallová, tax partner of the Grant Thornton Slovensko consulting firm. “It has ordered employees where to go for holidays and ordered companies on what kinds of benefits they should provide. Moreover, the vouchers do not respect the holiday habits of Slovaks at all, who mostly go to Croatia for a holiday to enjoy the sea.”

Most firms to which Grant Thornton Slovensko provides tax consultant services have to reduce existing benefits due to the vouchers. Companies see this as a problem, since benefits are how companies differ from one another and fight for new employees in a labour market suffering from a lack of qualified labour.

“The legislation authored by Andrej Danko’s junior coalition party SNS has partly reduced this possibility,” said Hallová, adding that the vouchers worsen conditions for doing business in Slovakia.

Some companies have frozen wage growth while for others the vouchers mean a significant unplanned increase in wage costs for this year.

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