Slovakia will have a permanent kurzarbeit scheme as of next year

The state will cover 60 percent of the employee’s salary.

Carmakers have used the temporary kurzarbeit scheme during the ongoing pandemic.Carmakers have used the temporary kurzarbeit scheme during the ongoing pandemic. (Source: Courtesy of Volkswagen)

Employers and employees will gain a new permanent instrument to help them through tough times. As of the beginning of 2022, the state will cover a portion of employees’ salaries via the kurzarbeit or short-time work scheme, when their employer is unable to assign them work within the originally agreed scope. Parliament passed the respective legislation on Tuesday, May 4. Out of 132 present deputies all voted for the bill, the SITA newswire wrote.

Related articleTurning kurzarbeit into a permanent labour market instrument Read more 

The instrument will be activated when there is an obstacle at work on the side of the employer, in which the employer cannot assign work to at least a third of employees in the scope of 10 percent of weekly working time at least. Financial assistance for employers, for each employee and each hour of obstacles at work, is to account for 60 percent of the average hourly earnings of the given employee.

The state will provide most of the financial assistance for six months for 24 consecutive months, the cabinet able to extend the assistance period. The employer will be obliged to maintain the work place for which the state has provided support, until at least two months following the end of financial assistance.

Although the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs had originally suggested that the self-employed be included in the scheme, the kurzarbeit will ultimately apply only to employees and employers, except for employees and employers in state administration.

In 2020, the government introduced the kurzarbeit scheme, known from Germany and Austria, as a temporary instrument to help companies hit by the coronavirus crisis to maintain their labour force, and assist them in restarting their operation after demand for their products resumes.

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