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I’m starting a job. What are my rights and what am I entitled to?

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Permanent employment brings obligations but also benefits. In addition to the wage/salary, you will receive social security and possible benefits, which should take into account your life situation and contribute to overall well-being at work.

The employer should inform you about them. However, it is good if you know your rights in advance.

All employment contracts in Slovakia must be in accordance with Labour Code.

Probationary period

It is common practice for the employer to provide a probationary period for permanent employment positions. This can be for a maximum period of 3 months (up to 6 months in case of senior staff positions).

The probationary period is the time during which you test whether the job and the employer suit you. Likewise, the employer has time to train you in work procedures and find out if you are a suitable employee.

During the probationary period, your employer, as well as you, may terminate the employment at any time without giving a reason.

During the probationary period, you are not legally entitled to any leave of absence. It is up to your employer whether or not it approves it during this period.

The probationary period is not a mandatory part of employment contracts by law. If your employer provides it, it will be listed in your employment contract.

Working hours

Working hours are 40 hours per week in permanent employment, 20 hours per week in part-time employment. Details will be specified by the employer (e.g. for performance contracts).

Break

If you work longer than 6 hours during the day, you are entitled to a break of 30 minutes. This may or may not count towards your hours worked.

Driving time and breaks for transport workers

Bus and truck drivers have the same rules for driving time and breaks throughout the European Union. These rules are intended to protect your health and increase road safety.

After a maximum of 4.5 hours of driving, drivers must take at least a 45-minute continuous break. Alternatively, this break can be divided into two parts – the first lasting at least 15 minutes and the second lasting at least 30 minutes. The total driving time in one day must not exceed 9 hours.

You can find more at Employing transport workers.

Shift work

When working shifts, the so-called “continuous work rest”, i.e. the time between the end of one shift and the beginning of another one. The employer is obliged to provide you with a break of at least 12 hours between two shifts.

Rights during public holidays

During holidays and rest days, most employees do not have to go to work. However, there are situations when the employer can order you to work on these days, but always in accordance with Labour Code.

These are mainly professions in the field of healthcare, catering, services (gas stations, news, entertainment centres), security (SBS, continuous operations…), maintenance or public transport. You are entitled to an additional payment from your employer for working on public holidays.

Two consecutive days off

These days usually fall on Saturdays and Sundays. However, in a job that requires work even during the weekend, two consecutive days off can also fall on other days of the week.

Leave of absence

The basic amount of leave of absence is 20 days per year.

If you are 33 years old and older or you look after a child permanently, you are entitled to 25 days off per year.

In order to be entitled to take a leave of absence, you must work for the same employer for at least 60 days. If you leave one job and get another job immediately after the termination of the employment, it is considered continuous employment and therefore the entitlement to a leave of absence does not change.

Incapacity for work

If the doctor diagnoses you with an illness that requires temporary incapacity for work, you are entitled to income compensation provided by your employer for the first 10 days.

From the 11th day, you are entitled to a sickness benefit, which is paid by the social insurance company. The assessment of the incapacity for work must be carried out by a doctor, who recognizes you as incapable of work and fills out the form – Confirmation of temporary incapacity for work. Incapacity for work may be recognized up to three calendar days back.

During the entire incapacity for work, you are required to stay at the address you indicated on the confirmation of temporary incapacity for work. If there is an inspection and you are not there, you may lose your sickness benefits and you may also be fined.

Bonuses

For each hour worked during the time specified by law, the employer is obliged to pay you a benefit in the specified amount in addition to the regular wage.

Example:
Jana’s employment contract stipulates a wage of 5 euros per hour. During the 8-hour night shift, in addition to her regular wage, she is also entitled to an additional bonus of 40% of her average hourly wage. The total bonus for the night shift is (5 euros x 8 hours x 40%) = 16 euros.

Compensation for difficult work performance

+20% of your average hourly wage

This applies to risky work involving chemical factors, carcinogenic and mutagenic factors, biological factors, excessive dust, noise, vibrations, ionizing radiation. When performing this work, you are required to use personal protective equipment.

Work at night

+40% of your average hourly wage
+50% of your average hourly wage in case of risky work

Night work is work performed from 22:00 to 6:00.

Work on Saturday

+50% of your average hourly wage

Work on Sunday

+100% of your average hourly wage

Work on public holidays

+100% (or more) of your average hourly wage

You can find a list of public holidays in Calendar of public holidays in Slovakia.

Overtime work

+25% of your average hourly wage
+35% of your average hourly wage in case of risky work

The employer is obliged to pay you the bonus for the hours you work in addition to the agreed working hours.

Meal allowance

If your work shift is longer than 4 hours, the employer is obliged to provide you with one hot meal. This can be done in various ways:

  • the employer provides meals in its own facility, or
  • the employer provides meals in a restaurant or a canteen, or
  • the employer provides you with a meal voucher, or
  • the employer pays you the allowance together with your wage.

The amount of the allowance in form of a meal voucher is from 5.10 euros to 6.40 euros (the employer pays at least 55% of the price of the meal voucher, you pay the rest). In case of a financial allowance, you are entitled to an amount from 2.64 euros to 3.52 euros for each day you work.

In case of a performance contract, you are not entitled to a provision of a meal.

Notice period

The notice period starts after you decide to terminate the employment. It may last one to three months, depending on the period you have worked and the reason for the termination of the employment.

Severance pay

If your employment has lasted for more than 2 years and you are given a notice by the employer based on reasons specified by law (e.g. organizational changes, cancellation of a job position, entitlement to retirement), you are entitled to a severance pay. The amount of the severance pay is as follows:

  • severance pay in the amount of one average monthly salary, if your employment lasted for at least 2 years,
  • severance pay in the amount of twice your average monthly salary, if your employment lasted for at least 5 years,
  • severance pay in the amount of three times your average monthly salary, if your employment lasted for at least 10 years,
  • severance pay in the amount of four times your average monthly salary, if your employment lasted for at least 20 years.

External sources

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