Slovakia Country Facts

We provide comprehensive information regarding, Culture, Work life, Taxation, Visa’s & immigration, Labour Law, recruiting in Slovakia and employment contracts.

Global Expansion Made Easy for You

Expanding into Slovakia generally comes with challenges, however, partnering with us and using Employer of Record (EOR) eliminates the frustrations you could encounter.

Slovakia is located in the center of Europe with all the advantages of belonging to the European Union (EU) with ‘free movement of people, goods, services and capital’ offering a huge international consumer market. Living and working in this beautiful country, expatriates enjoy a low cost of living, affordable accommodation and an enjoyable social life. Companies expanding into Slovakia can benefit from the European single market, one of the world’s largest trading blocs. It also has an export-driven, investment-friendly environment with a government supporting compliant business development. However, when setting up a company and bringing staff into the country either from home or abroad, this can be problematic. Slovakia protects its borders and its labour force, so employers and employees must make sure they are compliant as most individuals require documentation to enter, visit or for employment purposes

Many companies expanding into new territory look towards a Professional Employment Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR), such as Bradford Jacobs, to set up their business, recruit staff and operate payroll to save time and money, including acquiring immigration and work documentation.

The different types of Visas and Work Permits for Slovakia

Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not require either a visa to enter or work documentation to look for employment in Slovakia, which has been an EU member since 2004.

All other foreigners (Third Country Nationals – TCNs) require a Temporary Residence Permit to work, study or as an entrepreneur, provided they do so legally, meeting relevant conditions and submitting the appropriate application form and documents.

Types of Visas

  • Airport Transit Visa for passing through the country
  • Schengen Visa for short stay up to 90 days to enter the country for tourism and some business activities
  • National D Visa for longer than 90 days. This category of ‘Work Visa’ is a ‘Temporary Residence Permit for Employment Purposes’ which is also known as the Single Permit

Temporary Residence Permits – granted for a specific purpose which include:

  • Business activities e.g., self-employed and investment
  • Employment
  • Study
  • Specific Activities e.g., sports, journalism, voluntary work, medical treatment, etc.
  • Research
  • Family Reunion

The EU Blue Card is also considered to be a Temporary Residence Permit.

These are generally applied for in the employees’ country of residence at an embassy or consulate and in person. An interview is required for a preliminary evaluation. However, if a foreigner is already in Slovakia legally (not a refugee) then the application can be submitted to the Foreign Department of the Police Force in their area of residence.

These permits allow the holders to live in Slovakia for the ‘purpose issued’ and to enter and exit during the permit’s validity, which for ‘work purposes’ is generally linked to the Promise of Employment or the Employment Contract.

These are for foreigners employed by Slovakia-registered companies. Employees who qualify do not need to apply for a separate work permit as the Temporary Residence Permits include permission to work. However, those holding other types of residencies do require a separate work permit

Types of Temporary Residence Permits including permission to work:

  • Single Permit: For employees working for a Slovakia company with a ‘Confirmation on the Possibility to Fill a Vacancy’ and to be enrolled on their payroll with a salary at least equal to the monthly gross minimum wage in the country. In 2022, this was €646 (US$647). Valid for two years, renewable.
  • EU Blue Card: Highly qualified workers who must have an employment contract or ‘Promise of Employment’ for at least one year and are included on the payroll. Salary minimum is 1.5 times average for employees doing the same job. University degree at recognised institution.
  • EU Intra-Company Transfer (EU ICT): For employees transferring from home company to branch in Slovakia at the management level or as a specialist or trainee. This can be for up to three years (one year as a trainee). Employees should have worked for their company for six months (three months trainee) and keep their employment contract, staying on the home company’s payroll. The employer should have no infringements or claims against them and be up to date with tax, pension and social security payments. This gives permission to work. Can take eight to 12 weeks to process.
  • Special Activities for more than 90 days to a maximum of two years. These activities do not require temporary residence for less than 90 days, but foreigners must register with the police within three days of arriving.

There is also a Temporary Residence Permit for Business for the self-employed.

Work Permit

Can be applied for in certain circumstances:

Work permits are non-transferable. They are for specific work/position for a named employer who applies for the work permit at a relevant Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. Employers must also report a job vacancy at least 20 days before applying for the work permit to allow the Labour Office to check whether any locals or EU nationals can fill this position e.g., Labour Market Test.

How to apply for Visas and Work Permits for Slovakia?

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) which includes the European Union plus Swiss citizens, do not require a visa or work documentation to enter, live and find employment in Slovakia for up to three months. However, they do require a National ID Card or passport. They must also register with the Foreign Department of the Police Force within 10 days after arrival and give their address. For stays longer than three months, they need to register and apply for an ID card during the fourth month.

Employers of EU/EEA nationals must notify the relevant Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family concerning the commencement (or termination) of employment within seven working days, by completing an Information Card.

Non-EU foreigners a.k.a. Third Country Nationals (TCNs) must obtain some form of work documentation, typically before arriving in the country.

Regarding employees being employed from outside the country by companies in Slovakia, the main routes are through the following Temporary Residence Permits with ‘permission to work’:

  • The Single Permit: A Temporary Residence for employment based on a ‘Confirmation on the Possibility to Fill a Vacancy’. They require a Promise of Employment or employment contract and must be enrolled on the company payroll, with a salary at least equal to, the monthly gross minimum wage in the country; in 2022 €646. Valid for two years, renewable.
  • The EU Blue Card: Highly qualified workers who must have an employment contract for at least one year and are included on the payroll. Salary minimum is 1.5 times average for the sector and position. University degree from recognised institution.
  • The EU Intra-Company Transfer (EU ICT): For employees transferring from home company to branch in Slovakia at the management level or as a specialist or trainee. This can be for up to three years (one year for a trainee). Employees should have worked for their company for six months (three months as a trainee) keeping their employment contract and staying on the home company’s payroll. The employer should have no infringements or claims against them and be up to date with tax, pension and social security payments. Can take eight to 12 weeks to process.
  • The ‘Special Activities’ Permit for more than 90 days to a maximum of two years, for various activities.

Dealing with tax in Slovakia while overseas can be tricky and pose complications that would demand expert guidance. They have competitive rates for both personal and corporate taxation – among the attractions drawing foreign investment into the country. However, there are still challenges and pitfalls. With more than 20 years of experience in Global Expansion services, Bradford Jacobs ensures our clients comply with every variation of tax laws across the globe. Our ‘know-how’ is vital for international companies expanding into Slovakia.

Bradford Jacobs’ dedicated specialists remove the burdens of worrying about tax complications while you focus on building your business in a new territory. From locating the brightest talent to running your payroll, our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) specialists will guide you in every way.

Overview of Tax in Slovakia

Personal Income Tax (PIT):

There are two rates – 19% up to €38,553 (US$38,547), with 25% on the excess above that level. The Slovakia Revenue Administration in January each year sets the limits for assessing the sliding scale of tax-free income.

Social Insurance Taxes:

Employees’ contribution of 9.4% of their remuneration is tax deductible capped at a maximum €745.51 (US$745) per month. Employers contribute the equivalent of 24.4% of their employees’ payroll capped at €1,935.16 (US$1,937) per employee per month. Additionally, employers contribute 10% of payroll to a health insurance company.

Corporate Income Tax (CIT):

The standard rate is 21%, with 15% on revenue up to €49,790 (US$49,834).

Indirect Taxes: 

The standard Value Added Tax rate is 20%, applying to goods and services. Categories attracting 10% include such as medicines, printed materials, basic foodstuffs and some accommodation services. Zero-rated categories include exports, internal European Union transactions and international transportation services.

Withholding Tax (WHT):

Payments to individuals can be liable for 7%. Interest and royalties attract 19% WHT, while payments to corporations and individuals whose country are considered ‘non co-operation’ or not part of a double taxation treaty are liable for 35% WHT.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT): 

Capital gains are taxed at the relevant CIT rates of 21% or 15%. There is no separate CGT on the sale of property if it has been owned for a minimum five years.

Individual Tax Rules

  • The tax year is generally from January 1 till December 31
  • Spouses must file individual returns
  • Employment income tax is withheld each month by the employer and remitted to the Slovakia Financial Administration (PFS). Employees receive an end-of-year reconciliation from their employer
  • Individuals with income other than via payroll should file returns by March 31 following the tax year
  • Employment income comprises all remuneration, plus benefits in kind
  • Employee social insurance contributions are tax deductible
  • There are two tax rates, 19% and 25%, with tax-free allowance assessed on a sliding scale decided by the PFS in January each year
  • Individuals are tax residents if they have a permanent home in Slovakia or total more than 183 days in Slovakia in a calendar year, either continuously or in parts, and are liable for their worldwide income
  • Non-residents are liable for income earned in Slovakia. Foreigners on long business visits can be considered liable for any income earned in Slovakia during their stay

Employer’s Social Insurance and Statutory Contributions

Social insurance contributions                                                       24.4%
as equivalent of employees’ payroll

Capped at maximum monthly employee salary of                       €1,935.16 (US$1,937)

Health insurance contributions (no cap)                                       10.0%

Companies planning to extend operations beyond their own borders and shores have the option of opening a subsidiary overseas to ‘test the market’. This is a risky business venture in both time and money – with no guarantee the effort and financial investment will produce success.

A subsidiary established in Slovakia by a foreign parent company is a separate legal entity, due to having its own capital and independent administration. Foreign companies typically choose a limited liability company, known as an SRO, which complies with the Company Act and Commercial Code

Expanding overseas is a major step. The road to setting up a subsidiary can be a rocky one for foreign companies determined to handle the process themselves. If the move fails, companies face the added costs and bureaucracy of closing their operation, selling property and paying off employees. This spells potential trouble while also trying to focus on building business in your home country.

The best alternative is to use a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) such as Bradford Jacobs to find the best local talent and administer your payroll in Slovenia. Your company will be up-and-running in days rather than weeks or even months … and without running any risks.

How to Set Up a Slovakian Subsidiary?

Foreign companies planning to move into Slovakia’s economy must first decide which business structure is the best fit for their expansion plans.

The most popular choice is to establish a limited liability company, known by the initials SRO. The SRO incorporates through the Commercial Registry and operates under the Company Act and the Commercial Code. Registration requirements include:

  • Verify unique company name with the Companies Register before supplying notarised Articles of Association (or Foundation Deed if formed by only one individual) to the Commercial Registry
  • Register a minimum of one shareholder up to a maximum of 50; can be Slovaks, resident or non-resident foreigners
  • Deposit minimum share capital of €5,000 (US$4,996), provide proof of deposit and establish a ‘reserve fund’ of 10% of the deposited capital
  • Provide copy of parent company’s trade certificate and may be required to prove they are not in default of taxes in the home jurisdiction
  • Documents must be in Slovak, with a notarised translation if necessary
  • Documents can be submitted online if an authorised signature has been notarised, and can be submitted to the local Registry Court, for forwarding to the Commercial Register
  • Register an office address with the Commercial Registry
  • Company must register under the Social Insurance Act no later than the day before employing their first member of staff, either at the relevant branch of the Social Insurance Agency (Sociálna Poisťovňa, SP) or online via the Central Public Administration Portal
  • Employers are entered on the SP’s Register of Employers with form RLZ. Register with the Healthcare Surveillance Authority that the company is now making contributions
  • Foreign companies must provide a Slovak translation of their incorporation certificate to the SP
  • Employees must be registered with the Slovakia Financial Administration (PFS) for taxation
  • Incorporation must be completed within five days of signing documents

Benefits of Setting Up a Subsidiary

A limited liability company operating as a subsidiary in Slovakia is a separate legal entity to the parent company and can act independently. Generally, the status of the subsidiary protects the foreign parent company and the shareholders from responsibility for its debts or liabilities.

The subsidiary can decide on its business activities, independently of the parent company, and ‘test the market’ by entering into different areas of operation. The subsidiary is also free to draw up its own contracts and agreements with clients.

Other benefits for a subsidiary:

  • Easier to obtain potential benefits and incentives and enter into contracts with other Slovak and European Union companies
  • Subsidiaries will have greater impact with clients and suppliers, as they imply more permanency than branches
  • Employees feel there is more stability and job security than from being with a branch

Subsidiary Laws

Subsidiaries operating as limited liability companies in Slovakia incorporate through the Commercial Registry and operate under the Company Act and the Commercial Code. Incorporation regulations include the following requirements:

Registration and Documentation:

  • Register unique company name with the Commercial Registry
  • Register notarised Articles of Association (or Foundation Deed if formed by one individual) with the Commercial Registry
  • Register local office address with the Commercial Registry
  • Register minimum of one shareholder, maximum of 50; can be foreigners, foreign residents and non-residents in Slovakia
  • Provide a copy of the parent company’s trade licence
  • Documents can be submitted online to the local Registry Court if an authorised and notarised signature is in place. The local court has authority to forward the information to the Commercial Register
  • Registered documents must be in Slovak with a notarised translation if required
  • Company must register, at latest the last day before employing their first member of staff, with the relevant branch of the Social Insurance Agency (Sociálna Poisťovňa, SP) or online to the Central Public Administration Portal
  • Register with the Slovakia Financial Administration (PFS) and with the SP’s Register of Employers using form RLZ

Accounts and Taxation:

  • Deposit minimum share capital is €5,000 (US$4,996), paid up contribution of minimum €750 per shareholder and establish a ‘reserve fund’ of at least 10% of the capital
  • Annual tax returns required, though statutory audit not required unless in certain circumstances
  • Corporate tax paid at standard rate of 21%, unless qualifying for 15% on revenue up to €49,790 (US$49,834)

Management:

  • At least one director must be a Slovakia resident or have a residence permit
  • Provide list of directors, executives and shareholders to the Commercial Registry
  • If the company has a supervisory board, their members cannot also be directors
  • Directors from the European Union or nationals from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development do not need to be residents of Slovakia
  • Directors are appointed at a shareholders’ general meeting

The Republic of Slovakia has made impressive strides since the turn of the 21st Century, transforming from a centrally controlled system into an open, free market economy with a growing presence in European trade, commerce and business.

The relatively young nation was formed on January 1 1993, when it split from the then Czechoslovakia, which became the Czech Republic (Czechia). Slovakia has been a European Union member since May 2004, in the Euro Zone since January 2009 and in the Schengen area since December 2007. Slovakia joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2020.

Since April 2021, companies moving into Slovakia can benefit from the government’s Recovery and Resilience Plan which by 2026 will see expenditure of €6.3 billion in European Union grants. The plan is committed to developing the green economy, research and digitization while bringing reforms and investment into healthcare, legislation and education. Slovakia also has a healthy ‘Startup’ economy which saw a flourishing tech sector in 2022.

This potential of a relatively young economy is becoming a magnet for foreign investment. The most popular business structure for entering the economy is a limited liability company, known as an SROincorporated through the Commercial Registry and operating under the Company Act and Commercial Code.

Expanding your business into Slovakia

Opening a subsidiary and expanding business in any overseas territory raises issues. Moving staff across the world involves complications surrounding immigration documentation and work permits. Slovakia is an increasingly attractive target for foreign investment … but there are always issues over complying with relevant laws.

When employees are in place, who will handle payroll? How will your company deal with regulations on taxation, entitlements and benefits, termination and severance?

There are other issues, too. Where will you find manufacturers, offices and distributors?

Drawing up an expansion blueprint is not enough. Your business plan will have to deal with all these issues.

There is a simple and effective alternative – by partnering with a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) such as Bradford Jacobs. This way, companies can plot a time-efficient and cost-effective route to locating and employing staff in Slovakia

Some Slovakian Facts

  • Capital – Bratislava.
  • Population –5 million.
  • Regions and provinces – Eight regions are each named after their principal city – Bratislava, Trnava, Nitra, Trenčín, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Prešov and Košice and are local administrative units.
  • Official languages – Slovak.
  • Economy and world ranking – US$114.87 billion, 59th in the world (2021).
  • Leading sectors – In 2021 (approximately) service sector over 60%; industry and manufacturing over 30%; agriculture 3%.
  • Main exports – Vehicles, parts and accessories; broadcasting equipment; tires; phone devices; electrical equipment; iron, steel and aluminum; plastics; mineral fuels including oil.
  • Main imports – Vehicle parts; broadcasting equipment; crude petroleum and petroleum gas; manufactured goods; chemicals.
  • Main trading partners – Germany, Czech Republic, France, Poland, Hungary, France, Austria, Italy, China, UK and Spain.
  • Government – Parliamentary Republic.
  • Currency – euro.

Advantages and Challenges when entering the Slovakian Market

Advantages of expanding into the Slovak market include:

  • Finance: Membership of the Eurozone boosts economy, supported by foreign investment and growing involvement in international trade.
  • Labor costs: Competitive with rest of Europe.
  • Economy: Manufacturing base for European Union automotive and electronics production.

Challenges of expanding into the Slovak market include:

  • Economy: Small economy, heavily dependent on European markets and investment, particularly in automotive sector.
  • Industry: Lack of research and development, with concentration on manufacturing processes.
  • Imbalances: East of Slovakia less developed commercially.
  • Workforce:  Suffers from skills shortages.

Companies extending their operations into Slovakia need a complete grasp of local employment contracts. The employment relationship with the employees is governed by the local Labour Code, supplementary legislation, and European Union Directives, dealing with benefits, entitlements and compensation. These issues are a major consideration during the process of hiring, onboarding and drawing up contracts with new staff.

Once Bradford Jacobs’ Professional Employment Organisation (PEO) recruitment networks have located the best talent for your company, we step in to steer you through this crucial element of recruitment. Thanks to our PEO and EOR services, we can provide compliant labour contracts for your employees in Slovakia, including local benefits. Our team keeps track of local laws and regulations daily to be duly aware of updates that can be implemented in working contracts and to ensure a smooth entry for your business into the local economy.

The different types of Slovakian Employment Contracts

The Labor Code requires contracts to be written, but stipulates that the absence of a written contract does not invalidate the employment relationship. At the start of employment the contract must at least give details of type and place of work; start date; salary or, where applicable, reference to the relevant collective or workplace agreement. Within a month, the contract must also detail payment date, working hours, vacations and notice period.

The Code recognises the following contract types:

Permanent, open-ended employment contracts: These are the most common contract types, with a start date but no end date. They end through resignation, retirement, mutually or by the due legal procedures of termination.

Fixed-term employment contracts: These can be for a maximum of two years, and can be extended no more than twice in that period. The period must be specified in a mandatory written contract or it will be considered open-ended and permanent.

Probation periods:  These are included in a written contract, generally for a maximum of three months but can be extended to six months for managerial or executive positions. Either party can terminate without reason, but should give three days written notice of their decision.

Note: The Labor Code also recognizes work performance, work activities and temporary student contracts.

Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs):  Operating at both company and industry level, CBAs cover close to 40% of the workforce in Slovakia. Those at the higher industry level must be registered with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family. By law, company-level agreements can only improve those set at industry level and typically affect levels of pay.

Employment Contracts Requirements

The international economic landscape can change not just year-by-year, but month-by-month.  Foreign companies exploring global expansion must make the right decisions quickly. Those hiring employees in Slovakia have to decide which business structure best suits their plans.

Foreign companies need to open a subsidiary to establish their presence in Slovakia – the required route to hire staff, operate payroll and deal with the revenue and social insurance authorities. The most popular choice is to open the equivalent of a limited liability company, known in Slovakia by the initials SRO.

After incorporating the subsidiary, employers must be up-to-speed with contractual requirements of onboarding. These include:

  • The usual contract type is open-ended or indefinite; restrictions apply to fixed-term contracts.
  • Contracts should be in writing, although an employment relationship, once established, remains valid even without a written contract.
  • Employees must be given a copy of the contract.
  • The contract must at least include: type and place of work and the start date; salary or, if this is prescribed by a collective agreement, reference to the relevant agreement.
  • Within a month, the contract must also detail payment date, working hours, vacations and notice period.
  • Probation periods must be in the contract, typically for three months or up to six months for executive or managerial level. Fixed-term contracts cannot have a probationary period.
  • Employment contracts do not require permission or need to be lodged with any third party or outside agency.
  • At interview, employers should ask questions only strictly relevant to the nature and working conditions of the position and not ask any of a personal nature or that violate the applicant’s privacy.
  • Internal workplace policies should be agreed with workers’ representatives or may be invalid.

Employee benefits, compensation and entitlements in the Republic of Slovakia are mainly governed by the Labour Code and the Act on Collective Bargaining.

The Labour Code applies to all employees, Slovaks and foreigners, so international companies must comply with every aspect of benefits once they have opened a subsidiary in the country, whoever they employ.  The typical choice is to open a limited liability company, known as an SRO and operating under the Company Law and Commercial Code

Foreign companies’ responsibilities reach beyond simply complying with tax, social security, and payroll regulations. Failure to comply with specific rules applying to benefits and entitlements runs the risk of fines and sanctions. Employers must have a firm grasp of what is guaranteed for their employees, which will affect the employer-employee relationship. This is where Bradford Jacobs points you in the right direction, drawing on over 20 years of experience as a Professional Employment Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR).

What are the Compensation Laws in Slovakia?

The Labour Code is the principal legislation governing employment laws in the Republic of Slovakia, having integrated various aspects of European Union directives since Slovakia joined in 2004. Supplementary legislation comes from the Act on Collective Bargaining, relating to Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs). Employment law is mandatory and any terms that are reduced by contract or agreements would be invalid.

  • Maternity Leave and Benefit: Maternity leave is generally 34 weeks, 37 weeks for self-employed women and 43 weeks for two or more births. Unused weeks due to early birth can be carried over until after the birth. Benefit is assessed on 75% of average earnings over the previous 12 months, paid by the Social Insurance Agency (Sociálna Poisťovňa, SP).
  • Sick Leave and Benefit: Statutory 10 days of sick leave is paid by the employer based on 25% of average salary for the first three days and 55% for the next seven. Subsequent days are paid at 55% of salary from the relevant health insurance fund.
  • Minimum Wages: The minimum monthly rate from January 1 until December 31 is €646 (US$646). Higher rates are set by industry or sector collective agreements and can also be assessed on a ‘difficulty of work’ ratio. In the absence of agreements the national minimum must apply.
  • Probation Periods: Trial periods are included in the terms of an open-ended contract, generally for three months but can be extended to six for senior or managerial positions. Either party can terminate without reason, but must give three days written notice.
  • Working Hours: The Labour Code sets working hours at eight per day and 40 a week, up to a permitted maximum of 48 including overtime over a set period, unless collective agreements allow for longer hours in certain sectors. There should be a minimum 12 hours between shifts and two continuous days off per week. A break of 30 minutes should apply if working six consecutive hours.
  • Overtime: Overtime should not exceed eight a week, which can be averaged over an agreed period up to a 12-month maximum. The annual limit is 150 hours. The basic overtime rate is 25% above normal salary, with extra rates of 40% for evening work, 50% for Saturdays and 100% for overtime on a Sunday or public holiday.
  • Notice Periods: The length of service and the reason for dismissal determine the length of the notice period, which are typically between one and three months.
  • Termination / Severance / Redundancies: Employers’ rights to terminate employment are strictly controlled by the Labour Code, and planned dismissals are invalid if not first negotiated with employees’ representatives.Severance generally depends on length of service and can vary between one and five months and up to 10 if due to occupational injury or illness. The Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family must be advised of planned mass redundancies above certain limits based on number of employees affected; there must also be negotiations with workers’ committees.
  • Paid Vacations: Statutory paid holiday leave is 20 working days annually, up to 25 days for full-time employees who become 33 years old during the year. One-twelfth of the entitlement for every 60 days worked applies to employees who have not been employed for an entire year.

Social Security in Slovakia

The Social Insurance Agency (Sociálna Poisťovňa, SP) administrates the social security system covering sickness, pensions, accident and unemployment insurance, under the terms of Slovakia’s Social Insurance Act (2004).

Slovakia’s Social Insurance Act (2004) covers sickness, pensions, accident and unemployment insurance, with provision of benefits taken over by the Social Insurance Agency (Sociálna Poisťovňa, SP). Health care providers are funded by health insurance companies to which employers contribute the equivalent of 10% of their employees’ salaries. Additionally, employers contribute the equivalent of 24.4% providing for illness, maternity, accident and occupational illness, unemployment, old age and disability. Employees pay 9.4% from their salaries. State support comprises mainly family benefits, while social assistance supports those in hardship.

International companies expanding into The Republic of Slovakia need to recruit top talent to ensure their business plans enjoy major success.

Slovakia is a member of the European Union (EU), allowing workers from fellow-EU nations free movement into the employment market, along with those from Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, plus Switzerland. This frees employers to throw the recruitment net over a wider area. However, they generally must first offer jobs to locals, with some exemptions applying to highly-skilled individuals in skills shortage sectors.

Bradford Jacobs’ Professional Employer Organization (PEO) networks have global reach. We will have your staff ‘up and running’ in the shortest time – and this guide highlights everything you need to understand about recruitment and onboarding processes in Slovakia. You can trust Bradford Jacobs to put the brightest talent in place for your company

The Recruitment Process

International companies recruiting in Slovakia have a wider target market than just Slovak citizens, due to its membership of the European Union (EU). This permits workers from fellow-EU nations to have free movement into the employment market, plus those from the European Economic Area (EEA) countries of Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, plus Switzerland.

However, employers generally must prove that vacant positions cannot be filled by a Slovak or EU / EEA national before being offered to a ‘Third Country National’, usually involving a ‘Labor Market Test’. This complicates recruiting staff from major employment markets such as the USA, UK, Australia and Asia.

Recruitment is the first stage in making your company successful and competitive in Slovakia. But these restrictions complicate moving staff into the country … along with obtaining correct immigration and work documentation.

Once employees are recruited and onboarded in Slovakia, the employer must comply with various responsibilities, including:

  • A minimum of one day before they start work, employees must be registered with the Social Insurance Agency (Sociálna Poisťovňa, SP) by their employer
  • The SP must be notified if there are any breaks in employees’ contributions to sickness, pension or unemployment insurance, plus if any sick leave lasts more than 10 days
  • Employers must obtain or verify the employees’ 10-digit Tax Identification Number (TIN), which applies only to individuals with an obligation to register for paying taxes
  • Registering employees with the Slovakia Financial Administration (PFS) for taxation

Employees’ Legal Checks in Slovakia

  • Scope:  Asking questions of a personal nature is out of bounds.
  • Criminal record checks:  Permitted depending on the type of work and whether required by external regulations, such as public services.
  • Education and reference checks:  Allowed with the applicant’s consent. Where previously employed, the employer can ask for a certificate of employment from their previous employer, otherwise pre-hire checks should relate only to the specific role.
  • Health and medical checks:  Generally, work-related medical and health checks are allowed. Foreign workers moving to Slovakia must undergo medical checks within 30 days of arrival.
  • Privacy: As part of the European Union, Slovakia’s labor law requires compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Required:  Immigration compliance.

Basic Facts when Recruiting

International companies setting up operations in the Republic of Slovakia must adhere to basic facts on hiring staff and the demands of complying with employment legislation, which is set out in the Labor Code. European Union employment law has been absorbed into the Code, with the Act on Collective Bargaining providing the principal supplementary legislation. The majority of labor law provisions are mandatory and any terms that are reduced by contract or agreements would be invalid.

Incoming companies cannot risk ignoring basic requirements of employment law that apply to their employees, including:

  • At interview employers should ask questions only strictly relevant to the nature and working conditions of the position and not ask questions of a personal nature or that violate the applicant’s privacy.
  • The Labor Code applies to all workers, including citizens of Slovakia and all other countries.
  • The Labor Code requires a contract to be concluded in writing, although absence of a written contract does not invalidate the employment relationship, due to employee protection. The employee must be given a copy of a written contract.
  • The contract must at least include: type and place of work; start date; salary or, if this is prescribed by a collective agreement, reference to the relevant agreement.
  • Within a month, the contract must also detail payment date, working hours and vacations and notice period.
  • Probation periods of up to three months can be in the contract, up to six months for executive or managerial level. Fixed-term contracts cannot have a probationary period.

Note: Nationals from European Union (EU) countries and those from the European Economic Area (EEA) nations of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, plus Switzerland, have free access to Slovakia’s employment market.

The Republic of Slovakia is a relatively young nation – created in 1993 when it split from Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic – but during the 21st century Slovakia has developed into one of Europe’s most promising economies with potential for foreign companies and international jobseekers.

Slovakia has a small employment market of under three million in a population of five-and-a-half million. ‘Free movement’ of labour through EU membership is adding to the diversity that incomers will find in a cost-effective workforce that suffers from skills shortages in some sectors, including healthcare and IT.

The promise and potential of Slovakia’s economy is a strong attraction for foreign companies, their staff and job-seeking individuals. However, adjustments will have to be made for those moving into a different work and cultural environment, where ideas of work-life balance are still growing.

As a global Professional Employment Organisation (PEO), we aim to be familiar and updated with the business culture in the country we work with and in. Here are a few tips on how to clear those cultural hurdles and business etiquette issues in what can still be a rather formal business environment

The Basics of the Slovakian Work Culture

  • Language:  Play safe and check ahead if an interpreter is advised for meetings, although in business, managerial and finance sectors many Slovak nationals are multi-lingual. English is the second language for many of the younger generation, with French and German also popular.
  • Punctuality:  Be on time – lateness will be viewed as a very poor way to start.
  • Business Relationships:  Foreigners are welcomed as equal business partners, especially among younger, entrepreneur types in small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Decision-making can still be from the top down, so the higher the status of those who attend initial meetings can indicate how seriously they view the business proposition.
  • Negotiations:  Slovaks prefer one-to-one meetings after first making contact in writing or by email. General agreements should always be written up, even before reaching the final stage of negotiations. Don’t rush or try to force a decision, especially with the older generation who will want to spend some time feeling comfortable with their opposite number. Be well prepared – but not ‘pushy’.
  • Greetings:  Firm handshakes and friendly eye contact are the starting point. Research so that counterparts can be addressed initially by their professional title, if applicable, as this is important to Slovaks. Academic titles have preference in the ‘introductions checklist’. Remember that if you meet a husband-and-wide couple on the other team, their surnames will be spelled differently. Learn some Slovak phrases, but do not be over-effusive or enthusiastic.
  • Gift Giving:  Modest offerings, such as a corporate item, or literature about the home country will be acceptable, but they are expected.
  • Business Cards:  Present the card with the Slovak side uppermost; study the information on the card as it is an indication of how to initially address the other person.
  • Dress Code:  Slovaks believe that the way you dress for business displays the respect in which you view the business counterpart. Smart, conservative and professional for both men and women is the way to go.
  • Business Meals: A way of building the relationship at lunch or dinner in a restaurant; very rarely in a private home. The host selects the restaurant – and pays the bill.

Labour Law and Slovakian Work Culture

Minimum Wage

Slovakia’s national minimum monthly wage was set at €646 (US$646) from January 2022 until December 31 2022. Higher rates can be applied at company and industry level by CBAs.

Probation Periods

Trial periods must be in contracts and generally run for three months, but can be up to six for managerial or executive positions. Either party can terminate without reason, giving three days written notice. Fixed-term contracts cannot have probation periods.

Working Hours

Under the Labour Code, the working week is five eight-hour days for 40 hours a week and cannot exceed 48 including overtime. There should be a minimum 12 hours between shifts and two continuous days off per week. A break of 30 minutes should apply if working six consecutive hours.

Overtime

Overtime hours cannot exceed eight a week, averaged over a maximum of 12 months and limited to 150 a year. Remuneration is generally 25% above normal salary; 40% extra for evening work; 50% extra on a Saturday and double for a Sunday or public holidays. Employers exceeding overtime limits can be fined up to €100,000 (US$100,090) by the Office for Labour, Social Affairs and Family.

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