Slovaks are prepared to work long hours because of the high unemployment levels and minimal state social benefits for the unemployed. So, people have been sacrificing their work-life balance in favour of providing for their families and maintaining a good standard of living.
European labour laws state specifically that no one should work more than eight and a half hours per day, unless there is a contractual agreement in place between the parties concerned.
However, Slovak employees have the same problems as their western counterparts with companies not respecting employment legislation; things like working longer hours than allowed by the law, short annual leave, no paternity leave, no flexible working hours, no help with day care for working mothers and so on.
Companies that don’t want to lose their best employees are beginning to offer additional benefits like flexible working hours for working mothers, parental leave for fathers, time-off to study and many other benefits that would have been impossible five short years ago.
- http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ (EuroFound)
These are the dates of public holidays (bank holiday):
- 1st of January, Emergence of Slovakia and New Year
- 6th of January, Feast of the Epiphany
- Good Friday and Easter Monday, (Easter falls on a different date in late March or early April each year)
- 1st May, International Workers’ Day
- 8th May, Day of freedom from fascism
- 5th July, Slavic Apostles Cyril and Metodius
- 29th August, Slovak National Uprising
- 1st September, Day of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic
- 15th September, Day of Our Lady of Sorrows
- 1st November, All Saints’ Day
- 17th November, Day of the Velvet Revolution, the date riot police suppressed a student protest leading to the fall of the Communist Party.
- 24th December, Christmas Eve
- 25th December, Christmas Day
In the Slovak Republic, all employees are entitled to four weeks holiday in a year, normally divided as one week in winter and three weeks in summer.
The Slovak Republic officially limits working hours to 40 hours per week and employees get annual vacation of at least 20 working days. If an employee is asked to work overtime, this must not exceed 52 hours a week and there must be an agreement in writing between both parties. In specific situations, a collective agreement or individual agreement may provide that working time for seasonal jobs may exceed 52 hours, but not more than 60 hours a week.
The work culture in the Slovak Republic is quite formal and structured. The people pride themselves as been highly qualified and productive but you still have to keep a close eye on them so that they don’t slack off.
Slovak Republic has a number of legal measures protecting workers. All companies have to adhere to government regulations in the areas of health and safety, discrimination, minimum wage levels, part-time employment, and equal opportunities.
The Slovak social security system and all its departments are under the control of the state, which provides services including health care, pensions, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, child-related benefits and many more.
While all Slovak citizens are guaranteed healthcare by the state, hospitals are funded through several independent and commercial health insurance companies. All companies registered in the Slovak Commercial Register must pay a percentage of their employee’s gross salaries toward social security and health insurance funds.
http://www.europe-cities.com/en/633/slovakia/health/ (Europe cities)