WHAT IS GOING ON? Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family has initiated an inter-ministerial comment procedure concerning the bill of financial short-time work allowance. At this stage, both the public and the professionals can comment on the matter. The Ministry did so on the basis of the Plan of Legislative Tasks of Government of the Slovak Republic for the months September to December 2020.
According to the submission report, the very essence of the bill is provision of legal entitlement support which should be intended for the wage replacement during short-time work. The so-called “short-time work” is a term used when an employer cannot assign work to their employees, as they had originally agreed upon. Another key element of the proposed bill is support for the self-employed, also during the time of the short-time work. The submitter also proposes establishing a special employment fund, from which the Social Insurance Agency will provide an amount of money which would be used to cover financial support for the self-employed and employers during the short-time work. The amount of money would be transmitted through the competent Employment, Social Affairs and Family Office. According to the Ministry, both employers and self-employed are to contribute to the fund.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? One of the aspects of the fundamental right to work is the state’s obligation to take measures aimed to decrease unemployment. Therefore, it is natural, even predictable, that the Ministry should submit such a bill, given (not only) the circumstances of the ongoing “coronavirus crisis”. The proposed bill concerns employers and self-employed, both already mentioned, who would be forced to suspend their work activities not because of their own actions. For instance, this applies to an emergency, unforeseeable or exceptional situation. Under those circumstances, the employers incur wage costs of not negligible amount and the self-employed lose part of their income that they would otherwise obtain from their activities. The proposed bill is to change the status quo; its aim is to create a law which would later on become a part of the Slovak legislation.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? The proposed bill is in the stage of inter-ministerial comment procedure until 25 January 2021. The submitter will evaluate the comments afterwards and then the final form of the bill will be subject to the ordinary legislative process. If the parliament passes the law, it is to take effect as of 31 December 2021, whereas selected provision as of 1 January 2022.
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