Slovakia: new conditions for the employment of foreigners

Due to the low unemployment rate in Slovakia, employers have recently been confronted with a lack of available workers. Many employers attempt to remedy this deficiency by recruiting employees from third countries (from countries outside of the European Union, hereinafter referred to as "Foreigners"). This situation is also reflected in the Slovakian legislation. Several changes have already been adopted and others are being prepared in order to accelerate and simplify the hiring of foreigners.

Changes to the employment of foreigners
The amendment to the law on employment services as of 01/05/2018 resulted in the following changes in particular:

  • The employment conditions for foreigners in selected professions and territorial areas were simplified. In districts with an average unemployment rate of less than 5%, the missing positions (such as machine installer, skilled workers and tradesmen, auxiliary workers) may be occupied by foreigners in the accelerated process. In these cases, foreigners do not need either a work permit nor a certificate for the possibility of occupying a position (i.e. a certificate that the position cannot be occupied by local workers; hereinafter referred to in short as "certificate"), which must normally be issued by the competent employment office. This simplified regulation applies only to employers whose total staff is made up less than 30% by foreign workers.
  • In other cases, if a certificate is required, the deadline within which this must be issued by the competent employment office has been shortened from 30 to 20 days.
  • An employer who wants to hire a foreigner must prove that he has not violated the ban on illegal employment; whereby the law amendment has shortened the period for which the employer must fulfil this condition from five to two years.

Planned measures
The Slovak Republic intends to remedy the current lack of qualified workers on the Slovak labour market through other temporary, extraordinary measures in connection with the employment of foreigners.

In October 2018, the government adopted a strategy for the job mobility of foreigner, which included, for example, simplifying the administrative procedure for processing residence permits for foreigners, the shortening of the deadline for the issuance of a residence permit from 90 to 30 days or the introduction of the authorization of the temping agencies (which until now was generally not permissible).

Some of the proposed changes are expected to be submitted to Parliament for approval by the end of 2018.

Author: Gabriela Janíková