In case an employer decides to terminate the employment with an employee, there are several ways to do so. Under the Slovak law, employment may be terminated by:
- notice of termination;
- termination with immediate effect;
- termination during a probationary period.
Below let us provide you with information regarding the regulation of the Slovak Labour Code on notice of termination given by an employer.
First of all it needs to be underlined that the employer may terminate employment by notice only for the reasons set out in the Labour Code. The factual reason for termination must be specified in clear terms that avoid confusion with any other reason; otherwise the termination shall be invalid. Also, the reason for termination must not subsequently be changed.
The employer may give notice to an employee only on the grounds stipulated in Section 63 of the Labour Code, i. e. on the grounds that:
a) the employer or its part
- is being wound up or
- relocated and the employee does not agree with the change of the agreed place of work,
b) the employee has become redundant due to a written decision of the employer or a competent authority on change of the employer’s tasks, technical equipment, on reducing the number of employees in order to ensure labour efficiency, or on other organisational changes,
c) with regard to the employee’s medical condition pursuant to medical opinion, the employee has lost, for an extended period, his or her capacity to carry out their current work or must not carry out such work because of an existing occupational disease or the risk of occupational disease, or if the employee has reached in his or her workplace the maximum permissible exposure as determined by decision of a competent public health authority;
d) the employee
- does not satisfy the prerequisites for the agreed work provided in legal regulations;
- has ceased to satisfy the requirements referred to in Section 42 Subsection 2 of the Labour Code (requirements of election or appointment of the employee);
- does not satisfy, without any fault of the employer, the requirements for properly carrying out the agreed work as determined by the employer in its internal regulation; or
- performs his or her work tasks in an unsatisfactory manner and during the last six months the employer has delivered to the employee a written notice requesting him or her to remedy such underperformance and the employee has failed to remedy it within a reasonable time;
e) reasons exist in relation to the employee for which the employer could terminate his/her employment with immediate effect (i. e. in case the employee has been lawfully convicted for an intentional criminal offence or has seriously breached work discipline), or for which the employer could terminate his/her employment for a less serious breach of work discipline. Notice may be given to the employee on the grounds of a less serious breach of work discipline only in case the employee has been notified in writing during the last six months of the possibility of termination of employment.
We wish to emphasize that where notice has been given, employment shall terminate on expiry of the notice period. The length of the notice period is stipulated in Section 62 of the Labour Code and depends on the length of the employment relationship and the reason for which the notice has been given by the employer. The minimum length of the notice period under the Labour Code is one month.
In this regard we would also like to draw your attention to the so-called ban on notice (Section 64 of the Labour Code). According to the Labour Code, the employer must not (with certain exceptions) give notice to the employee during the so-called protected period. Protected period refers (among others) to period for which the employee has been recognised as incapable of work due to illness or injury or during which an employee is pregnant, on maternity leave or parental leave, or when an lone employee is taking care of a child below three years of age.
In this regard it also needs to be stated that order for a notice of termination to be valid, the Labour Code requires that:
- the employer is unable to continue employing the employee in the agreed place of work even for a shorter working time and
- the employee is unwilling to accept different work suitable for him/her (with regard to his or her state of health, skills and qualifications, etc.) which the employer has offered to the employee in the agreed place of work, or to undertake pre-training for such different work.
The above requirements do, however, not apply to every termination by notice given by the employer, i. e. the employer does not need to fulfil them in case a notice is given by the employer e.g. for dissatisfactory performance of work tasks, a less serious breach of work discipline, or a reason allowing termination of employment with immediate effect.
Also kindly note that if employee representatives operate at the employer, termination of employment with notice by the employer must be pre-negotiated by the employer with the employee representative; otherwise the termination of employment with notice shall be invalid.
We would also like to draw your attention to Section 76 of the Labour Code according to which the employee whose employment has been terminated by the employer by notice for the reason of redundancy or other organizational reasons (i. e. winding up of the employer or its part or relocation of the employer or its part whereby the employee does not agree with the change of the agreed place of work) or due to the employee’s medical conditions shall be entitled to compensation for termination. The amount of the concerned compensation depends on the length of the employment relationship at the employer. The minimum compensation amounts to the employee’s average monthly earnings and the employee shall be entitled to such compensation in case his/her employment has lasted at least two years.