Recently, our clients have more often turned to us with labour law questions regarding work outside the standard workplace (e.g. home office work, temporary posting of employees to the parent company, etc.). Such frequently asked questions also include the question of whether it is possible to agree with the employee that his/her place of work will be permanently outside Slovakia.
Below we would like to briefly summarize what the Slovak Labour Code and EU legislation stipulate in this respect.
Slovak Labour Code
According to the Slovak Labour Code, the employer and the employee may agree that the place of employee’s work shall be outside Slovakia. The place of employee’s work must be specified directly in the employment contract concluded between the parties.
If the time spent by the employee working abroad exceeds one month, the employment contract must (in addition to other statutory requirements required for “ordinary” employment contracts) also contain the following information:
- the period of work abroad;
- the currency in which the wage shall be paid;
- other benefits connected with the work abroad; and
- conditions for the employee’s return from abroad (where applicable).
According to the Regulation (EC) No. 593/2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) (hereinafter the “Regulation”), the parties may choose the so-called applicable law, i.e. the law by which the employment contract should be governed. However, it needs to be emphasized that such a choice of law may not have the result of depriving the employee of the protection afforded to him/her by provisions that cannot be derogated from by agreement under the law of the country in which the employee carries out the work.
This means, that in case the “Slovak” employee (i.e. employee employed by the Slovak company) carries out work in other EU country (e.g. Germany), it will not be possible to deprive the employee of the protection afforded to him/her by mandatory provisions of German law. Therefore, in this case, the employment contract should also be examined from the point of view of whether it is not in conflict with the mandatory provisions of German law.
Last but not the last, in case the place of work outside Slovakia is agreed between the parties, it is also necessary to address the issues of the social insurance system and taxation, namely, to answer the question which social security law should apply in a given case and where the income of the employee should be subject to taxation.
As you can see, the performance of work abroad raises several issues that need to be resolved and reviewed not only under Slovak law but also under EU legislation. It is also necessary to take into account not only the aspects of labour law, but also the issues of social security and taxation. Therefore, before agreeing on work abroad with the employee, we recommend paying due attention to all above issues.