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COVID-19: Termination of employment relationship

Q&A Termination of employment relationship 

An employment relationship can be terminated by agreement, notice, immediate termination or termination in the probationary period. fixed-term employment relationship also terminates upon the expiry of the agreed period. Employment relationship of foreigner also terminates upon cancellation of the granted residence, expiry of the period for which the residence was granted, withdrawal or expiry of work permit. 

In this article, you may find answers to employment relationship termination related questionsnamely by notice given by an employer, notice given by an employee, or by agreement.

 

Q. Can my employment be immediately terminated by my employer based on the current COVID-19 situation? 

A. No.The employer may immediately terminate the employment relationship only in cases where the employee: 

  1. was lawfully sentenced for committing a wilful offence, or 
  2. was in serious breach of labour discipline. 

 

Q. Can I be given notice by my employer based on the current COVID-19 situation? 

A. Yes. The employer may give notice to the employee only for two legal reasons: 

  1. if the employer (or part thereofis wound up or the employer is relocated and the employee does not agree with the change in the agreed location for performance of work, or 
  2. if an employee becomes redundant under the employer’s or competent body’s written resolution on change in duties, technical equipment, or reduction in the number of employees with the aim of securing work efficiency, or on other organisational changes. 

Your employer cannot give you notice if you become redundant during the protection period. The protection period is i.e. period of incapacity of work due to illness or injury, gravidity, maternity or parental leave. During the extraordinary situationemergency or exceptional state, you are also protected during quarantine measures, isolation, personal and full-time care of a sick family member, or personal and full-time care of a natural person. 

 

Q. When is the notice given by my employer legal? 

A. Notice given by an employer must be given in writing, delivered to the employee and stipulating the legal reasons for giving notice. This reason must be defined in such terms that it may not be confused with another reason, otherwise the notice shall be deemed invalid. The notice given by an employer must be negotiated in advance between the employer and employee´s representatives, otherwise, the notice is invalid. The invalidity of the notice may be claimed in court within two months from the due day of employment relationship termination. 

 

Q. I want to give notice, what should I do?

A. You can give notice anytime and for any reason whatsoever. You are not obliged to state any reasons. Your notice must be in writing and delivered to your employer. You can deliver the notice in person or by registered mail via post office. In case of delivery in person, make two copies – you will give one to your employer and keep the other (confirmed by your employer) for yourself. If delivering by registered mail, the notice is deemed delivered on the day of receipt or on the day when the post office returned the mail as undeliverable. 

 

Q. What is the length of the notice period? 

A. If the notice is given (either by the employer or by the employee), the employment relationship shall terminate upon the expiration of the notice period. The notice period shall begin from the first day of the calendar month following the delivery of notice and end on the last day of the corresponding calendar month. The length of the notice period is at least one month and is usually defined in the employment contract. 

The length of the notice period in case of redundancy or employer´s dissolution is: 

  1. 2 months (employment relationship lasted at least 1 year and less than 5 years), 
  2. 3 months (employment relationship lasted at least 5 years). 

 

Q. Am I entitled to severance pay in case of notice? 

A. Yes, in case of notice given by the employer and if your employment relationship lasted at least 2 years. The severance pay depends on the length of the employment relationship: 

  1. 1x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 2 years and less than 5 years), 
  2. 2x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 5 years and less than 10 years), 
  3. 3x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 10 years and less than 20 years), 
  4. 4x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 20 years). 

In case of notice given by the employee (you), you are not entitled to severance pay.

 

Q. Can I terminate my employment by agreement? 

A. Yes, you can agree on the termination of your employment relationship with your employer at any time. The day of termination of the employment must be defined in the agreement (it can be any specific date; it means that the notice period does not need to be observed) and the agreement must be in writing. It is not necessary to specify the reason for termination of employment in the agreement, except in cases of reasons where the employer may give you a notice of termination or if you request the reason to be stipulated in the agreement. 

The employment relationship termination agreement is subject to the consent of the employer and the employeeTherefore, please read the proposal for such an agreement carefully. If you do not agree with the proposal, you are not obliged to sign the agreement, you can refuse to sign it. In such case, if the employer wants to terminate the employment relationship, he needs to give you a notice based on the legal reason(s). 

 

Q. Am I entitled to severance pay in case of agreement? 

A. Yes, if the reason for employment relationship termination is clearly stated in the agreement. The reason must be either the dissolution of the employer (or part thereof), its relocation if you do not agree with the change in the agreed location for performance of work, or the redundancy of the employee. Otherwise, you can´t claim the severance to be paid.  

The severance pay depends on the length of the employment relationship: 

  1. 1x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted less than 2 years), 
  2. 2x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 2 years and less than 5 years), 
  3. 3x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 5 years and less than 10 years), 
  4. 4x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 10 years and less than 20 years), 
  5. 5x average monthly earnings (employment relationship lasted at least 20 years).

 

Q. I am unemployed, who pays my health insurance? 

A. If you are registered in the Jobseekers Register, the public health insurance is paid by the state. In case you lose the entitlement to public health insurance, you are obliged to sign up for private health insurance (commercial insurance) in one of the commercial insurance companies. A foreigner staying in Slovakia is obliged to have health insurance or medical expenses insurance in the territory of the Slovak Republic. 

 

Q. I am unemployed, can I be registered in the Jobseekers Register?

 

A. Only Slovak citizens, citizens of EU member states and their family members and third country nationals with long-term residence can be registered into the Jobseekers Register. Holders of the temporary residence or permanent residence for five years are not entitled to be registered into the Jobseekers Register. The Labour Office will not register the long-term resident if before submitting the registration: 

  1. he/she was not insured for the risk of unemployment for at least two years in the last three years, or  
  2. he/she was not insured for the risk of unemployment for the last two years in the last four years in case of being in the employment relationship for a definite period or voluntarily insured for the risk of unemployment. 

You can apply for registration into the Jobseekers Register at the competent Labour Office according to your residence. If applying within 7 calendar days after the termination of the employment relationship, the Labour Office will register you from the day following the termination of the employment relationship. You can also apply by electronic means or by registered mail within 7 calendar days as of the termination of the employment relationship.

 

Q. I am unemployed, can I apply for unemployment benefit?

A. The basic qualifying condition of the unemployment benefit from the Social Insurance Agency is that the insured person was insured for the risk of unemployment for at least two years in the last four years prior to registration into the Jobseekers Register. The entitlement to unemployment benefit depends on two conditions: your social insurance and the registration into the Jobseekers Register. If you are not granted long-term residence in Slovakia, you cannot be registered into the Jobseekers Register, and therefore, you cannot apply for the unemployment benefit. The unemployment benefit is usually paid for six months. Should this period expire during the crisis situation, it will be extended by one month. 

 

Q. How can the employment relationship be terminated in case of an employment contract with the Temporary Work Agency (TWA)? 

A. In case of temporary assignment, your employment contract is concluded directly with the TWA. The employment relationship can be concluded for fixed term (for the period of assignment to the useemployer), or for an indefinite period (in such case you have employment contract concluded with the TWA and also concluded the Temporary assignment agreement).  

The temporary assignment can be terminated upon expiry of the agreed period of assignment, by agreement, or by unilateral termination under agreed conditions. Conditions of unilateral termination of work before the expiry of the agreed temporary assignment are specified in the written Temporary assignment agreement (in case of the employment contract for an indefinite period) OR directly in the fixed-term employment contract. Therefore, it is important to read your employment contract and the Temporary assignment agreement carefully and act accordingly. 

The termination of temporary assignment does not automatically mean the termination of your employment relationship. If having concluded an employment contract for an indefinite period, the termination of the temporary assignment does not mean your employment relationship is terminated. If your employer (TWA) wants to terminate your employment relationship, you can mutually agree on termination and conclude an agreement on employment relationship termination, or your employer can give you a notice based on legal reasons (see replies above).  

 

 

 

 

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