• Insights

Changes to economic first aid measures in Slovakia: a ‘Catch-23’?

Written by
NITSCHNEIDER & PARTNERS largest boutique firm focusing on HR law.
The Slovak government has clarified the conditions under which employers can apply for various types of state support in the context of the coronavirus crisis.

As we informed you in our previous article about the Slovak version of ‘Catch-22’, the Slovak government has adopted several financial measures to support employees, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed in an effort to mitigate the negative economic consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak. However, as these measures have begun to be put into practice, several changes and clarifications were needed.

We have summarised these for you below from the point of view of employers (effective from 17 May 2020). Details of the Schemes are provided in the previous article, here.

1. Limit on the amount of the flat contribution per employee

(Scheme 3B, i.e.a flat contribution for part of each employee’s wage costs depending on the decrease in revenue)

Until this change, the monthly flat contribution per employee was set at up to a maximum of EUR 540 (for a decrease in revenues of 80% and more). With this change, the maximum amount of the contribution remains the same, but another important limitation applies. Under the new rule, the amount of the contribution per employee cannot exceed 80% of the employee’s gross salary (compared to 100% before).

2. Change in the assessment of the decrease in revenues

(Scheme 3B)

This change has clarified that for the purposes of the assessment of the decrease in revenues, the revenues of the whole employer (with one ID number) will be considered, that is, all its operation in Slovakia in all scenarios. The discussion on whether to assess all operations or just one when applying for a contribution for a single operation is thus over.

3. For an employer with a single operation combining measures during the same month is not possible

This change answers another frequent question: whether it is possible to combine measures: it is not. An employer with a single operation can choose only one of the options (i.e. Scheme 1 or one of Scheme 3A or 3B) during one month.

4. Employers with more than one operation can combine measures

Contrary to 3 above, employers may combine Scheme 1 or Scheme 3A/3B if they they have two and more operations.

In practice this means that if one of the employers’ operations was forced to shut down due to Slovak Public Health Authority (SPHA) measures, the employer may apply for a contribution under Scheme 1. If another operation of the same employer has closed because of obstacles relating to the employer or because its revenues have decreased, the employer can apply for a contribution simultaneously under Scheme 3A and Scheme 3B.

5. When can you apply for Scheme 1?

Employers who were forced to shut down their operations based on SHPA measures are entitled to apply for a contribution only if the operations were closed for more than half of the calendar days in one month. If this condition is not fulfilled, the employer can only apply for a contribution under Schemes 3A or 3B.

We have listed the most significant changes for employers, however, please be aware, that the ‘May Update of Contributions Policy’ covers several other changes (e.g. for the self-employed, changes in the records that have to be provided, etc.).

Marek Bugan
Dušan Nitschneider
Partner - Slovakia