May 07, 2012

The Government of Slovakia intends to actively enforce existing labor recruitment procedures designed to incentivize Slovakian host companies to hire Slovak workers and reduce the country’s growing domestic unemployment rate. In addition, all employment agreements and assignment letters on behalf of seconded, non-EEA national workers must specify the intended duration of assignment.

What’s Changed?

Work Force Demand Needed for Local Hires

As of February 2012, the Slovak Labor Office published internal regulations advising officers to determine if a Slovak company has undergone a bona fide search to file positions from within the domestic labor market prior to hiring a localized foreign worker.

As of April 1, 2012, labor officers have been advised to notify Slovak companies intending to localize non-European Economic Area (EEA) national workers that processing times may increase due to a requirement to submit a “work-force demand” application with the Labor Office having jurisdiction over the intended place of work.

Once a work-force demand application has been submitted, the Labor Office will conduct a search to verify if any Slovak citizens could fill the specific position with the host company. If no readily-qualified Slovak/EEA workers are identified within 15 days of posting the job, the Labor Office will proceed with processing the work permit application.

Employment Agreements and Assignment Letters Must Specify Duration of Assignment

Effective immediately, for non-EEA foreign workers paid outside of Slovakia, the Labor Office will require that all employment agreements/assignment letters filed in support of a work permit application must also include the intended duration of assignment, up to an initial maximum period of five years. The Labor Office will also have discretion to indicate a desired minimum period of assignment for certain occupations or positions.

Please note that while an initial work permit can be issued up to two years, in cases where the assignment is extended, the new work permit will not be issued for a period exceeding the duration of assignment indicated in the foreign worker’s original employment agreement or assignment letter.

Should the assignment period indicated in agreement or letter fall short of the desired period, the company may be unable to renew the work permit, whereby the Slovakian host company will be required to localize the foreign worker to host company payroll.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Companies should be prepared to evidence that readily-available workers are not available to fill an assignee’s proposed position in Slovakia. Also, as a result of this new requirement, the immigration process for hiring localized foreign workers has been increased from 30 to 45 days. Companies should plan assignment periods to include the time to assemble and file a work-force demand application and a subsequent work permit application.

Companies should also be cognizant that Labor Offices may have wide discretion to determine the publications and format for posting advertising for the proposed job. In addition, Slovak host company HR should be prepared for addressing a potentially qualified local worker responding to a posted job.

Future extensions of the work permit will be done according to the term specified in the original employment agreement/letter of assignment. Companies should bear in mind the maximum intended assignment period when supplying a term of assignment in their employment agreements or letters of assignment.

Glenn Faulk, Global Knowledge Manager, has written this alert in coordination with our Slovak immigration service provider-Move One.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.