What is the change? The Slovak Parliament has passed changes to the Employment Services Act that will significantly affect the hiring of non-EU nationals.

What does the change mean? The law will ease labor market testing for certain professions in regions of low unemployment, but will limit the hiring of these professionals to 30 percent of a company’s workforce. In other changes, employers must provide housing accommodations to non-EU nationals on assignment and meet new documentary requirements for non-EU nationals transferred to Slovakia from within the EU. Also, employers who have illegal-employment violations in the previous two years will be denied work permit applications.

  • Implementation time frame: May 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Single permits, work permits, EU Blue Cards.
  • Who is affected: Companies seeking to employ locally or currently employing non-EU nationals. Slovak companies hosting non-EU nationals on assignment.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing of single-permit applications will be slightly shorter, as the job advertisement period will be shortened to 20 business days (instead of the current 30 days) before the application may be filed.
  • Business impact: The changes will benefit companies hiring non-EU nationals in professions deemed as shortage occupations.
  • Next steps: The Ministry of Labour will publish the list of professions qualifying for simplified processing by the end of January every year, and this year by June 30.

Details: Parliament passed the amendments to Employment Services Act No. 5/2004 in February. Key changes are as follows. 

  • Employers applying for single permits will be required to report vacant positions to the Labour Office 20 business days before filing the application.
  • Employers applying for single permits will be exempt from labor market testing for jobs in shortage occupations during the past year in regions where the average unemployment was below 5 percent. The job must still be reported to the Labour Office for advertising, but the office will not conduct labor market testing. A company cannot employ more than 30 percent of its workforce with non-EU nationals who are exempt from labor marketing testing.
  • Employers who violated illegal-employment laws within the previous two years will not be granted work permits, single permits or EU Blue Cards.
  • Slovak employers hosting non-EU assignees must secure housing for them for the durations of their assignments. Visa-exempt non-EU assignees will be required to provide confirmation of their accommodations when they submit their applications.
  • Slovak employers hosting a non-EU national from another EU country must notify the Labour Office within seven business days of the start of the assignment and provide confirmation of housing accommodations, a copy of the A1 form confirming payment of social security, and a copy of the assignee’s residence card from the sending EU country.

BAL Analysis: Companies should review their practices on hiring non-EU nationals to determine if they will be able to benefit from the labor-market testing exemption. Employers should also review whether they have any illegal-employment violations in the previous two years, which would prevent them from obtaining work permits, and explore the possibility of requesting that labor authorities expunge the violations.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Slovakia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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