Changes introduce greater protection for temporary agency workers

The Slovak Labour Code regulating the use of temporary agency workers has been amended with effect from 1 March 2015. The main aims of the changes are to provide greater protection for temporary agency workers and to prevent the misuse of this kind of arrangement.

Some of the most important changes are outlined below.

Highest-risk occupations

The rules prohibit the use of temporary agency workers in the highest risk occupations, such as welders (ie category 4 occupations, as specified by the applicable Public Health Authority).

Identifying end date of temporary assignment

If the relationship between the agency and the temporary agency worker is for a limited period then it must end on a specified date. It is no longer possible to simply provide that the employment relationship between the agency and temporary agency worker will end whenever the temporary assignment comes to an end.  

Maximum duration of temporary assignments

An agency worker cannot be assigned to a particular user employer for more than 24 months.  Subject to that 24 month limit, a temporary assignment of a particular agency worker to a particular user employer can be extended or renewed up to four times. These limits continue to apply to an agency worker even if the agency or employer that assigns the worker to the user employer changes. For these purposes, if an agency worker is re-assigned to the same user within six months of the end of an earlier temporary assignment (or within four months in the case of a seasonal worker), this counts as a renewal.

The above restrictions do not apply in certain instances such as when substituting an employee during their maternity or parental leave or when on a temporary sick leave.   

Equal pay

A temporary agency worker is entitled to be paid at the same rate as the user employer’s core employees.  If there is a difference between those pay rates, the user employer is obliged to pay any shortfall to the temporarily agency worker within 15 days of their agreed pay day.

Business trips

During the temporary assignment, only the user employer, and not the agency employer, is permitted to send the temporary agency worker on a business trip.

Onward assignment

The user employer is not permitted to assign a temporary agency worker on to another user employer.