Background

According to the Slovak Act on Travel Allowances (Act No. 283/2002 Coll.), an employee is entitled to receive travel and other allowances in relation to business trips from his employer. The Act also specifies the employer’s and employees’ rights and duties in relation to business trips. The amendment to the Act on Travel Allowances, which came into force on 1 January 2009, sets forth a number of changes in relation to travel allowances and business trips.

New legislation

The amendment imposes a new duty on employers to provide employees with travel allowances for travel to an employee’s regular workplace outside of regular working hours, based on the employer’s order or consent.

The amendment further introduces an option for both the employer and employee to agree on an “interruption” to the business trip, either at the beginning or at the end. The aim of this provision is to allow the employee to spend some extra time at the destination of the business trip. For example, a travelling employee may wish to stay at the destination for a weekend after he has finished work on Friday evening. When a business trip is interrupted in this way, the employee is not entitled to any subsistence allowance, pocket money, or compensation for accommodation for the period of its interruption.

Under the new Act, an employee whose job requires frequent change of workplace (for example, a train conductor) is afforded increased subsistence entitlements. An employee is entitled to a subsistence allowance where he has had two or more business trips exceeding 5 hours in total (but each individual trip lasting not longer than 5 hours) during one continuous working period which covers two calendar days.

Contrary to the previous position, an employer can no longer agree with its employee to limit his travel allowance to public transport prices where, at the employer’s request, he uses his own vehicle for the business trip. Instead, the employer must provide the employee with a statutory allowance for each kilometre of the journey, which corresponds to the depreciation and a statutory allowance for fuel consumption of the vehicle.

According to the new legislation, an employee must notify his employer, without undue delay, of any fact which may affect the provision of allowances.

Effect on employers

It is not anticipated that the above will have a significant financial impact on employers.