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Slovakia

Work and Employment - Article 27

Article 27

Measures to support employers
Measures to support workers with disabilities
Discrimination
Employment on the open labour market
Employment in the supported / sheltered sector
Employment in the public sector
Employment of blind and partially sighted women
Self-employment
Vocational rehabilitation and training
Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities
Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities
Vocational counselling
Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment
Looking for a job
Legal recognition of disabled worker status
Trade unions and workers with disabilities

Measures to support employers

The Employment Service Act (5/2004) and the Health Insurance Act (580/2004) are the main pieces of legislation concerning the measures to support employers in Slovakia.

Employers are entitled to financial support in order to retain a disabled employee and to a reduction of their health insurance tax contribution per worker. There is also a scheme to hire a Disability Officer to help managing disabled employees. The salary of this person is paid by the government through the Office for Labour. Employers may also apply for grants to renovate or adapt the premises in order to hire or retain a disabled employee.

Public funding is available for employers who want to operate as a sheltered workplace and hire disabled workers. New openings in the sheltered sector and in social enterprises are also encouraged through public grants.

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Measures to support workers with disabilities

The Employment Service Act (5/2004) and the Labour Law (Codex 311/2001) are the main pieces of legislation concerning the measures to support disabled workers in Slovakia.

Disabled people who move from social welfare to employment can apply for additional training and coaching to prepare for the job and they may receive extra financial assistance during the early period of their new work contract.

Disabled workers are entitled to adjustment in their working conditions and they can apply for funding whenever to undergo professional training and further their skills. Cases of redundancy must be approved by the Office for Labour before being processed.

In addition, disabled workers are entitled to reduced health insurance fees as part of the Health Insurance Act (580/2004), and in some cases they may be eligible to retain their full disability pension payment when moving into employment as per the Social Insurance Act (463/2003)..

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Discrimination

The Equal Treatment Act (365/2004) is the main legislation concerning disability-based discrimination in Slovakia.

This legislation addresses discrimination and brings forward the principle of equal treatment. Equal treatment must be facilitated in recruitment procedures, employment relations, work conditions, promotions and wages, access to vocational training and participation in professional groups and organisations.

The Slovak National Centre for Human Rights is the main institution with the responsibility and powers to handle discrimination complaints.

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Employment on the open labour market

The Employment Service Act (5/2004) and the Labour Law (Codex 311/2001) are the main pieces of legislation concerning open labour market employment in Slovakia.

Private companies and public offices with a workforce of more than 20 employees must hire 3.2% of disabled workers. Employers are provided with 3 options to meet this target:
• Hiring disabled workers as employees (direct hire)
• Subcontracting workers from the sheltered sector, self-employed disabled workers or outsourcing goods or services from a company that hires disabled employees (indirect hire)
• Paying a contribution fee. The contribution fee goes to a public fund which finances technical adjustments and renovation in the supported and sheltered work areas.

The Slovak government offers a range of grants and funding programmes to support disabled employees, disabled self-employed workers and employers on the open labour market.

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Employment in the supported / sheltered sector

Public funding is available for employers who are willing to run a sheltered workplace and hire disabled workers. Social enterprises operate on specific conditions. Such enterprises must hire at least 30% of vulnerable workers, a group which includes disabled people, and they must reinvest 30% of net profit in the opening of new positions or on the improvement of existing working conditions. New openings in the sheltered sector and in social enterprises are also encouraged through public grants.

Both private and public sector employers are entitled to financial support in order to retain a disabled employee and to a reduction of their health insurance tax contribution per worker. There is also a scheme to hire a Disability Officer to help managing disabled employees. The salary of this person is paid by the government through the Office for Labour. At last, employers may apply for grants to renovate or adapt the premises in order to hire or retain a disabled employee.

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Employment in the public sector

Public sector employment is not regulated by a specific legislation as far as disabled workers are concerned. Conditions are therefore similar to that observed in the private sector. The Employment Service Act (5/2004) and the Labour Law (Codex 311/2001) are the main pieces of legislation concerning employment in Slovakia.

Like private companies, public offices with a workforce of more than 20 employees must hire 3.2% of disabled workers. Employers are provided with 3 options to meet this target:
• Hiring disabled workers as employees (direct hire)
• Subcontracting workers from the sheltered sector, self-employed disabled workers or outsourcing goods or services from a company that hires disabled employees (indirect hire)
• Paying a contribution fee. The contribution fee goes to a public fund which finances technical adjustments and renovation in the supported and sheltered work areas.

The Slovak government offers a range of grants and funding programmes to support disabled employees, disabled self-employed workers and employers.

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Employment of blind and partially sighted women.

Both the Labour Law (Codex 311/2001) and the Equal Treatment Act (365/2004) forbid gender-based and disability-based discrimination in Slovakia. In theory, therefore, disabled female workers should be in a position to enjoy the same opportunity level as their male peers.

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Self Employment

The Employment Service Act (5/2004) and the Labour Law (Codex 311/2001) are the main pieces of legislation concerning self-employment in Slovakia.

The Slovak government offers a range of grants and funding programmes to support the disabled person who is willing to create his or her own job. These measures include funding schemes to set up a new venture and to assist with operational expenses. The Office for Labour also offers a grant to cover training and coaching that are relevant to the self-employed business project.

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Vocational rehabilitation and training

The Social Assistance Act (195/1998) is currently the main legislative item governing vocational rehabitation and training in Slovakia. A Social Service Act is expected to come into force in 2009; it will complement the existing legislation.

The Rehabilitation Centre for Visually Impaired People is a public institution which offers vocational and social rehabilitation programmes. It runs training courses in fields such as massage, computer operation, carton making, traditional craftsmanship or assembly work.

The Slovak Blind and Partially sighted Union also provides vocational counselling and social rehabilitation training in each of its regional offices.

Disabled people may receive public funding while undergoing professional training..

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Incentive measures to employ workers with disabilities.

Initiatives to further the professional inclusion of the visually impaired in Slovakia include information campaigns and awareness raising amongst recruiters and employees as well as various events where disabled job seekers and employers can meet. The government offers a range of incentives, schemes and funding programmes to further the employment of disabled people in both the private and the public sectors.

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Legal obligation to employ workers with disabilities

The Employment Service Act (5/2004) and the Labour Law (Codex 311/2001) are the main pieces of legislation governing employment in Slovakia.

Both private companies and public offices with a workforce of more than 20 employees must hire 3.2% of disabled workers. Employers are provided with 3 options to meet this target:
• Hiring disabled workers as employees (direct hire)
• Subcontracting workers from the sheltered sector, self-employed disabled workers or outsourcing goods or services from a company that hires disabled employees (indirect hire)
• Paying a contribution fee. The contribution fee goes to a public fund which finances technical adjustments and renovation in the supported and sheltered work areas.

The contribution fee is set at 0.9% of labour costs based on the Slovak average salary. In 2008, it amounted to 23.300 SKK (approximately 776 Euros) for each missing employee.

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Vocational counselling.

The Employment Services Act (5/2004) is currently the main legislation concerning vocational counselling in Slovakia.

Job Centres are run by the Office for Labour throughout the country. These centres offer information and counselling services to all job seekers including those with disabilities. A Job Centre Counsellor helps to design and implement an individual action plan to move into employment.

Supported Employment Agencies may also offer guidance however the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union has pointed that visually impaired job seekers do not use this service very much.

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Main occupations performed by workers with a visual impairment.

The visually impaired are found in a wide range of occupations. The main jobs are the following :
• Masseur;
• Musicians and music teacher;
• Upholster, basket maker, brush maker;
• Assembly worker;
• Switch board operator.

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Looking for a job

The Employment Services Act (5/2004) is currently the main legislation concerning employment in Slovakia.

Job Centres are run by the Office for Labour throughout the country. These centres offer information and counselling services to all job seekers including those with disabilities. A Job Centre Counsellor helps to design and implement an individual action plan to move into employment.

Supported Employment Agencies may also offer guidance however the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union pointed out that visually impaired job seekers do not use this service very much.

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Legal recognition of disabled worker status

The Social Security Act (461/2003) is the main legislative item governing the disabled status in Slovakia.

A person is registered as disabled based on meeting specific criteria. Typically, a long term condition which reduces the person's productivity by more 40% compared to the average national estimate is regarded as a disability. In this case, long term is understood as lasting over a year.
• disability employment target

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Trade unions and workers with disabilities.

There is a cooperation agreement between the Slovak Disability Council (“Narodna Rada Obcanov so Zdravotnym Postihnutim”) and trade unions. This agreement is mainly concerned about activities in the field of legislation.

The Government Council for Disabled People (“Rada Vlady SR pre osoby so zdravotnym postihnutim”) is a public advisory body. Its members are representatives of disability organisations, ministries, insurance companies, public authorities and regional governments and it is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia. The Government Council deals with all aspects of disability including employment and work conditions.

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