As the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Slovakian government, having declared a state of emergency, is continuously adopting new restrictive measures and updating the ones already existing on a daily basis. We provided you with an overview of these measures in our previous alert dated 23 March 2020 (here). In this alert we provide you with a summary of the newly adopted restrictive measures and an overview of recent legislative changes adopted in connection to the social and economic measures undertaken by the Slovakian government, as of 26 March 2020.
Restrictive Measures Summary
Adopted restrictive measures
- The organization of collective events and cultural, sporting, or other social gatherings has been banned as of 24 March 2020, until further notice.
- All grocery stores, convenience stores, stores providing nutritional aids, drugstores, newsstands, bookshops, medical supplies stores, pharmacies, stores providing pet supplies and veterinary surgeries will remain closed every Sunday as of 25 March 2020. On each Sunday, the store owners will carry out a mandatory sanitary day to disinfect the store premises.
- As of 25 March 2020 frequenting public places or going outdoors is allowed only with the nose and the mouth covered.
- As of 25 March 2020, facilities providing ambulatory social services (i. e. facilities for the elderly, rehabilitation facilities, facilities that provide daily contact for elderly people, nursery schools, etc.) shall temporarily cease to provide their services. All of the social services facilities must maintain the hygienic and epidemiological regime.
Planned restrictive measures
- In the interval from 9:00 to 12:00, Monday to Saturday, only people aged 65 years and older may be present in the stores to get their supplies. The effective date of this measure is yet to be specified.
- When entering premises with a high concentration of people, namely hospitals, stores, etc., an individual's body temperature may be measured. When waiting in the line, everyone needs to keep at least 2 meters distance from each other. The effective date of this measure is yet to be specified.
Social and Economic Measures
The amendment of the Social Insurance Act providing the legal implementation of the social and economic measures regarding those employers and employees whose operations were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak was approved by the Parliament on 26 March 2020.
Prolongation of allowance for primary caregivers
Primary caregivers of children up to the age of 11 years old, or up to the age of 18 years old, if suffering from long-term adverse health conditions and disabilities, are entitled to an allowance for the additional care they provide to children due to the mandatory quarantine and closure of nurseries, kindergartens, schools and other educational facilities. Parents are entitled to the allowance for the overall quarantine and self-isolation period (instead of the initial period of 14 days). The social security institutions will provide the allowance automatically, with no medical confirmation required.
Parents of children aged from 11 to 16 years whose health condition requires that they are taken care of throughout the whole day, are entitled to the allowance based on a medical confirmation issued by their general practitioner.
During the time they provide additional care to children due to the mandatory quarantine, the primary caregivers do not have the duty to pay their health insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance. They remain insured and have the right to the insurance payment through this period.
Sickness pay in quarantine
The amount of sickness pay for quarantined employees in the first three days of their incapacity for work increases to 55 percent from the initial 25 percent and will be covered by the state Social Insurance Company instead of the employers. The entitlement will be assessed by the general practitioner of the employee as it has been up until now, however, the process of the assessment is simplified and may be conducted via telephone or e-mail.
Funding for employers
The government plans to assign additional funding to employers, provided from either the European Social Fund or from the State budget to avoid mass dismissals from employment due to the COVID-19 crisis. Similar funding shall be provided to sole traders and self-employed people and owners of small businesses, as well as artists who have had to limit or cease their business activity due to COVID-19.
The conditions and eligibility requirements for this funding are yet to be determined by the government.
No fines for late reports to Labor Office
The Slovak Labor Office will not impose fines to work agencies for failure to submit the report on their activity within the deadline set by law until 31 March 2020.
The same applies to employers who fail to submit a report proving they employ the legally required amount of persons with health and mental disabilities within the deadline set by law until 31 March 2020. Nevertheless, employers must submit such a report by 30 June 2020.
In the case that the Slovak Labor Offices become overloaded with work and are not able to deal with the requests of unemployed persons to be registered in the evidence of unemployed persons looking for employment, it will be possible to file the application via e-mail; the qualified electronic signature will not be required.