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Slovak Republic  Slovak Republic

Key Facts

Population5,404,322
Collective Bargaining Coverage 35%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 17%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining

industry and company

Workplace Representation

union and works council

Board-level Representation

yes: state-owned and private companies

Company Board Structure

dualistic

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken

Trade Unions

Union density, at about a sixth of all employees, is higher in the Slovak Republic than in many other states of central and Eastern Europe. There is a single dominant union confederation, KOZ SR, although individual unions have considerable autonomy and influence.

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Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining takes place at both industry and company level and between 35% and 40% of employees are covered. The level of coverage has declined in recent years, and new legislative changes may lead to a further reduction. Company level agreements are important in setting effective wages, leading to substantial variations between companies.

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Workplace Representation

Recent years have produced major changes in legislation favouring works councils over workplace trade union organisations. Both can now exist in the same workplace and powers are divided between them, although the precise balance between the two has varied as a result of the changes recent governments have made.

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Board-level Representation

Employees have a right to a third of the seats on the supervisory board of companies in the private sector with more than 50 employees, provided some other conditions are met, and to half the seats in state-owned companies.

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European-level Representation

Slovak members on bodies relating to European Works Councils and the European Company are generally appointed by existing employee representatives where they are present, who can be either trade union representatives and/or works council members. The one exception is Slovak representatives at board level. They are elected by all employees.

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Health and Safety Representation

Specially chosen employee safety representatives, who in the first instance are chosen by the union or the works council rather than being elected, represent the interests of employees in the area of health and safety. Joint health and safety committees must be set up in larger employers (above 100 employees) but they are only required to meet once a year.

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Financial Participation

Employee share ownership plays no major role in Slovakia. Unlike in other Eastern European economies, the privatization process which started at the beginning of the 1990s did not have a significant impact on the emergence of participation schemes. By contrast, the incidence of profit-sharing in Slovakia is fairly high by European comparison. Financial participation does not enjoy much attention in the public debate at present.

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