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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure SK-2020-13/1446 – measures in Slovakia

Maintenance of employment in KIA Motors Slovakia

Udržanie zamestnanosti v KIA Motors Slovakia

Country Slovakia , applies locally

    • – SK031 Žilinský kraj
Time period Temporary, 23 March 2020 – 30 June 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Ludovit Cziria (IVPR) and Eurofound
Measure added 20 November 2020 (updated 07 March 2021)

Background information

To minimize the effects of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens, the government temporarily closed some facilities, including shops and show rooms in the mid March 2020. To protect the health of employees, also some companies temporary stopped their operation. Pandemic also impacted negatively the automotive sector in Slovakia as well as abroad, where the country exports the most of produced cars. Among them were four multinational car producers Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, KIA Motors Slovakia in Zilina, Group PSA Slovakia in Trnava and Jaguar Land Rover in Nitra.

Content of measure

KIA Motors Slovakia in Zilina tried to keep the car production as long as possible by adoption of sever hygiene regulations in the company and at individual workplaces. Nevertheless, to protect the health of employees, the management decided to interrupt the production on 23 March 2020, as the last car company in Slovakia. Except of employees performing inevitable tasks in the company, workers stayed at home. The company also made organisational changes and reduced the further production from three shifts to two shifts. To compensate the missing income of redundant employees, the company implemented measures included in the First aid package adopted by the government in relation to the COVID-19 disease. Specifically, measure Wage support to companies reported in the COVID-19 database, SK-2020-17/871 .

Use of measure

After two weeks stop, on 6 April 2020, the company management decided to re-start the production under strict sanitary measures. From 6 to 9 April, the production was organised in usual three shifts and later on it was organised in two shifts till the end of April. Considering the actual demand of customers, operation in two shifts continued also in May and June. By implementation of short-time working scheme, redundant employees received €880 wage replacement per month. The company succeeded in saving the employment and continuation of car production. In the first half of 2020, the company produced more than 131,000 cars.


  • Employment retention
  • Health and safety
  • Work organisation

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Unknown
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


Local trade union organisation in KIA Motors Slovakia was consulted on the actual situation in the company and on the proposal to interrupt temporarily the production and related organisational changes. According to the Chair of local trade unions, the sanitary situation in the company was serious. To protect their health, the employees agreed with partial losses in their income during their stay at home and obtaining wage replaces via short-time working scheme.

Views and reactions

Trade unions in the company supported the interruption of production. According to them, it was not possible to work effectively on the assembly lines and keeping adopted sanitary measures (wearing personal protective sanitary masks) at the same time. Trade unions also agreed with organisational changes and wage replacement of redundant employees via short-time scheme.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C29 Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Maintenance of employment in KIA Motors Slovakia, measure SK-2020-13/1446 (measures in Slovakia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.