European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case SK-2020-20/1043 – measures in Slovakia

COVID-19 and changes in the OSH legislation

COVID-19 a zmeny v legislatíve BOZP

Country Slovakia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 13 May 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Ludovit Cziria (IVPR) and Eurofound
Case created 24 August 2020 (updated 13 May 2021)

Background information

In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government adopted several measures to alleviate its impact on employers, employees as well as citizens. Some of them also concerned changes in the labour legislation, including Act No. 124/2006 Coll. on occupational safety and health, which  had impact on employment and working conditions of employees. It was rather difficult for employees to properly understand practical implementation of changes in respective sections of the labour legislation, particularly on OSH. Any support and clarification was welcomed by employees.

Content of measure

To assist employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Metal Trade Union Association (OZ Kovo) prepared the document COVID-19 and changes in the OSH legislation. It is a kind of navigation for employees, which consists of four parts explaining how changes implemented in the specific sections of OSH legislation impact particular aspects of working conditions of employees during the pandemic crisis in Slovakia.

Instructions in individual parts of the document explain changes in following issues:

  • the rights of employees to information (Part 1),
  • planned OSH-related control activities (Part 2),
  • prevention of occupational diseases via compulsory relaxation of employees (Part 3) and
  • employers' obligations in checking impacts of risky jobs on employees' health (Part 4).

Use of measure

Since 13 May 2020, the document COVID-19 and changes in OSH legislation – Part 1,2, 3, 4 is publicly available on the webpage of the Metal Trade Union Association (OZ Kovo). Any employee, regardless of his or her membership in the OZ Kovo, or in other trade union can use the instructions. Instructions provide detail comparison of distinctions between respective sections of the OSH legislation before and after the changes. It also provides comments and explanation of their practical implementation in employees' working conditions.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Trade unions
Trade union

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative No involvement
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:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level

Involvement

This is an initiative of the Trade Union Association OZ Kovo, which prepared the instruction for employees COVID-19 and changes in OSH legislation by its own expert. The OZ Kovo responded to the demand of trade unionist for better guidance in orientation in actual changes in the labour and social legislation. The OZ Kovo published the document in four series on 13 May 2020, about two months after the COVID-19 pandemic was officially declared in Slovakia.

Views and reactions

According to the available information, the employees responded positively to the initiative of the Metal Trade Union Association OZ Kovo and consider it useful.

Sources

  • 13 May 2020: COVID-19 a zmeny legislatívy v oblasti BOZP – Časť 1, 2, 3, 4 (www.ozkovo.sk)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), COVID-19 and changes in the OSH legislation, case SK-2020-20/1043 (measures in Slovakia), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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