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Legal Alert | The impact of the situation in Ukraine on employment matters

  • Slovakia

    10-03-2022

    What effect does a military call-up order have on a Ukrainian citizen's employment?

    There are several legal consequences of receiving a call-up order:

    • A Ukrainian citizen who is employed in Slovakia (hereinafter referred to as the "employee") has a duty imposed on them by the state of which they are a citizen and therefore must travel to Ukraine and leave their job in Slovakia.
    • According to the opinion of the National Labour Inspectorate, the employer is not obliged to justify the absence of this employee at the workplace, as in this case there are no obstacles on the part of the employee pursuant to Section 137 (4) (g) and Section 139 of Act No. 311/2001 Coll., Labour Code (the "Labour Code"). Therefore, the employer has the option, but not the obligation, to provide the employee with time off work under Section 141 (3) (b), (c) or (d) of the Labour Code.
    • We believe the National Labour Inspectorate's interpretation of the situation is too narrow. Section 137 (4) of the Labour Code lists which activities are particularly regarded as fulfilment of a civic duty, i.e. a compulsorily justified obstacle to work. As this is an example of a given reckoning of activities, we see no reason why the obligation to join the armed forces of another state could not also be considered as fulfilment of a civic duty, provided the employee is a national of that other state. In our opinion, it would be unfair and disproportionate for an obligation to be imposed on the employee (mobilisation obligation in Ukraine) while the employer has only the "opportunity" provide time off work. Therefore, we believe it is necessary to provide the employee with time off work, without compensation.

    Is it possible to dismiss the Ukrainian employee?

    In the case of an employee, in our opinion, Section 64 (1) (b) of the Labour Code, according to which an employee may not be dismissed during the period from which they received the call-up order to perform extraordinary military service until two weeks after their release from this service, will apply, whereas the Labour Code does not explicitly refer to the armed forces of the Slovak Republic on this point, as is the case, for example, in Section 64 (1) (c) of the Labour Code.

    Based on the above, we believe that an employee who has received a call-up order cannot be dismissed.

    What if an employee wants to travel to Ukraine voluntarily even though they have not received a call-up order?

    In this case, the employer has several options:

    • agreement on the taking of holiday leave;
    • agreement on the provision of so-called unpaid leave without compensation; or
    • agreement on termination of employment pursuant to Section 60 of the Labour Code.

     

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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