On 15 March 2020, the Slovak government announced a state of emergency, effective as of 16 March 2020.
Since then, the Slovak Government and Parliament has approved several packages of measures.
Apart from tax (e.g. postponement of filing income/VAT tax returns and their payment) and labour (e.g. new rules for care leave compensation or sickness leave), the following short-term measures were adopted:
a) State salary compensation
The state will compensate employers whose operations/shops were closed by the public health authority with 80% of an employee’s average salary (max. EUR 1,100). This particularly concerns the majority of shops and service providers (e.g. fitness/sport centres, hairdressers etc.).
Other employers can decide between:
- compensation of 80% of an employee’s average salary (max. EUR 880), and
- a fixed fee for decline in sales (employee costs), provided that the employer does not cancel/reduce the number of work positions despite having no work for employees.
b) State contribution for closed operations/reduced revenues for self-employed natural persons
A fixed contribution is to be provided to self-employed persons depending on the level of decline in sales in the given month (March to May 2020). Other fixed contributions are provided to self-employed persons if they do not have any revenues as of 13 March 2020, subject to certain conditions.
c) Loan postponement
Effective as of 9 April 2020, the loan postponement applies to:
- consumers: consumer loans, mortgage loans provided by banks/branches of foreign banks or other entities under the special licence of the National Bank of Slovakia
- SMEs and entrepreneurs – natural persons: loans (except for credit cards and permitted overdraft) provided by any entity within its scope of business according to Slovak Commercial Code (i.e. banks/branches of foreign banks, or leasing companies or other possible creditors).The loan postponement can be up to nine (9) months (no prolongation/new request is possible) in the case of loans by banks/branches or three (3) months (this can be prolonged by further three (3) months) in the case of other entities. The postponement is not automatic, the debtor must apply. The lender is not obliged to approve the postponement in some exceptional cases listed in law, such as default of the debtor for more than 30 days.
d) Increased limits for contactless payments
As of 23 April 2020, the limits for contactless payments are increased to EUR 50 for individual transactions, EUR 150 in total or five (5) consecutive contactless transactions; beyond that, strong customer authentication is required. The customer may decrease these limits.
e) Automatic prolongation of deadlines/licences
Statutory deadlines stipulated in private law for protecting/defending individual rights before the courts (both time-barring period, in Slovak: premlčanie and foreclosure, in Slovak: preklúzia):
- shall be suspended from 27 March to 30 April 2020
- shall be prolonged by a further 30 days as of 27 March 2020 if they lapsed between 12 March and 27 March 2020. Similar automatic prolongation/suspension applies in administrative and procedural law, in the case of most court or administrative proceedings to restrict any contacts to a minimum.