EMPLOYER ACTION CODE: ACT
The Labor Code has been amended to require all employers with 50 or more workers to pay a portion of employees’ eligible recreation expenses from January 1, 2019, for the purpose of promoting domestic tourism.
- Covered employers are determined based on their average full-time head count during the previous calendar year.
- The benefit covers up to 55% of eligible annual recreation costs up to 500 euros per full-time employee (i.e., a maximum employer contribution of €275 per year) on a tax-free basis. The allowance will be prorated for part-time staff.
- Employee eligibility will be based on at least 24 months of service.
- Eligible expenses are still being determined, but, in general, holidays must be taken within Slovakia and include at least two overnight stays to qualify. Expenses for the employee and family members will also qualify, including camp stays for employees’ children (up to grade four of elementary school).
- The benefit is intended to be provided in the form of an electronic payment card, valid for one year from the date of issue. Employer-paid administrative service fees cannot exceed 3% of the card’s value. Alternatively, employees will be able to submit documented recreation expenses to their employers for reimbursement within 30 days of being incurred.
It appears that any unused portion of the entitlement will expire at the end of the calendar year, but further government guidance may clarify this point. Employers with under 50 employees may voluntarily provide the benefit on a similarly tax-free basis.
Affected employers should prepare to comply with the new requirement and communicate particulars of this new benefit to their employees.