Starting from 1 January 2019, employers are obliged to provide employees with an allowance for recreation on the territory of the Slovak Republic.
In the following text, we present a basic overview of the changes brought by the amendment to the Labour Code and other legislation related to the allowance.
Who is obliged to provide the allowance?
The allowance is obligatory for an employer who employs more than 49 employees. An employer employing fewer employees may provide the allowance on a voluntary basis under the same conditions and to the same extent.
Which employees are eligible to receive the allowance?
Employees who have a continuous employment relationship with their employer lasting 24 months, and only on the basis of their request. Employees with shorter working time shall receive reduced amount of the allowance in the proportion corresponding to their shorter working time. Compliance with the conditions for granting the allowance is assessed as of the date of start of the recreation.
What is the amount of the allowance?
It is a maximum of 55% of the eligible recreational expenses, but not more than EUR 275 per annum.
What are the eligible expenses (what can the allowance be used for)?
Eligible expenses are proven expenses of the employee for
- tourism services with accommodation for at least two overnight stays,
- accommodation package containing accommodation for at least two overnight stays and catering services or other services related to recreation,
- accommodation for at least two overnight stays that may include catering services,
- organised multi-day activities and recovery events during school holidays for an employee’s child who attends primary school or one of the first four grades of high school with an eight-year educational program.
Employees may also claim recreational expenses for their spouse, their own child, or a child in a substitute care.
Where can you use the allowance?
Only for recreation in the Slovak Republic, not abroad.
What form is the recreation allowance provided in?
Employer may decide to provide the recreation allowance in the form of a recreation voucher or it may be paid directly to the employee upon presentation of documents.
What is a recreation voucher?
Recreation voucher is a special payment instrument (a card), which may be only used with service providers (e.g. hotels) that have a contract concluded with the issuer of the payment instrument. Recreation voucher is issued for a natural person, it is non-transferable, valid until the end of the calendar year in which it was issued, and it can be only used to cover the eligible expenses.
When will the employer provide the allowance?
The allowance is provided
- by providing a recreation voucher or
- after the eligible expenses are presented by the employee (within 30 days following the end of the recreation) on the employer’s next pay date, unless the employer and the employee agree otherwise.
Can a social fund be used to cover the recreation allowance?
Only over the amount laid down by special regulations, i.e. over EUR 275.