The parliament approved a draft amendment to the law on employment services that simplifies the conditions for employing people from non-EU (third countries). The new legislation was drafted by three lawmakers from the leftist senior ruling party Smer. The simpler procedure for granting unified permits will apply only to certain professions with shortage of qualified workforce and in districts where the average registered unemployment rate is less than 5%. A tripartite-level commission will determine the list of jobs with protracted labor shortage. One of the ways for simplifying the permit procedure is dropping a requirement to report vacancies for this purpose.
Labor minister Jan Richter said recently that the list of professions should include jobs from branches such as the automotive, engineering or electrical engineering sectors. According to him, the scarce professions include locksmiths, lathe operators, metalworkers and workers operating milling machines. He has also pledged that there would be no discrimination against Slovak employees and no social dumping would be allowed. Currently the state plans to bring in about 7,000 to 10,000 foreigners, but the quota may increase if labor demand increases. Brining in foreign workers is needed as the problem with the labor shortage has become quite acute against the backdrop of narrowing labor market and increasing vacancies, thus threatening the country’s industrial output and overall economic expansion.