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Higher-grade collective agreements

Higher-grade collective agreements without employer’s consent. 

Higher-grade collective agreements without employer’s consent.

Parliament approved amendments to the act on collective bargaining. However, the president did not sign it and returned it to the parliament with comments for discussion.

An amendment to the collective bargaining law approved by the parliament regulates the conditions for extending the binding character of higher-grade collective agreements (HGCA) in an industry to employees who did not enter into a HGCA. Industries are classified by economic activity SK NACE Rev. 2.An application to extend the binding character of HGCA can be filed by employers, employers' associations or trade unions. No employer's consent is needed. The trade union applies to the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family for extension to specific employers. The application is published in the Trade journal and on the Ministry's website. The employer can file comments within 30 days. These are then evaluated by a committee. However, the committee's findings have only the character of a recommendation.

Extension of the binding character of HGCA does not concern employers to whom a HGCA already applies, employers with less than 20 employees (the president suggested the number be increased to 50) or more than 10% disabled employees, to employers who have performed their business activity for less than 24 months (but not to their legal successor), employers facing an extraordinary event, insolvent employers, employers undergoing dissolution or employers under supervision. The president has requested a further exception to be incorporated into the amendment, namely that HGCA do not apply to employers whose business is already governed by a collective agreement.

The reasons for the amendment specify that extension of the HGCA is a standard tool used in EU member states. It should help improve the position of employees, increase their protection in relationships under employment law and stabilize the labor market in the respective industry. On the other hand, the act might constitute a violation of the free regulation of relationships between employees and employers and could lead to increased personnel costs.

The final version of the amendment and its effectiveness will depend on further discussion and approval by the parliament.

Source:Amendment to Act No. 2/1991 Coll. on collective bargaining