Slovakia opens labor market to foreign workers

Slovakia opens labor market to foreign workers

New rules introduced by Slovakia’s Parliament this month will make it easier for employers to recruit non-EU foreigners.

Slovakia is currently among EU countries with the lowest proportion of foreigners. The complex administration previously deterred employers from recruiting more non-EU workers. Employers were required to prove to authorities that no Slovak worker was interested in the job before employing a non-EU worker. They also had to report a vacant position to the Labour department for at least 30 days.

The changes are aimed at streamlining the procedure for employing non-EU citizens, mainly seasonal workers who will stay in Slovakia for more than 90 days, as well as employees who will arrive in the country as part of inter-corporate transfers.

Although Slovakia has a low proportion of foreigners living in the country, it has increased almost fourfold since 2004 and in 2015 there were 84,787 foreign residents.

Slovakia has experienced economic growth and declining unemployment but the shortage of manpower could hinder further expansion and investment.

Murat Genç writing for IZA World of Labor on the impact of migration on trade says, “There is ample empirical evidence for a pro-trade impact of migration. Although the immigrant elasticity estimates differ greatly across studies, their average is about 0.15, implying that trade increase on average 1.5% when the number of immigrants increases by 10%.”