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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education


9.Teachers and education staff

9.2Conditions of service for teachers working in early childhood and school education

Last update: 9 May 2024

Planning policy

The planning process in care for children up to 3 years of age is provided by the Institute of Social Policy (Inštitút sociálnej politiky). The Institute of Social Policy is a cross-cutting analytical component of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Family of the Slovak Republic and it focuses mainly on:

  • Assessment of selected influences posudzovanie vybraných vplyvov v časti sociálne vplyvy, kde plní úlohu gestora v súlade s Jednotnou metodikou na posudzovanie vybraných vplyvov,

  • monitoring and assessment of social sector and labour market in connection with social and economic indicators,

  • vypracovanie koncepcií, prognóz a odhadov valorizácií pre potreby vybraných prvkov rozpočtu kapitoly ministerstva,

  • coordination of the sectoral state statistical survey,

  • creation of a complex information system in the social sector and connection of social security databases.

Planning processes related to the Slovak school system development are implemented by the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information, which closely cooperates with the Institute of Education Policy under the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic. The institute provides analyses and predictions and participates in the creation of education policies. It participates in addressing different issues according to the current needs in the sector as well as in creating long-term plans and strategies. Its primary task is to select and process relevant available data from national and international sources and transfer best practices from abroad into supporting documents and recommendations. The institute created an online tool called Prediction of the Number of Pupils and Teachers According to Districts until 2030 (Prognóza počtu žiakov a učiteľov podľa okresov do roku 2030).  

Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information, as a directly managed organisation of the Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic, is the national information centre for science, technology, innovation, and education and serves as the Slovak Scientific Library. It coordinates and manages interdisciplinary research-development centres and national infrastructures for research, development, innovation, and education. It provides basic information on the structure of the school system, trends, and prognoses on the development of regional education; manages the network of schools and school facilities; predicts indicators in education; prepares statistical yearbooks, overviews of schools, schedules, and information on admission to higher education institutions. It prepares analyses, prognoses, and studies for regional and higher education.

The Ministry of Education, Research, Development, and Youth of the Slovak Republic uses data from the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information to plan and manage education. It is trying to attract young people to work in education by proposals related to teachers’ remuneration (salary increase, career benefits). The current offer of places in teacher training study programmes surpasses the demand. 

Entry to the profession


Criteria for employment in social service facilities are defined by Act no. 448/2008 on social services (Zákon č.448/2008 o sociálnych službách). The decisive criterion is the employer’s professional qualification for the respective position and personal qualities. Child-minders must also meet other requirements defined by Act no. 552/2003 on work in public interest (Zákon č. 552/2003 o výkone práce vo verejnom záujme), namely:
•    full legal capacity,
•    integrity,
•    medical fitness.

The employer must advertise public interest job vacancies at the employer's workplace accessible to the employees and allow the employees and other natural persons to apply for these jobs.

Pedagogical employees

The act on pedagogical employees and professional employees (Zákon o pedagogických zamestnancoch a odborných zamestnancoch) stipulates that only applicants who meet the following criteria can be employed:

  • qualification,
  • integrity,
  • medical fitness,
  • state language proficiency.

Pedagogical employees and professional employees must meet the requirements during their work activity at all times. Information on job vacancies is published on the website of the Ministry of Education . Selection procedures for specific positions are organised by individual schools and they are open to all candidates who meet the requirements. The best candidates are selected by the school management and other relevant school employees who participate in the selection procedure/interview. 



Nurseries must have a written procedure for the adaptation of new employees and ensure that the employees are assigned an experienced employee, who supports them in the adaptation process for at least three months

Pedagogical employees

Upon completion of their study, qualified teachers start working in schools as beginning teachers. They are obliged to complete adaptation education under the supervision of the inducting teacher - a teacher with at minimum the first attestation). Beginner teachers must complete adaptation education within two years from the start of their first employment. Adaptation education is provided by the respective school. If necessary, it can be provided by an organisation authorised to provide professional development for teachers. 

Adaptation education aims to provide the required professional competencies. Upon agreement with the beginning teacher, the inducting pedagogical employees will create an observation and consultation schedule. Adaptation education includes self-study (legislative regulations, health, and safety regulations, school educational programme, school organisation rules, etc.), pedagogical activity, creation and completion of pedagogical documentation, active participation in methodological units’ work, or learning about the school’s material equipment). 

The adaptation education programme is approved by the school’s headteacher. It usually finishes after two years based on the inducting teacher’s recommendation. It is completed by a presentation of acquired competencies in front of a three-member committee chaired by the school’s headteacher. Upon completion of the adaptation education, the beginner teacher will be classified as an independent pedagogical employee. The Methodological-Pedagogical Centre created a methodological material for inducting pedagogical employees entitled Inducting Pedagogical Employee (Uvádzajúci pedagogický zamestnanec).

During adaptation education, beginning teachers are regular employees and are paid a statutory salary according to their salary class and an allowance for beginning teachers. Inducting pedagogical employees are entitled to an allowance for performing a specialised activity. The allowance amount is defined by Act no. 553/2003 on remuneration of certain employees performing work in public interest (Zákon č. 553/2003 o odmeňovaní niektorých zamestnancov pri výkone práce vo verejnom záujme). 

Professional status


Child-minders in nurseries founded by the municipality are employees in public interest, whereas child-minders working in private facilities are not. Child-minders are employeed in compliance with the Labour Code (Zákonník práce) and the Act no. 448/2008 on social services (Zákon 448/2008 o sociálnych službách). Child-minders in public facilities are employed in compliance with the Act. No 552/2003 on work in public interest (Zákon 552/2003 Z. z. o výkone práce vo verejnom záujme).

Employers can conclude employment contracts with child-minders for a fixed term or a permanent contract. An employment contract for a fixed term can be concluded for a maximum of 2 years. Such employment contracts can be extended or renewed twice at most within two years.

Hiring child-minders is within employers’ competence. In the light of child-minder shortage in the Slovak Republic, the form of the employment contract does not play an important role in the job security perception.

Nursery employers follow the Code of Conduct or the work rules created by the employer. According to the Labour Code, employees participate in the employer’s decision-making which concerns their economic and social interests to ensure just, satisfactory, transparent and predictable working conditions. 

Pedagogical employees

Teachers are employees in the public interest. Schools and school facilities employ teachers in compliance with the Labour Code, Act no. 552/2003 on work in the public interest and Act no. 138/2019 on pedagogical employees and professional employees.

Teachers can be employed for a fixed term or for an indefinite time based on the employer’s decision.  An employment contract for a fixed term can be concluded for a minimum of one school year (this does not apply to an employment contract for a fixed term concluded to substitute for an absent employee) and a maximum of 2 years. Such employment contracts can be extended or renewed twice at most within two years.

In the light of teacher shortage in the Slovak Republic, the form of the employment contract does not play an important role in job security perception.

Teachers are entitled to protection from the antisocial behaviour of management pedagogical employees, pupils’ legal representatives, pupils and other natural and legal persons (protection from mobbing, bossing, as well as staffing). At the same time, teachers are obliged to follow the Code of Ethics (Etický kódex) and behave in compliance with it. In addition, each school and school facility creates a work rules document to be followed by all employees. According to the Labour Code, employees participate in the employer’s decision-making which concerns their economic and social interests to ensure just, satisfactory, transparent and predictable working conditions. 

If pedagogical employees face negative behaviour at their workplace, they can proceed according to the Practical Guide on the Protection of Rights of Pedagogical and Professional Employees (Praktická príručka o ochrane práv PZ a OZ) published by the Ministry of Education.

Replacement measures


The employer may impose a duty to substitute for the absent child-minders in compliance with the Labour Code provisions on working overtime. Long-term absence is dealt with through hiring a substitution child-minder to work on an employment agreement for a fixed term.

Pedagogical employees

A pedagogical employee is obliged to substitute a preliminary absent teacher on the headteacher’s command and, if necessary, to take over the teaching activity or educational work beyond his/her teaching or educational work. This duty may be imposed only in compliance with the Labour Code provisions on working overtime, which also defines the remuneration for working overtime. Substitution for the absent pedagogical employees is dealt with in each school’s work rules. Long-lasting absence is solved by employing a substitute teacher for a fixed term, the provision on the minimum employment contract does not apply in such cases.

Support measures


Currently, there are no support measures related to professional employees of nurseries.

Pedagogical employees

The main actor in the professional methodological support system is the methodological-pedagogical centre, a part of the National Institute of Education and Youth (NIVAM). It offers many educational programmes for teachers, individual consultation and guidance, or methodological inspiration. It also prepares materials for teachers, which help them deal with different situations and topics in school

The Methodological-Pedagogical Centre set up a Teacher Support Line (Linka podpory pre učiteľov). Teachers who need psychological help, support and guidance in different work and personal situations can contact the line.

According to the act on pedagogical employees, the employer must provide preventive psychological counselling to pedagogical employees during their work time once a year and allow them to prevent and manage aggression and work on self-knowledge and conflict resolution.

Fund for education support (Fond na podporu vzdelávania)  provides teachers with non-purpose loans without age limits. Teachers are also supported by trade unions such as the Slovak Chamber of Teachers (Slovenská komora učiteľov) and Trade Union of Workers in Education and Science in Slovakia (Odborový zväz pracovníkov školstva a vedy na Slovensku).



As public nurseries are funded from the municipality budget, the remuneration is governed by Act 553/2003 on remuneration of some employees at the work performance in public interest, (Zákon 553/2003 o odmeňovaní niektorých zamestnancov pri výkone práce vo verejnom záujme) and the basic salary scales of at the work performance in public interest valid as of 1 September 2023 (Základná stupnica platových taríf zamestnancov pri výkone práce vo verejnom záujme platná od 1. septembra 2023).   

According to the Regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 341/2004 of 19 May 2004 which lays down the catalogue of the work in carrying out the work in the public interest (Nariadenia vlády Slovenskej republiky č. 341/2004, ktorým sa ustanovujú katalógy pracovných činností pri výkone práce vo verejnom záujme), child-minders employed in public nurseries are assigned into the 4th salary grade and their salaries depend on the years of child-minding experience. Employees without child-minding experience are paid a salary of €779. The maximum salary is €936 eur and is paid to employees with a child-minding experience of 40 years or more. Employees of public nurseries may be given bonuses. As professional work in nurseries is organised in shifts, most employees are awarded a monthly shift allowance between 1.3 % and 10 % of the amount set by the first salary grade of the first salary class of the basic salary scale.

The remuneration of private nursery child-minders is determined by their employees. 

Pedagogical employees

The remuneration of teachers is defined by salary scale.  Teachers are assigned to salary grades based on the achieved level of education and career level. In compliance with salary scales valid as of  1. September 2023, teachers’ salaries depend on their respective salary grade (4 - 9 salary grade), work class 1 or 2, and years of pedagogical experience. Regular school, class, or school facility teachers are assigned to work class 1. Teachers in special education are assigned to work class 2. 

The salary table indicates that the lowest statutory salary is paid to pedagogical employees in grade 4 without professional experience. According to the salary scales valid in school year 2023/2024, the minimum basic salary is €938. The salary increases with years of pedagogical experience. The maximum teacher salary will thus be paid to teachers in the 9th salary grade with 40 years of pedagogical experience which is €1875.5 in school year 2023/2024.

Teachers’ statutory salaries increase with allowances for professional development (upon completion of selected types of education in professional development), completion of attestation and performance of specialised activities as defined by law.  further education, attestations, and specialised activities as defined by law. Statutory salaries are also increased through various other allowances, e.g. for management, substitution, personal bonuses for quality work, shift allowance, class teacher allowance, induction teacher allowance, and supervisor allowance. Beginning teachers are also awarded an allowance for beginning teachers of 6 % of their statutory salary, which is a measure for attracting new teachers.

Information concerning teachers’ statutory salaries, real salaries, and allowances can be found in the online tool Teachers' salaries and allowances.

Working time and holidays


There is no direct educational activity in facilities of care for children up to 3 years of age. The content and organisation of facility working time are defined by each founder in their internal regulations.

Employment hours and the annual leave of private nursery employees are defined by the Labour Code (Zákonník práce). The Labour Code defines a 40-hour weekly working time and 4-week annual leave.  Employees who reach the age of 33 by the end of the calendar year and employees who permanently take care of a child are granted 5 weeks of annual leave. 

In addition to the Labour Code, the employment conditions of public nursery employees, who are workers in the public interest, are governed by a collective agreement. The collective agreement of higher degree defines employees’ weekly working time as 37.5 hours. The weekly working time of employees who work in two shifts is 36.25 hours. The weekly working time of employees who work in three shifts is 35 hours. The maximum working time including overtime is 48 hours. 

According to the collective agreement,  the basic length of annual leave is 5 weeks. Employees who reach the age of 33 by the end of the calendar year and employees who permanently care for a child are granted 6 weeks of annual leave. 

Pedagogical employees

Teachers' professional activities include direct educational activities defined by a government decree, other activities defined by school work rules, and specialised activities they are qualified for.

Basic employment hours are defined by the Government Decree no. 201/2019 on direct educational activity (nariadenie vlády Slovenskej republiky č. 201/2019 o priamej výchovno vzdelávacej činnosti). Teacher’s basic employment hours are set by law as a weekly number of hours of direct educational activity. Kindergarten teachers' hour of direct educational activity is 60 minutes long, and primary and secondary school teachers’ hour of direct educational activity is 45 minutes long. 40-minute lessons take place in schools in nature, in afternoon instruction shifts and special schools.

Type of teacher Weekly number of hours of direct pedagogical activity
Kindergarten teacher 28
1st grade primary school teacher 22
2nd-9th grade primary school teacher 23
Gymnasium, secondary vocational school, secondary sports school, school of applied arts and conservatory teacher 22
Basic art school teacher 23
Language school teacher  22
Teacher teaching in a foreign language in a gymnasium, secondary vocational school, secondary sports school, school of applied arts, or conservatory.  17-21

School heads can employ teachers to work part-time, i.e. working time shorter than the basic employment hours defined by the decree on direct educational activity. School heads can allow pedagogical employees to supplement their basic employment hours with a maximum of 7 additional hours a week in a different employee category or subcategory. In secondary vocational schools that provide practical training in the dual education system, the additional hours can reach 10 hours a week.

The weekly working time of pedagogical employees is set by the Collective Agreement of Higher Degree (Kolektívna zmluva vyššieho stupňa) at 37.5 hours. The weekly working time of employees working in two shifts is 36.25 hours and 35 hours for those working in three shifts. Teachers work in shifts mostly in kindergartens with whole-day operations and schools that cannot organise instruction in one shift. The maximum working time including work overtime is 48 hours. In addition to direct educational activity, the working time includes pedagogical work-related activities (preparation for teaching, specialised or managing activities, preparation of teaching aids, pedagogical documentation management, correction of pupils’ written and graphic work, supervision, cooperation with other teachers and parents, taking care of closets, etc.).

Each school defines the content and organisation of working time in its internal regulations. In the internal regulation, heads of schools and school facilities define the beginning and the end of the basic working time (usually 7:30 – 15:30), the availability at the workplace (the beginning and end of flexible working time) or the break. They can allow pedagogical employees to perform other activities related to direct educational activity, specialised activities, managing employee activities and professional development outside the workplace under conditions defined in the school’s work rules.

The length of teachers’ annual leave is defined by the Labour Code. For teachers, headteachers and their deputies, masters of vocational training and carers, and kindergarten teachers it is 8 weeks in a calendar year. The collective agreement of a higher degree gives teachers and other pedagogical employees an additional week of holiday every year. 

Promotion, advancement

As teachers and public nursery child-minders are public interest employees, their salary advancement is limited by the act on performance of work in the public interest. The advancement is more or less automatic depending on the length of practice. 

Teachers' career diversification is determined by the work position held. Teachers’ career possibilities are defined by the act on pedagogical employees and professional employees (Zákon o pedagogických a odborných zamestnancoch). According to law, the career system is a set of rules for career advancement and incentives. The career system provides pedagogical and professional employees with salary progression, bonuses, as well as time off for attending training or attestation examinations. Ultimately, it motivates pedagogical and professional employees to grow professionally.

During their teaching careers, teachers are classified into a career grade depending on the type of completed education in professional development and obtained attestation. Each career grade reflects the difficulty of the pedagogical employee’s work and the degree of professional competencies. Each pedagogical employee, including teachers, is classified into a career grade. 

  • Beginner pedagogical employee – until successful completion of adaptation education,  
  • Independent pedagogical employee or independent professional employee – upon successful completion of adaptation education,  
  • Pedagogical employee with the first attestation – after a minimum of 5 years of pedagogical work as an independent pedagogical employee and upon successful completion of the first attestation exam.  
  • Pedagogical employee with the second attestation – after a minimum of 5 years of pedagogical work as a pedagogical employee with the first attestation and upon successful completion of the second attestation exam. 

Teachers meeting the qualification requirements for pedagogical work can perform specialised or management activities. Teachers perform specialised or management activities along with their work in their respective category or subcategory of pedagogical employees. The structure of career positions and the extent of responsibility for specialised activities are defined by the school head in the internal regulations upon the discussion in the pedagogical board. 

Pedagogical employees can perform specialised activities in school in the following career positions: 

  • inducting pedagogical employee,

  • class teacher,

  • educator,

  • head of a subject commission,

  • head of an educational area,

  • head of a methodological association,

  • head of a study field,

  • head of an interest area or head of a department,

  • education counsellor,

  • career advisor,

  • school coordinator in education,

  • school specialist in education,

  • supervisor,

  • school support team coordinator,

  • school digital coordinator.

Teachers choose their career pathways freely (according to their professional goals), namely by advancement through career grades (1. attestation, 2. attestation) or training for the performance of the above-mentioned specialised activities. It is possible to remain in one career grade throughout one’s whole work life by simultaneously implementing professional development through formal, non-formal, and informal education.  The law allows teachers to take part in education directly at school during their working hours in actualisation education, which maintains and updates their professional competencies. Every teacher is entitled to 5 paid workdays per calendar year for professional development in the selected career pathway. The requirement for the performance of specialised activities upon the completion of the respective specialisation education programme is a part of the systematic support of the professionalisation of the performance of specialised activities. 

Mobility and transfers

The transfer of teachers/child-minders from one school/nursery to another is not controlled centrally; teachers are transferred based on employment agreement terms, the relevant provisions of the Labour Code, and the offer – demand. Teachers and child-minders are entitled to the same salary based on central salary scales.


The dismissal of a teacher from the category of pedagogical employees is not regulated by a separate regulation. In case of serious misconduct, appropriate regulations of the Labour Code (Zákonník práce) are followed. The same applies to professional employees of nurseries. 

Employers can dismiss their employees if

  • the employer's operation or their part ceases activity or relocates and the employee does not agree with the change of the agreed place of work,

  • based on a medical assessment, the employee has become unable to perform their work on a long-term basis due to their state of health, 

  • the employee does not meet the requirements for the contracted work as defined by legal regulations,

  • the employee's performance is dissatisfactory and the employer has requested the employee in writing in the last six months to remedy their performance shortcomings and the employee has not done so within a reasonable time,

  • there are reasons on the employee's part that allow the employer to terminate the work contract immediately, 

The notice period starts on the first day of the calendar month following delivery of the notice to the other party and ends upon the expiry of the last day of the relevant calendar month. 

The employee can terminate the work contract immediately if the employee

  • was convicted by a final court judgement for a deliberate criminal offence,

  • committed a serious breach of work discipline.

The employer can immediately terminate the work contract only within two months from the day they learned about the reason for the immediate termination, however, at the latest within one year from the day when the reason arose. The law protects certain categories of employees from this termination of work contract. The immediate termination of the work contract by the employer must be delivered in writing. 

Retirement and pensions

Slovak citizens can retire and are entitled to a pension upon reaching the retirement age of 64. The retirement age of both men and women decreases in relation to the number of raised children. However, it only applies to men provided that their children’s mothers have not claimed the retirement age decrease.

Employment of pedagogical employees and professional employees will be terminated at the latest after the completion of the school year in which they reached the age of 65; in the case of school heads, at the end of their term of office in which they reached the age of 65. Employers can employ pedagogical and professional employees who have reached the age of 65 for a fixed term, 2 years at most. Such employment contracts may be concluded repeatedly. 

Employees who terminated their employment after they reached retirement age are entitled to a severance grant of at least their average monthly salary, provided they apply for a pension before or within 10 days from the termination.

All citizens of the Slovak Republic can terminate their employment by reaching the retirement age or they can retire early if they meet the defined requirements. If they retire early, their pension will be lowered based on the early pension formula.