In relation to their work activities, pedagogical employees have a status of protected persons. The employment agreement can be made for a definite or indefinite period and the teacher can work full-time or part-time. The salary is dependent on the teaching load. Teachers may be employed by several employers as well (up to 48 hours a week).The working conditions are defined by the Labour Code as well as the working regulations of individual types of schools and school facilities.
There is a lack of qualified teachers in regional education in Slovakia. The problem is most acute in the capital - Bratislava. This is related to low salaries in education and increasing costs of living and the lack of interest in teacher training study. The list of vacancies for teachers is published on the websites of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport if the Slovak Republic, school authorities, Eduportal, and individual schools.
Processes of planning of 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, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information, as a directly managed organisation of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport 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 the 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.
Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic uses data from 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
Only applicants who meet the personal (integrity, medical fitness), educational and qualification requirements may be employed.
Teachers’ employment agreement can be made for a fixed term (for a minimum of one school year) as well as with an indefinite duration, which is decided by the school’s headteacher. The employment agreement must comply with the valid Labour Code.
Filling vacancies with teachers is within the competence of employers.
Upon completion of their study, qualified teachers start working in schools as beginner teachers. They are obliged to complete adaptation education under the supervision of the inducting teacher - a teacher with at minimum the first attestation). If necessary, the adaptation process can be provided by an organisation authorised to provide professional development of teachers (e.g. The Methodology and Pedagogy Centre).
The adaptation education aims to provide the required professional competences. 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 competences in front of a three-member committee chaired by the school’s headteacher.
Upon successful completion of the adaptation education, the beginner teacher will be classified as an independent pedagogical employee.
Teachers are entitled to protection from 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 and behave in compliance with it.
A pedagogical employee is obliged to substitute a preliminary absent teacher on headteacher’s command and, if necessary, to take over the teaching activity or educational work beyond his/her teaching or educational work. Long-lasting absence is solved by employing a substitute teacher for a fixed term.
For increasing motivation and efficiency of teachers several measures were taken:
- the trend of a faster rise in salaries is enforced,
- adoption of the act on creation of loan fund for beginner teachers,
- the moral reward for teachers, which is connected with a financial or material gift for life-work and extraordinary results, teaching in the Slovak language abroad, playing a significant part in the development of education in the Slovak Republic, and an extraordinary contribution to the professional development of teachers,
- approval of the Act on professional and pedagogical employees and supplementary decrees and regulations of the Government of the Slovak Republic listed in the legislative part of this chapter.
Remuneration of teachers is defined by salary schedules.
In compliance with salary schedules valid as of 1. September 2019, teachers’ salaries depend on their respective salary class (4-9 salary class), work class 1 or 2, and years of professional experience. The salary table indicates that the lowest tariff salary – 671 € is paid to pedagogical employees in class 4 without professional experience. The number of years worked is added to the tariff salary (years of pedagogical experience.
Teachers’ tariff salaries are increased by the supplement 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.
Tariff salaries are also increased through various supplements, e.g. for management, substitution, personal bonus for quality work, shift bonus, and others.
Benefits in remuneration include bonuses.
Working time and holidays
Teacher’s occupational activity is comprised of direct education and training activity defined by the government decree, other activities defined by the school’s working regulations, and specialised activities where the teacher meets the qualification and personality requirements.
The extent of teaching duty for teachers and headteachers in schools is defined by the government degree.
The base workload of a kindergarten teacher is 28 hours, a teacher at the first level of the primary school 22-23 hours, a teacher at the second level of the primary school 23 hours and a secondary school teacher 22 hours. Bilingual gymnasium teachers teaching in a foreign language have the base workload of 17-21 hours. Lessons in kindergartens take 60 minutes and 45 minutes in primary and secondary schools. 40-minute lessons take place in schools in nature, the afternoon shift, and special schools.
The weekly working time is comprised of activities whereby the pedagogical employees carry out the direct educational activity and of the time during which they carry out other activities connected with their direct educational work. Other work activities connected with pedagogical work are specified by the working regulations of the school or school facility.
The length of teachers’ holiday is defined by the Labour Code. The holiday of teachers, headteachers and their deputies, masters of vocational training and tutors, kindergarten teachers including the school’s headteachers and their deputies 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.
As teachers are public employees according to the act on performance of work in the public interest, their salary advancement is limited by this law. The advancement is more or less automatic depending on the length of practice.
The career diversification is given by the work position held. Teachers’ career possibilities are defined by the Act on pedagogical and professional and pedagogical employees.
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 examination. Ultimately, it motivates pedagogical and professional employees to grow professionally.
During their teaching careers, teachers are classified into one of 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 competences.
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‘ 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‘ 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 activity.
Teachers perform specialised or management activity 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 headteacher in the internal regulations upon the discussion in the pedagogical board.
Specialised activities are performed in schools in career positions such as inducting teacher, class teacher, head of the subject committee, head of the educational area, head of the methodological association, educational counsellor, career advisor, school coordinator in education and training, supervisor.
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 requirement for 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.
The law makes it possible for teachers to take part in education directly at school during their working hours in the form of actualisation education, which maintains and updates their professional competences. Every teacher is entitled to 5 paid workdays per calendar year for professional development in the selected career pathway.
Mobility and transfers
The transfer of teachers from one school to another is not controlled centrally; teachers are transferred on the basis of employment agreement terms, the relevant provisions of the Labour Code, and the offer – demand.
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 are followed. Teachers can change employment based on their own decision.
Retirement and pensions
Employment of a pedagogical employee will be terminated at the latest after the completion of the school year in which he/she reached the age of 65; in case of headteachers, at the end of their term of office in which they reached the age of 65.
Every Slovak citizen can terminate employment by reaching retirement age or by retiring early upon meeting the defined.
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2019. Act No. 138/2019 on pedagogical employees and professional employees and on the change and supplement to some acts (Zákon č. 138/2019 Z.z. o pedagogických zamestnancoch a odborných zamestnancoch a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2019. Act No. 224/2019, amending and supplementing Act No. 553/2003 on remuneration of some employees at the work performance in public interest and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 224/2019, ktorým sa mení a dopĺňa zákon č. 553/2003 Z. z. o odmeňovaní niektorých zamestnancov pri výkone práce vo verejnom záujme a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2001. Act No. 311/2001 Labour Code (Zákon č. 311/2001 Z.z., Zákonník práce) last accessed 21/12/2022).
National Council of the Slovak Republic, 2003. Act No. 553/2003 on remuneration of some employees at the work performance in public interest and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Zákon č. 553/2003 Z.z. o odmeňovaní niektorých zamestnancov pri výkone práce vo verejnom záujme a o zmene a doplnení niektorých zákonov v znení neskorších predpisov) (last accessed 21/12/2022).
Government of the Slovak Republic, 2019. Government Decree No. 201/2019 Coll. on direct educational activity (Nariadenie vlády č. 201/2019 Z.z. o priamej výchovno-vzdelávacej činnosti) (last accessed 21/12/2022).