On 22 April 2020, the Slovak parliament passed a new law to help reduce the impact of COVID-19.
It is now possible for businesses to request temporary protection that will have the following effects:
- Businesses are obliged to try to pay creditors to the fullest extent and to prioritise common interests of creditors over its own interests or the interests of third parties.
- Businesses are not obliged to file for bankruptcy even when they fulfil the statutory economic criteria for mandatory filing.
- Businesses can prioritise payment obligations that arise after the grant of temporary protection when such obligations are for the continuation of business operation.
- When funding provided by affiliated entities (such as shareholders) is for the continuation of business operation, the obligations arising from such funding shall be exempt from statutory subordination of debt and from statutory prohibitions of repayment.
- All bankruptcy proceedings initiated by creditors based on petitions submitted after 12 March 2020 shall be temporarily suspended.
- All execution proceedings initiated after 12 March 2020 shall be suspended while execution proceedings that are already in a later stage of the process shall be delayed.
- Performance of lien rights over the businesses' assets shall not be asserted.
- The time limit for asserting rights against the businesses, including the time limit for asserting clawback claims, shall be suspended.
As the temporary protection is designed only for businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19, the grant of the protection has the following preconditions:
- The business is to show a significant increase of overdue receivables or a significant decrease of turnover compared to the same period in 2019.
- As of 12 March 2020, the business was neither insolvent nor over-indebted.
- The business has not distributed profit or other equity in 2020.
- The business has not implemented any measures in 2020 which negatively impacted its financial stability.
Before expiration on 1 October 2020, the temporary protection may cease to exist either upon application by the business that was granted the protection or upon a court decision to cancel the protection. While the cancellation proceedings can be filed by anyone, it is primarily designed for creditors.