Those serving time in Slovak prisons are producing products for various companies, but at the rate of pay they receive, some would call it slave labour.
According to TASR newswire, the average rate paid to prisoners, calculated from all 18 prison facilities in Slovakia, comes to EUR 0.71 per hour.
Figures from last year show that about 4,000 prisoners carried out some work while serving their sentence, with the most productive prison being the one in Hrnciarovce nad Parnou, which has about 700 inmates working for external companies that requested the labour.
Each prison in Slovakia acts independently when concluding contracts with entities looking to employ prisoners, and they set the terms of the contract and the remuneration of prisoners as they deem fit. The remuneration is not subject to the minimum wage prescribed by law, with the reasoning that the inmates do not have any living expenses.
The contracts are beneficial for companies as the cost is generally much less than they would normally pay for the same work, and it benefits the prison facilities, as they get part of the finances, of course. The prisoners, though, receive a minimum, which if they were to work full-time 160 hours a month would work out at around EUR 113 a month.