European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Slovenia

5 July 2017

Slovenia: labour market reform discussed

In recent years, the Slovenian economy has done relatively well. The country ranks among the most successful countries related to debt reduction and the year 2017 will mark one of the highest increases in employment in the country in history. As a result, unemployment will decrease significantly. However, the level of participation in the labour market is relatively low (by the end of 2016, the employment rate of people aged 55 to 64 years was only 35%).

Through social dialogue, the government is seeking further backing of an activation of elderly and unemployed. In May 2017, the tripartite round of negotiations continued about what is called a ‘mini labour market reform’.

The legal bases for further improvement of the labour market is planned for 2017 and 2018, especially in the field of atypical forms of work, the effective labour market activation of unemployed people, stimulation of quality jobs and optimisation of a suitable relationship between flexibility and security. The planned measures are tabled on the agenda of the meetings with social partners in the frame of the work of the Economic and Social Council. In May 2017, three employers’ organisations asked for the complete withdrawal of the proposed reform.  

In 2016 the government adopted three important documents that served as a starting point for the talks with the social partners: ‘Za dostojno delo’ (Decent Work), ‘Starejši in trg dela v Sloveniji’ (Elderly Workers and Labour Market in Slovenia) and ‘Bela knjiga o pokojninah’ (White Paper on Pensions). The idea is to create more effective action of the inspection services and greater legal security of employees when working under civil law contracts with elements of an employment relationship. Furthermore, the elimination of barriers when concluding employment contracts for indefinite periods is envisaged and reducing differences in comparison with other legal forms of work, while providing better social security for employees upon the termination of their employment relationships. The plan is also to examine new types of work resulting from digitalisation from the viewpoint of the impact on the labour market and on the social security systems, including the rights and obligations of all parties involved. The reform will lead to amendments of the Employment Relationship Act, the Labour Inspection Act and the Labour Market Regulation Act. One of the key changes to the Employment Relationship Act is the redefinition of the conditions for laying off workers.

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