The Slovenia Times

"We need a clear invitation for the best workers to come and work in Slovenia"



Due to staff shortages, many companies decide to hire workers from abroad, however, the administrative procedures are complex. What are the steps that CCIS has been taking in this area?

In December 2017, the government, together with CCIS, set up a task force to find a way to shorten the time needed to get a work permit. On average, the procedure takes up to four months to complete, which in times of economic growth and high demand is far too long. We defined a few steps to be taken in order to shorten the time needed when employing a foreign worker.

1. Set up a register of companies with higher than average added value (red carpet procedure).
2. Amend the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the employment of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Republic of Slovenia.
3. Ratify an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Serbia on the employment of citizens of Serbia in the Republic of Slovenia.
4. Set-up an e-procedure, that would allow a faster process for issuing work permits; this was done before the summer of 2018.
5. Expand the list to include those sectors where there is a skill shortage.
6. Recruit additional employees at the Employment Service of Slovenia to shorten the time for issuing work permits.

Discussion on a new Strategy of Economic Migration has begun which should further define how migration can positively impact the Slovenian market, with a greater focus on highly-skilled workers and a better integration policy.

According to the IMAD Development Report 2018, the effectiveness of public administration, which is an important factor in the country's competitiveness, is low. The executive capacity that measures the strategic management of public institutions in Slovenia is very low compared to other EU countries. Following the development of eGovernment services, Slovenia ranks around the EU average. What are the short-term actions that could be taken to improve the PA environment from a competitiveness perspective?

Little has been done in recent years to better the executive capacity. There are many procedures that are digitally accessible, but a stronger commitment for better management should be made in the government sector. Greater weight in decision-making and responsibility should be placed on the team managers. There is also a strong tendency for over-regulation, stemming from the fact that government employees are averse to taking responsibility for decisions. Instead, they see a lack of clear guidance in the legislation, thus creating new administrative burdens and higher risk for companies. In light of this, CCIS suggested that a review of legislation should be made and clear commitments by the ministries that up to 10% of all legislation should be reviewed annually and a "one in one out" principle established. From a control and inspection point of view, good practices should be implemented based on the primary authority principle and operation of UK inspections or a clear and predictable Estonian overview - a checklist for inspections that is made public.

Demographic and technological changes have boosted demand for a highly-skilled workforce, however, taxes in Slovenia are not favourable. What are your thoughts?

It is no secret that CCIS has, for some time, demanded from the government a reshape of income tax. Even the OECD has put pressure on Slovenia to make changes that would allow for a better environment for highly-skilled workers. In times when there is a shortage of staff we must stay close to our main competitors. As long as the income tax, together with the high percentage of social contributions that have to paid compared to our neighbors and competitors in the EU, is above average, Slovenia and the Slovenian economy will trail behind the best. We need to create a clear invitation for the best people out there to come and work in Slovenia.


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