The Slovenia Times

Quality employment in focus of World Day for Decent Work


The ZSSS confederation of trade unions also highlights the increasingly blurred line between work and spare time, especially when digital technologies enable employers to reach workers at any time.

The country's largest association of trade unions thus promotes a good work-life balance, repeating its demand for eight hours of work, eight hours of spare time and eight hours of rest.

Decent work is defined as work done in a safe workplace for decent pay, at the same time enabling a worker social security, inclusion, personal development, the freedom of expression about work-related concerns, assembly and cooperation on decisions important for the worker, and equal opportunities for all.

Presenting some statistics ahead of the World Day for Decent Work, the Statistics Office (SURS) said the stability and safety of employment have a great impact on prosperity of workers, their job satisfaction and enthusiasm to work.

SURS figures show job stability and safety, measured as the number of years a worker works for the same employer, and job satisfaction are relatively high.

In 2018, half of Slovenia's workers aged at least 25 worked for the same employer for at least 10 years, and Slovenian workers gave their job satisfaction 7.5 points on a 0-10 scale.

While a 40-hour work week is a standard in Slovenia, the share of those who worked 49 hours or more topped 7% last year, but was still bellow the EU's 9% average.

With women representing 46% of all workers in Slovenia, reconciling work and family life can be demanding, says SURS. It notes that the highest shares of working women in the EU were recorded in Latvia and Lithuania.

Slovenia is also one of the EU countries with the narrowest gap between the average monthly gross pay for men and women. In 2018, women workers received EUR 1,709 on average, EUR 127 less than men.

The number of employed persons in Slovenia has been increasing in recent years, reaching 981,000 in 2018, or almost 60% of the total population aged 15 or more.

The World Day for Decent Work, this year observed for the 12th year running, was declared by the International Trade Union Confederation.

The ZSSS will mark it with several events, including a stall featuring work-related information in Miklošič Park in Ljubljana.

In a statement issued on the occasion, the Movement for Decent Work and Welfare State has pointed to especially young workers in precarious jobs, noting workers in Slovenia and in other countries are being forced to increasingly rely on themselves.

"The ideology that a person is responsible for their successes and failures even when they result from their social circumstances, is becoming ever more accepted in the minds of the people."

The association which fights against precarious jobs points to architects and students of architecture as particularly problematic, saying they are prepared to work 16 hours a day, at the weekend, without any contract or event for free.

The association believes this is a result of the state abandoning its long-term planning role, of the workforce being dispersed, pushed into self-employment and not being unionised properly, which has allowed capital to dominate over people.

While an average worker in a continuous, full-time job earns EUR 1,000 net a month, a young self-employed person in Ljubljana earns a mere EUR 430.

The Movement is also critical of "established trade unions", reproaching them for being too tolerant of atypical forms of work.

It believes that if trade unionism is to have a future, it will have to expand its activities to include workers in jobs where the costs of market risks are being transferred onto workers.


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