The Slovenia Times

Govt extending furlough scheme, creates legal basis for contact tracing app


Moreover, the changes will provide recovery funds for social institutions in the wake of the corona crisis and make accommodation providers open only during the tourism season eligible for accepting holiday vouchers.

Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said after today's government session that the bill included five major changes and some minor amendments. Extending the furlough scheme is definitely one of the key changes. Companies have been calling for such an extension.

The measure will be first prolonged by the end of July and could be then again extended twice, each time for a month.

Employers have also proposed another amendment that was adopted today - ensuring that the government will pay quarantine costs instead of companies.

Slovenian workers put in quarantine upon entering the country will be now entitled to state compensation equalling to 50% of their pay, whereas employees put in quarantine due to contact with an infected person in Slovenia will be entitled to compensation equalling 80% of their pay.

The government has opted for this step because employers are not liable for quarantine, said Cigler Kralj, adding that the two-tier solution had been put in place to deter any potential abuse of the system.

If the worker is put into quarantine due to an informed visit to a blacklisted country, they are not entitled to any compensation.

Currently, workers are entitled to compensation that equals to 50% of their pay in case of a force majeure, including quarantine.

The government has also set up a basis for launching a coronavirus tracking app to monitor any potential contacts with infected persons and mandatory isolation. The minister believes that the widespread use of the app could prevent reintroduction of stricter movement bans.

Another amendment is emergency aid for social institutions, proposed by the Association of Social Institutions of Slovenia (SSZS).

The institutions are to receive funds in the next two years to tackle any ramifications caused by the corona crisis, including staff and fund shortages in care homes. The government is expected to set aside EUR 30 million for the aid.

The amendments are to be effective as of 1 July even if they are not passed by then.

The minister pointed out that the third stimulus package had already produced positive results. Regarding the furlough scheme, more than 10,000 requests have been submitted so far for more than 56,000 employees, he said.

Commenting on the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) counterproposal to introduce a three-month universal income scheme, the minister said that the bill could pose a problem if the LMŠ did not concede that the government proposal should be made a priority, and stressed the importance of dialogue.


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