The Slovenia Times

Labour Market Reform


The linchpin of the proposal is a new concept of employment contracts for an indefinite period, which the government claims will help tackle the segmentation of the labour market, where young people get fixed-term contracts while older employees enjoy greater protection.

The new contract would involve a five-month probation period during which the employer can terminate the contract without cause with just two weeks' notice. Up to the 24th month employers still have broad discretion about termination, whereupon the firing rules tighten.

Statements by government officials in the recent weeks suggest new rules would make fixed-term hiring less attractive, improving young people's job security over the current system, where the majority get serial fixed-term contracts without the prospect of employment for an indefinite time.

The government also wants to reduce severance, to a fifth of the base salary for every year of service with the employer, and cut unemployment benefits (from 80% to 70% of previous earnings for the first three months of joblessness) as well as the duration thereof.

The most controversial provision, however, is the proposal to eliminate paid lunch breaks. Trade unions have already categorically refused the proposal and even some coalition partners are distancing themselves from the proposal, meaning that it is likely to be scrapped.

Another proposal that has already raised the ire of the unions involves allowing pensioners and the unemployed to work up to 60 hours per month. It is very similar to the mini jobs law that unions shot down in a referendum in 2011 - with the help of the ruling Democrats (SDS), which were in the opposition back then.


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