The Slovenia Times

No Deal on Labour Reform


There are four major open issues remaining: notice periods, temporary work, severance payments upon retirement, and odd jobs for pensioners.

The focus today was on notice periods, which the Labour Ministry proposed should be halved from the current maximum of 120 days.

The trade unions as well as representatives of employers were unhappy with this proposal as well as a last-minute compromise of 80 days.

The employers are seeking 30 days but were willing to accept 60, whereas some unions were unwilling to accept anything less than 90 days and public sector unions oppose any changes at all.

However, if the proposal to cap notice periods to 60 days is withdrawn, the Association of Employers in Trade Crafts and Small Businesses said it would withhold its consent to the entire package, effectively ending the process.

Notice periods are seen by employers as a major stumbling block along with severance pay, but it appears the final compromise, if it is reached, will be more to the liking of the unions.

As Labour Minister Andrej Vizjak recently noted, unions have the power to call a referendum and bring down the reform, which incidentally happened with the previous government's labour reform efforts.

But the perceived pandering to the unions has already led some corporate officials to declare the new laws "non-reform".

The second reading of the two reform bills will be held at an extraordinary session on Thursday, which was called by the ruling Democrats (SDS) in a bid to secure some headway before the 6 March completion of an OECD economic review.

But Igor Antauer, the head of the Association of Employers in Trade Crafts and Small Businesses, said today the rush was designed to "prevent the public from learning that labour market reform is not a real reform at all."

The talks will continue on Tuesday and any amendments to the legislative package need to be filed in parliament by Thursday.


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