The Slovenia Times

Key Task of New Govt: Resuming Talks on the Social Pact


The first session of the Economic and Social Council (ESS), an industrial relations forum, in the new term will also be attended by Prime Minister Cerar.

The European Commission urged the government to draw up a comprehensive social agreement by the end of the year as it issued eight recommendations for budgetary and reform measures to the country in June.

However, Slovenia will not meet the deadline as the talks on the pact were broken up in May following the resignation of the then PM Alenka Bratušek and the subsequent change in government.

Although Labour Minister Anja Kopač Mrak assessed in June the talks could resume based on compromises achieved since the launch of talks in February, social partners were unhappy about the draft.

The unions and employers remain on the opposite banks over spending cuts in the public sector and changes to labour laws that would increase labour market flexibility.

The new coalition did not make any concrete pledges on either of the issues in the coalition agreement, which says that the currently valid austerity measures in the public sector would be extended.

The coalition also pledged to follow the flexicurity principle by easing hiring and layoffs and seeing to better legal and social security for workers.

The coalition has also announced a proposal for the formation of a severance fund for the unemployed, to be funded through employers' contributions.

The latest negotiating positions presented by trade unions and employers indicate that the talks will be tough also on other points, including tax policy, minimum wage and cap on social contributions.

The same goes for topics related to healthcare reform and the question of a new reform of the pensions system, which according to government plans would not take effect until 2020.

But pension legislation will be on the agenda today as the partners are due to discuss the issue of pensioners working as sole proprietors, who have been required to return part of their pensions.


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