The Slovenia Times

Pension Contributions, Minimum Hourly Rate for Students


Addressing the precarious nature as well as unfair market competition posed by student work, the provisions would take effect in February 2015.

The changes, coming long after this popular flexible labour arrangement with its low taxation and denying of pension rights was recognised as a serious anomaly on the job market, were adopted after a compromise solution reached with the Slovenian Student Organisation (ŠOS).

The main difference for students, free of any contributions so far, will be an obligatory 15.15% pension purse contribution, which will enable their years of service to be acknowledged.

In exchange for the increased burden they are also getting the so far non-existing guarantee of a minimum hourly rate, set at of EUR 4.5 gross or roughly EUR 3.8 net when factoring in the pension contribution.

Also, proceedings will be started to have their work experience collected as students formally acknowledged.

Meanwhile, employers, who have so far been paying a 25% concession fee for student work - this was raised from 14% in 2012 - plus VAT, will be paying a 16% fee, as well as 8.85% in pension contributions and 6.36% in healthcare insurance contributions. Neither health nor pension contributions have so far been paid from student work.

Half of the 16% (8.4%) fee goes to the Education Ministry which uses the proceeds for scholarships, but the students have managed to negotiate that the 8.4% burden will be reduced to 2% and thus shifted to the ministry in case the volume of student work falls by more than 15% in 2015.

ŠOS representatives, who signed a special agreement with the government in the morning, said that the total levies on student work on the employers' side are being increased from the present 30.38% to 33.74% in February next year to decrease to 27.33% in 2016.

Different figures were provided by the employers' side, with the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS) calculating that the total burden for the employers will increase from 25% to 33%.

The OZS, which feels the changes bill result in less demand for student work, also feels the minimum hourly rate of EUR 4.5 is set too high, given that the present average rate is EUR 4.3.

The government described the changes as preserving student work as an important corrective social mechanism providing income for those who would not be able to afford to study otherwise, while notably also putting it on equal footing with other job arrangements on the market.

"Despite the introduction of the contributions...and the accompanying higher costs of temporary and occasional student work, it needs to be stressed that student work will remain one of the cheapest forms of labour on the market," the Labour, Family and Social Affairs Ministry wrote.

The ministry added that student job agencies, whose commission remains unchanged at 3.8%, will continue to organise student work.


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