The Slovenia Times

Ever More People Forced to Become Self-Employed


This is a global trend, which calls for action on the EU level, Labour Minister Anja Kopač Mrak has commented.

Presenting its annual report for 2014, the Labour Inspectorate also pointed to student work, another precarious form of employment widely used to compensate for lack of staff in regular employment.

"Unfortunately, this is a global trend, a trend on the level of the EU as a whole. We see people in regular employment work more and longer, while on the other hand there are more and more precarious workers in very unstable forms of employment whose basic rights are being violated," the minister said.

Tackling the issue on the national level would therefore not be enough, because companies operate globally and are subjected to global pressure, she added.

Slovenia has decided to tackle the issue with more inspections and by raising awareness of the issue among employees and employers, according to the minister.

Kopač Mrak also highlighted the role of economic democracy and workers' participation in the company management and the distribution of profit.

She also believes employees and sole traders could form cooperatives or other types of associations to reduce the risks they are faced with. Employee buyouts could also be a solution, she said.

Asked about the planned bill on economically dependant persons, aimed at protecting the self-employed who receive at least 80% of their annual income from a single company, Kopač Mrak said the motion was stuck due to divergent opinions of law experts.

Among the professions which are the most affected are mostly journalists and artists.

The minister said the problem was that the employment relationships act clearly says that concealed working relations are not admissible, while the bill on economically dependent persons would in a way legalise such forms of employment.

"We must find a way to solve this, because we definitely would not want to legalise abuses of legislation with an act aimed at improving the status of the self-employed," she said.


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