The Slovenia Times

Employers withdraw from social pact after minimum wage hike

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Only one employers' association remains a partner in the pact which was reached in February.

The decision by the Association of Employers, the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Employers in Trade Crafts comes after the employers' representatives in the upper chamber of parliament failed on Wednesday to pass a veto on the legislative changes passed by the National Assembly two days earlier.

Under the changes, bonuses for unfavourable working hours will be excluded from the net minimum wag, meaning that staff will be paid for this separately. The employers have argued that this will increase the cost of labour significantly and lead to layoffs.

Because of the increase in costs to employers, they believe that the changes drafted by the trade unions and backed by the government represent a violation of the social pact.

"The social pact says that basic questions in the fields of labour legislation, health, pension insurance and pay system must be addressed in agreement with all social partners - the government, the trade unions and the employers."

The move has significantly undermined trust among social partners and prevented the continuation of social dialogue in Slovenia, the employers said in a press release.

The trade unions however insist that the social pact had not been breached, as the minimum wage was left out intentionally due to lack of agreement on the issue.

As of January 2015, the minimum wage is set at EUR 790.73 gross, which compares to average gross pay of EUR 1,522.07 in September.

With the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) refusing to sign the pact already in February, the only remaining partner representing employers still on board is the Chamber of Crafts and Small Business (OZS).

The associations have already informed of their decision Prime Minister Miro Cerar and the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Anja Kopa─Ź Mrak, as well as the chair of the Economic and Social Council, the industrial relations forum.

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