Amended act on employment of foreigners passed

Ljubljana – The National Assembly passed on Friday amendments to the act on employment, self-employment and work of foreigners which transpose a major 2016 EU directive.

The directive sets down the conditions of entry and residence of third-country citizens for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing.

Under the amendments, passed in a 47:12 vote, a new combined residency and work permit and a new temporary residence permit will be available.

There are also new rules for temporary residence for foreign researchers wishing to work in Slovenia, and for students who have completed studies here.

A second set of amendments attempts to curb abuse, for example the practice where employers lay off workers after nine months and then re-hire them three months later.

“This kind of optimisation by employers is not justified,” Economy Ministry State Secretary Mateja Ribič told MPs.

The majority of MPs endorsed the legislation as making Slovenia a more attractive destination for researchers and their family members as well as for students.

The only dissenting voices came from the Left and the National Party (SNS), the former opining that the government was adopting laws making it more difficult for foreigners to settle here, and the latter opposing on the grounds that arrivals of foreigners should be curtailed.