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Slovenian law changes to restrict precarious work

7 March, 2013Unions in Slovenia have been part of negotiations that have resulted in stronger limitations on temporary and agency work

On 5 March a new law passed in Slovenia to make temporary work more expensive, and therefore less attractive, for employers. Currently, workers in the same position for 2 years must be given an ongoing employment contract. The new law means that an employer cannot have a position that is temporary for more than 2 years, regardless of how many people have occupied that position. If the employer does not convert the position to permanent after a 2 year period, severance pay must be paid to the worker. In addition, unemployment tax for workers in this situation is 5 time higher than for regular workers, a strong disincentive for employers to rely on temporary work.

The second legal change introduces a quota for agency work. Temporary agency work must now not exceed 25 per cent of an employer’s total workforce and not be used for more than 2 years. An employer cannot use agency workers to break strikes, nor if there have been redundancies within the last 12 months. The new law also introduces joint liability for employers and agencies: if an agency does not pay a worker’s salary, the employer at the place of employment must pay it.

This positive result came after a government proposal to allow students, pensioners and unemployed people to work in temporary jobs outside the protections of the employment law was defeated by referendum in 2011 .