Located at a major transport crossroad with a long coastline in the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia has a developed economy with an educated workforce and a first-rate infrastructure. Two-thirds of the working population in the country is into the services industry, making it a hub for outsourcing services in the Eastern Europe. Foreign trade is of prime importance to Slovenia’s economy as the combined value of exports and imports equals 146%. Foreign and domestic investors are treated equally, and high level of economic openness is a distinctive feature of the country’s economy.
Principal language: Slovenian
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Capital City: Ljubljana
Major Cities: Maribor, Koper, Celje, Kranj
Parties to an employment contract must agree to and sign before the employment commencement date. Employers may not agree to an employment contract in writing, but doing so is a common practice. A probation period applies, though for a maximum of 6 months. The applicable collective bargaining agreement may further restrict the period of probation. Both the employer and the employee need to give a minimum of 7 days' notice before terminating probationary employment.
Employment agreements are mostly for an indefinite period, but agreements for fixed-term are also allowed under specific statutory conditions, such as a temporary increase in work. The law does not allow employers from putting 2 or more successive fixed-term agreements together for a period of more than 2 years for the same kind of work.
Regular weekly work schedule is 40 hours, and daily working time of 8 hours include a 30-minute lunch break. For part-time workers, the lunch break is proportionate to their working hours. Employees should get a minimum unpaid rest period of 12 hours daily, and not less than 11 hours under any circumstances. Weekly work schedule must not be more than 56 hours in any case, and this includes overtime. Average of daily working hours should be 10 and not exceed 13 in any case.
Overtime is permissible only under special circumstances or when it is a matter of public interest. Working overtime cannot be imposed on employees if the required tasks could be completed within regular working hours through redistribution and reorganization of work, working in extra shifts or hiring new workers. Employees receive additional payment for overtime (which is any work beyond 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day), the amount of which is required to be specified in the employment or collective bargaining agreement. No general legal provisions are applicable in this regard.
Employers cannot insist on overtime work for more than 170 hours a year, 20 hours per month and 8 hours per week. Employees may consent to voluntarily work more than 170 hours of overtime in a year (but not more than 230 hours in total).
The following mandatory national holidays are observed in Slovenia:
- Jan. 1: New Year's Day
- Feb. 8: Prešeren Day
- Easter Sunday and Monday
- April 27: Day of Uprising Against Occupation
- May 1-2: Labor Day
- Whit Sunday, usually celebrated in May or June
- June 25: Statehood Day
- Aug. 15: Assumption Day
- Oct. 31: Reformation Day
- Nov. 1: Day (of Remembrance) of the Dead
- Dec. 25: Christmas
- Dec. 26: Independence and Unity Day
If a public holiday or a work-free day falls on a Sunday, it is not transferred to the next business day. Employers are allowed to restrict employees’ right to remain absent from work on public holidays if there can be no interruption in work, or when the nature of the work necessitates that it carries on every day including public holidays. In the case of work during public holidays, as outlined in employment or collective bargaining agreement, employees get additional payment for their work.
Employees working the whole year for one employer get 4 weeks of paid annual leave, out of which a minimum of 2 weeks must be taken successively. Employees who have worked for at least 60 days during a calendar year but not the complete year are entitled to prorated vacation which is one-twelfth of total entitlement of annual leave.
Employers under certain categories (such as elderly and disabled employees) get up to 3 extra days of leave. The law expressly does not allow giving money in lieu of annual leave. Employees must also be paid a holiday allowance which must be equal at least to the minimum wage.
A new mother is entitled to take maternity leave for up to 105 days, out of which taking a minimum of 15 days is mandatory. Pregnant employees are allowed to start their maternity leave 28 days prior to the expected date of birth.
In some circumstances (such as the death of new mother) the father is allowed to take the maternity leave yet to be taken by the mother. The law allows leaves for parenting, maternity, and paternity.
A mother receives maternity benefit if she has been insured even when she is not entitled to maternity leave. The maternity benefit is based on a calculation for parental protection contributions during the preceding 12 months. In case of complete absence from work, the maternity benefit equals 100% of the calculated average and is never lower than 55% of the minimum wage.
Upon childbirth, fathers are allowed paternity leave for 30 days. This is a nontransferable right of fathers. They need to use 15 of their paternity leave days till 6 months after childbirth, and it can be taken either as full or partial absence from work. Fathers may utilize the remaining 15 days after the end of parental leave but latest by the time the child completes the first grade of primary school.
In addition to maternity and paternity leave, each parent in Slovenia is entitled to 130 days’ of parental leave. A father can transfer his entire entitlement to the mother, and the mother can transfer up to 100 days to the father. In certain circumstances (e.g., the birth of twins, premature childbirth, etc.), parents can extend the parental leave.
In case of temporary incapacity for work due to illness or injury, employees are entitled to wage compensation for sick leave. For the first 30 business days of sick leave, the employer must compensate the employee in one of 2 ways:
- In cases of accidents at work or occupational disease, employees are entitled to 100% of their average monthly wage for full-time work during the past 3 months, or
- In cases of illness or injury not related to work, employees are entitled to 80% of their average monthly wage for full-time work during the past 3 months.
Collective bargaining agreements may outline more favorable wage compensation for sick leave. In the event of a longer absence from work, compensation is covered by health insurance. During the first 90 days, wage replacement is 70% to 80% subject to certain conditions.
Employees are entitled to paid leave of up to 7 days in a year for personal circumstances such as marriage, the demise of a family member or a mishap with the employee such as a serious accident.
The social security system in Slovenia includes pension and disability insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance (after 31 days of ailment), and parental protection. All employers in Slovenia need to pay social security contributions of 16.1% of gross monthly remuneration (16.34% for employees under fixed-term contracts), and employees must contribute 22.1% of their gross monthly remuneration, from which employer contributions for:
- pension and disability is 8.85% of gross monthly remuneration
- health insurance is 6.56% of gross monthly remuneration
- occupational injury and disease is 0.53% of gross monthly wages
- parental protection with employee contributions are 0.1% of gross monthly wages, and
- unemployment insurance is 0.06% (0.3% for a fixed-term contract).
The Pension and Disability Insurance Act stipulates the minimum retirement age for men to be between 59 years and 65 years of age, and the same for women is between 58 years 8 months and 64 years 6 months.
Both group and individual pension insurance are available. A requirement for additional group pension insurance is that the employer must subscribe to pre-existing retirement insurance fund or establishes such a fund itself.
An employer is obliged to get insurance for all employees who decide to join the additional retirement insurance plan. Employers that pursue the option of establishing a private pension fund may, under certain circumstances, claim a reduced corporate income tax for up to 24% of the compulsory pension and contributions for disability insurance paid on behalf of employees, but up to only 2,390 euros per employee per annum.
Employees who lose their jobs are eligible to get an unemployment allowance if they are registered with the labor office, and if they were employed for 9 months or longer in the previous 24 months before their unemployment. The unemployment allowance is provided for 25 months.
During the first 3 months, the entitlement for unemployment allowance is 80% of the employees’ average wage, in the subsequent 9 months it is 60%, and after the first year, it is 50%. The unemployment allowance is not allowed to be lower than 350 euros or more than 892.50 euros.
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