STA, 26 March 2019 - Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer announced the government was not considering relaxing dismissal rules as she attended an employer conference in Ljubljana on Tuesday.
While the employers have been urging more flexibility in hiring and firing, the minister said she was aware of their proposals to enable termination without cause.
"However, some international documents prevent it, so no changes in this direction are in the making, there being no expert basis for it."
But despite an upturn on the labour market and the economic trends, which are currently still positive, legislation should be changed to facilitate faster activation of workers and keep older workers on the labour market longer, she told the employers.
The employers presented their demands to Klampfer at the conference, primarily calling for less red tape and no additional labour costs.
They also complained about the education system, saying it did not provide the trained staff that Slovenian companies needed.
Sharing their view, Klampfer said there were "many challenges" in this respect, assuring them the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities was pushing for a change in the mindset so that workers realise life-long learning was a must.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Jernej Pikalo urged employers to help promote apprenticeship. Apprentices are initially a cost for the company but the investment pays off in the long-term, he stressed.
"That's why I'm urging you to cooperate with us, to present us your needs," he said, noting that the apprenticeship system was not functioning too well in Slovenia.
The system is working because apprenticeship is backed by EU funds, but once these funds are cut, there will be big problems, he said.
The president of the Association of Employers in Craft and Small Business, Drago Delalut, urged the employers to close ranks and state clearly they needed a stable business environment comparable with competitive countries.
He expressed concern over the supplementary budget for 2019, saying it had set expenditure much too high and had been passed with much horse trading.
The guidelines of a tax reform are also a cause for concern as they indicate measures will be taken to further burden the corporate sector, he said.
"Political decision-makers like to decide on expanding rights without calculating their consequences," he said.
Sharing some of the employers' views, the president of the upper chamber of parliament, Alojz Kovšca, criticised the government for not taking the pressure off the corporate sector.
On the contrary, the government is putting more burdens on businesses, while not talking about any measures to increase productivity, Kovšča said.
He also urged the employers to close ranks to revive social dialogue in the country, regretting it had come at a standstill.
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