STA, 18 December 2019 - The National Assembly passed on Wednesday a proposal tabled by the opposition Left introducing an extra day of paid leave for the parents of first-graders on their first school day. The law applies to both the private and public sectors.
The head of the Left deputy group, Matej T. Vatovec, said on Tuesday that public sector officials already have the right to paid leave on the first day of school of their first-graders, which puts those working in the private sector and their children in an unequal position.
Deputy groups agreed that this inequality should be done away with and backed the Left's proposal.
Karla Urh of the senior coalition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) said the first school day was a stressful experience for a child, which was why children should be accompanied to school by their parents, regardless of where the latter were employed.
The coalition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and the opposition Democrats (SDS) agreed this was an exceptional day for every child and parent.
There is no excuse for this discrimination between those working in the public and private sectors, they argued.
The opposition National Party (SNS) praised the proposal as "good or very good", while the coalition Social Democrats (SD) noted that schools even expected that children were escorted by their parents on the first day.
The coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) said the unanimous support was an "important indicator of an advanced society guaranteeing equal rights to all".
Aleksander Reberšek of the opposition New Slovenia (NSi) regretted the fact that the proposal had not been backed by the Economic and Social Council (ESS), Slovenia's main industrial relations forum.
Mojca Žnidarič of the coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) said the social dialogue was "obviously" weakening and that the passage of the bill could be a dangerous precedent for passage of bills without a consent from social partners.
The ESS voiced objections to the proposal last week, saying that employees were free to take one day of leave whenever they want as it was and that parents of children of up to the age of 15 had one extra day of leave.
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