STA, 15 February 2021 - The average monthly wage in Slovenia in 2020 reached EUR 1,856.20 gross, which is 5.8% more than in 2019 nominally and 5.9% higher in real terms. The average net wage was EUR 1,208.65 or 6.6% and 6.7% higher nominally and in real terms, respectively, the Statistics Office (SURS) reported on Monday.
The average gross wage in 2020 was higher both in the private sector (+4.4%) and the public sector (+7.8%) compared to the year before.
In the general government sector, it was up by 9.9%, including as a result of the payout of extraordinary bonuses related to the Covid-19 epidemic, SURS noted.
Activity-wise, it was up the most in healthcare and social security (+17.7%), while it was down the most in the hospitality industry (-3.8%).
The average gross wage was the highest in Central Slovenia, standing at EUR 2,057.92 or 10.9% above the Slovenian average. It was, meanwhile, the lowest in the Primorska-Notranjska statistical region (EUR 1,632.87).
In December 2020, the average gross wage was EUR 2,021.21 or 0.3% higher nominally and almost level in real terms compared to the month before.
The average net wage in the same month was EUR 1,314.62 or 1% higher nominally and 0.7% higher in real terms over November 2020.
In the private sector, the average gross wage for last December was 2.9% lower than that in November, mostly on account of end-year bonuses, SURS added.
In the public sector, this difference was 3.8% and in the institutional sector the average gross wage was 4.5% higher than in November.
The average monthly gross wage in December was the highest in the electricity, gas and steam supply, standing at EUR 2,947.41. It was the lowest in the hospitality industry, at EUR 1,203.63.
STA, 1 January 2020 - The statutory minimum wage is scheduled to increase in January under legislation passed in 2018. A new formula tying the minimum wage to cost of living will be used. Preliminary calculations show it will stand at roughly EUR 736 net.
Under the law, the minimum wage must be at least 20% and up to 40% higher than the minimum cost of living. The last time the minimum cost of living was calculated, in 2017, it stood at EUR 613 for a single person.
The Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has said the minimum wage will be set by the minister following consultations with social partner. It will be published in the Official Gazette on 31 January at the latest.
Slovenia introduced the minimum wage 25 years ago and it has been significantly increased several times since, most recently in 2019, when it stood at EUR 887 gross, and in 2020, when it rose to EUR 941 gross.
Employers have been warning for a while that some companies will not be able to absorb the higher wage and have asked the government to defer the scheduled increase. Trade unions have been fiercely opposed to the idea.
As a compromise, the government recently proposed that the new formula be postponed until April, whereby the state would pay for the increase through September.
Both employers and trade unions opposed this and the proposal, which was due to be included in the latest economic stimulus law, was shelved.
Sonja Šmuc, the director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), said earlier this week that businesses would continue to push for a suspension of the increase and expected the government to cover the increase despite its compromise solution having been rejected.
She said that if the minimum wage did increase, "the price will be very high, in particular in the form of an increased number of jobless and the loss of quite a few companies in certain industries".
Šmuc has information some companies are preparing to relocate abroad because of the higher minimum wage. "We'll insist that a solution be found before January pay is due."
STA, 15 December 2020 - Some 84,700 unemployed persons were registered with Slovenia's Employment Service on average in the first eleven months of 2020, up 14.5% compared to the same period in 2019. Currently, 84,732 unemployed persons are recorded, however the figure is expected to rise to some 88,000 at the end of the year, Employment Service head Mitja Bobnar said.
During the January-November period, about 90,500 persons registered as unemployed, a 35% increase on the same period in 2019, Bobnar noted at today' briefing.
The year-on-year rise was most significant in the case of furloughed workers or people whose companies had gone bust. Among those who lost their jobs was also a larger number of persons who had seen their fixed-term contracts expire.
At the end of November, the unemployed register numbered more than 84,100, up by 16% year-on-year.
Employers registered 107,000 vacancies until the end of November, down by 27% on the first eleven months in 2019.
In the past two months, the number of vacancies dropped by some 20%, most notably in culture, recreational activities, traffic, warehouse services, retail and the hospitality sector, Bobnar said.
"Certain activities have been hiring on a significantly larger scale," he said, highlighting manufacturing, construction, transportation services and social care activities as such areas.
Compared with other European countries, Slovenia's unemployment rate is somewhere in between, he noted.
Since the start of stimulus measures, the Employment Service has received more than 160,000 applications for the furlough or short-time work schemes for over 600,000 workers. "The figure is truly high, however we manage to process the applications in 14 days on average," Bobnar said.
All furlough scheme applications stemming from the fourth and fifth stimulus packages have been processed, he said, adding that short-time work scheme applications had been processed in timely fashion.
A total of EUR 335 million was disbursed to some 36,200 service providers for 236,000 workers.
STA, 3 December 2020 - The government adopted on Thursday amendments to the act on employment, self-employment and work of foreigners which transpose a 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.
Slovenia wishes to pursue the objective to make the EU more attractive to third-country citizens who wish to do research, and to simplify the entry requirements for those coming to Slovenia to study, the Government Communications Office said on Thursday.
STA, 12 November 2020 - Employers advertised just over 13,600 job vacancies in the third quarter of the year, which is 2,500 more than in the second quarter, the Statistic Office said on Thursday. The number of occupied posts was up by more than 3,000. Meanwhile, the Employment Service has so far paid out EUR 312.4 million to help avoid layoffs.
The Statistics Office collected data on job vacancies at the end of August, just between both waves of the coronavirus crisis, when business activity picked up again.
Compared to the previous quarter, demand for new labour force was up in most activities, and was the highest in construction and manufacturing (almost 2,900 job vacancies in each), followed by retail, where almost 1,800 job vacancies were advertised.
Seasonally adjusted data show that there were little more than 766,000 occupied posts in Slovenia in the third quarter or 3,000 more than in the second.
In the second quarter, when some companies had to close their doors or reduce their activities for almost two months, the number of occupied posts dropped by almost 30,000.
However, thanks to the state subsidies for shorter working time, furlough and compensation for quarantine, 300,000 jobs were preserved, according to Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj.
In the third quarter, the number of occupied posts started rising again, except in manufacturing, financial and insurance services, and in other business activities.
In year-on-year comparison, the number of jobs dropped by almost 8,000.
All our stories on Slovenia and coronavirus
STA, 2 November 2020 - Job prospect projections in Slovenia for next year remain relatively encouraging despite the aggravated circumstances. A survey by the Employment Service suggests demand will exceed labour market supply in many professions, although the opposite is also possible for a long list of jobs.
The Occupations barometer survey, which includes assessments for 177 professions, suggests demand will for instance exceed supply in healthcare, construction, transport, hospitality, and information technology.
There is however also a number of groups where supply could be excessive, including biologists, botanists, zoologists, journalists, sociologists, anthropologists, cashiers, business secretaries, window dressers, menial workers, legal experts, agriculture, forestry and fishing experts, philosophers, historians, political scientists, translators, interpreters, language assistants and other linguists, secretaries, photographers, shop assistants, telemarketers, graphic and multimedia designers and tourism and travel agency employees.
Compared to last years' survey, the first list contains 16 professions less, the balanced demand and supply list has 10 professions more, while the excessive supply list has six professions more.
The Employment Service highlighted shop assistants as the group whose prospects have deteriorated the most, having moved from the excessive demand to the excessive supply list.
STA, 28 October 2020 - The Employers' Association (Združenje delodajalcev Slovenije - ZDS) called on the government on Wednesday to freeze the minimum wage for at least a year as part of the planned sixth anti-corona package. It also proposes a more flexible and simpler framework for teleworking and retiring upon meeting minimum retirement conditions.
"Employers are aware that each anti-corona package so far has brought upgrades of previous measures as well as new measures.
"Our proposals have been acknowledged during negotiations, however the Employers' Association has been noting an urgent need for certain labour market measures since March, measures that have not been included in the packages so far, and we expect them in the sixth anti-corona package."
The employers deem freezing the minimum wage a priority measure.
The new formula for setting the minimum wage, which enters into force in January, does not envisage coordinating the minimum wage with social partners; instead it excludes employers and trade unions from the procedure and puts the Labour Ministry in charge of determining the amount, said the association.
"The existing law has also never been discussed by the Economic and Social Council, it was adopted without social dialogue and without taking into account any of the arguments of businesses."
The Slovenian economy is in the middle of the gravest economic crisis in the past 70 years due to Covid-19, said the association, adding that the general consensus of opinion is that 2021 will not see recovery let alone results similar to those in 2019.
In such circumstances the economy cannot stand even minimum pressure in regard to labour costs, said the association, noting that any minimum wage raise, which would lead to pay raises in general, would be unimaginable during such a crisis.
A month ago, Sonja Šmuc, the director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), said that GZS projections showed the minimum wage will rise by at least 9% based on the new formula that puts it 20% above the minimum cost of living.
She warned that the last substantial rise in the minimum wage a decade ago caused a structural unemployment situation and had a long-lasting impact.
Šmuc argued now is not the time to experiment with a new formula and urged that the minimum wage be preserved at current levels at least in 2021.
The opposition Left, which drafted the new law, responded to today's call by the Employers' Association by saying that the organisation had overlooked the needs of workers and their families in following its own interests.
"The new concept of the minimum wage, which is being introduced gradually, is a guarantee that no one who works will live in poverty," said the Left, adding that certain representatives of the capital were trying to prevent the realisation of this concept.
The party also said that employers had received a significant financial aid from the state, which is why the cost of the minimum wage raise would be "a drop in the ocean" compared to those amounts.
Another organisation that appealed to the government for help today is the Chamber of Commerce (TZS).
The closure of shops during the epidemic has aggravated the situation of retailers, warned the chamber, calling for the sixth stimulus package to feature aid for companies whose operations have been restricted or suspended due to anti-corona restrictions.
Non-grocery retailers are among worst-hit business sectors, said the TZS, adding that those that are required to be closed or partially closed generate 30% of Slovenia's total retail income.
Such companies have been pushed to the limits of financial capacities and jobs have been jeopardised, pointed out the chamber, deeming government aid vital.
The TZS proposes Slovenia follow Austria's example of a fixed-cost subsidy scheme to help retailers come out on top of the coronavirus crisis.
STA, 25 September 2020 - The average monthly gross pay in Slovenia stood at EUR 1,851 in 2019, which is 4.1% more than the year before. The figure was higher than the national average for men and lower for women. A total of 64.4% employees got lower pay than the average, the Statistics Office announced this week.
Last year, the average monthly gross pay of men was 2.7% higher than the average and amounted to EUR 1,901. Among women, the figure was 3.3% lower than the average and totalled 1,790 euros.
For 63.2% of employees, the 2019 net pay was lower than the average. The monthly net pay median, which divides the population into two equal parts, was set at EUR 1,026.
The average monthly net pay was lower than EUR 790 for 25% of people, higher than EUR 1840 for 10% of people and higher than EUR 3505 for just 1%.
Last year, only employees in the central Osrednjeslovenska statistical region received an above-average monthly gross pay, which was 11.1% higher and amounted to EUR 2,056.
The lowest average pay was recorded in the Primorsko-Notranjska region, standing at EUR 1,598, down 13.7% on the average.
In 2019, the average monthly gross pay of persons with tertiary education in the public sector was roughly on par with the figure in the private sector.
The former received EUR 2,434 and the latter EUR 2,478. Persons in paid employment with this level of education in public corporations received much higher average monthly gross earnings though (EUR 2,812).
Among employees with secondary education, those employed in the public sector had a slightly higher average monthly gross pay than those employed in the private sector. The opposite was true for employees with only basic education.
In the public sector, the gap between the average monthly gross earnings of women and men was the smallest for persons with tertiary education - a 20.1% gap.
Meanwhile, men with secondary education in the public sector received a 25.9% higher average monthly gross pay than women, while men with only basic education received a 21.3% higher figure compared to women.
In the private sector, the pay gap between women and men in secondary education averaged 15.8% in favour of men. It was highest among employees with tertiary education - a 22.2% gap.
In public corporations, the average monthly gross pay of men with basic education was 28.6% higher compared to women, while this difference was slightly lower among persons with secondary or tertiary education - men received about 25% higher average monthly gross pay than women.
STA, 7 September 2020 - Slovenia has for years now been witnessing a rise of precarious forms of labour, which mostly exclude the right to paid sick leave, holiday, lunch and transport allowances. The Covid-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse and while NGOs, calling for systemic changes, are pessimistic, the Labour Ministry is planning some steps in the autumn.
Absent a formal definition of precarious work in Slovenia, estimates of the number of precarious workers vary. The Statistics Office, counting student workers, agency workers, those working short-time involuntarily, and the self-employed working for a single employer, put the figure at 39,000 in the first quarter this year.
The Movement for Dignified Work and Welfare Society estimates the figure much higher, at between 200,000 and 250,000, as it also factors in those on fixed-term contracts and the self-employed who work for several clients but are exposed to competition.
Speaking with the STA, Mirsad Begić of the ZSSS trade union confederation pointed the finger at state institutions and employers as regards the absence of a single definition, while he also took issue with the distinguishing between legal and illegal precarious labour arrangements.
He argued this took normal labour arrangements out of the picture and suggested precarious work was only about exploitation that is illegal. "Such a rendering of the concept is misleading, since people are often excessively exploited even in entirely legal forms of work."
Borut Brezar in Hana Radilovič of the the Movement for Dignified Work and Welfare Society moreover warned that the coronavirus crisis further aggravated the status of precarious workers, who often live below the poverty line.
A study conducted recently among the self-employed showed a third were feeling depressed while 14% even had suicidal thoughts after starting the path of self-employment.
Aid provided to the self-employed during the epidemic amounted to EUR 350 in basic income in March and EUR 700 each in April and May along with covered social contributions.
While calling for systemic measures, the union and movement are pessimistic as regards promises of political action. "It seems that it still holds in politics that changes are avoided by forming a taskforce," said Brezar and Radilovič, pointing out this had also happened without any results under the past two governments.
The movement is proposing a minimum hourly wage for precarious work forms and paid sick-leave for the self-employed, while it also promotes changes to public procurement rules, which often prioritise cheap bidders that exploit workers.
Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj told the STA he was aware of the negative impact of precarious work at the micro and macro levels.
"At the micro level we speak of negative effects in terms of the absence of minimal legal, economic and social security. At the macro level, it is the existence and maintenance of social security systems and tax policy that are affected," he said.
Calling for measures based on in-depth studies, he said he was looking forward to the results of a multidisciplinary analysis of precarious work, which will be presented in the autumn. "If needed, we will propose measures on the basis of this," he announced.
One perceived issue is the absence of collective organisation among precarious workers. Begić pointed out that a Trade Union of Precarious Workers had been formed almost four years ago but had so far failed to win proper recognition.
"There have been no tangible results due to the difficult situation of those affected, the tough conditions for unions in general and scarce resources," he said.
STA, 7 September 2020 - Ikea is looking for more than 300 staff for its first Slovenia store, due to open in Ljubljana later this year. Candidates for various positions in sales, logistics, customer relations and customer support, restaurants and other departments can apply for a job by the end of September.
According to the representatives of the Swedish furniture retailer, they began the process of mass employment in Slovenia today. All vacancies will be open until the end of September, followed by interviews and evaluations of registered candidates in October.
"We are pleased to be able to offer unlimited opportunities in a global company to candidates who are interested in working with us," said Cas Lachaert, market manager at Ikea Slovenia. They are looking for employees from a wide variety of backgrounds, while preferring those who believe in the company's values.
In the spring, when the Ljubljana unit hired about 20 staff, Ikea received about 200 applications for each job advertised.
The store is being built in the BTC City shopping district in Ljubljana. When the foundation stone was laid in October last year, it was announced the store would be built within a year. It will cover more than 31,000 square meters and offer almost 10,000 products.
Details of the open jobs at Ikea in Ljubljana