Ljubljana related

23 Apr 2020, 12:08 PM

STA, 22 April 2020 - The Chinese-owned group Hisense Europe is planning to close 2,200 jobs by the end of the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including as many as 1,000 in Slovenia, TV Slovenija reported, citing a trade unionist.

According to the report, the management of household appliances maker Hisense Gorenje set its plans at a meeting featuring Chao Liu, one of the executive directors, production manager Tomaž Korošec, staffing officials and representatives of the works council, trade union and the employees' representative on the board Drago Bahun.

The management presented data on the situation resulting from the pandemic. Production in Velenje has not yet returned to full capacity after being completely suspended for three weeks.

The head of the in-house trade union Žan Zeba told the public broadcaster that Hisense was to make 1,000 people redundant in Slovenia, including 700 at the production facility in Velenje and 300 in the Ljubljana-headquartered company Hisense Europe.

Zeba said the staff were shocked by the extent of planned layoffs, noting that the company had received state aid "probably also in order not to make redundancies".

The first meeting with employees on layoffs are to be held after May day holidays.

Gorenje is to set out detailed plans about job cutbacks on Thursday.

17 Feb 2020, 12:02 PM

STA, 17 February 2020 - Average monthly take-home pay in Slovenia increased last year by 3.7% in nominal terms and by 2.1% in real terms to EUR 1,133.50, fresh data from the Statistics Office show.

Average gross monthly pay for 2019 amounted to EUR 1,753.84, up 4.3% in nominal terms and up 2.7% in real terms compared to average monthly earnings in 2018.

Gross earnings in the private sector rose by 3.9% and those in the public sector by 5.4%, rising as much as 6.5% in the general government sector.

The growth in the public sector was largely due to a new pay deal negotiated in late 2018.

The highest monthly gross earnings for 2019 were paid in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply; at EUR 2,628.55.

At 8.9%, the highest increase in pay was recorded in the public administration and defence, compulsory social security.

December pay amounted to EUR 1,855.25 gross, a decrease of 2.2% in nominal terms and 2% less in real terms than November pay. The drop is due to performance and Christmas bonuses paid out in November.

Net pay for December amounted to EUR 1,214.93, 1.6% lower nominally and 1.4% lower in real terms than earnings for November.

09 Feb 2020, 12:54 PM

STA, 8 February 2020 - The share of Slovenians working from home is above EU average, with data released by Eurostat earlier this week showing that 6.9% of the employed Slovenians between 15 and 64 years of age usually worked from home in 2018.

The share in the EU was 5.2%, and had not changed much over the past decade. However, the share of those who sometimes work from home increased from 5.8% in 2008 to 8.3% in 2018.

Slovenia ranks 7th among the 27 member countries in terms of the share of those who work at home.

The Netherlands tops the list with 14% of the employed usually working from home, closely followed by Finland (13.3%), Luxembourg (11%) and Austria (10%).

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Image from Eurostat, with Slovenia highlighted

The lowest proportions of those who usually work at home was recorded in Romania (0.4%) and Bulgaria (0.3%).

It is the self-employed who work from home most often with the share of such among them at 18.5% compared to only 3% among employees.

The highest rates of the self-employed usually working from home were recorded in Finland (46.4%), the Netherlands (44.5%) and Austria (43.6%).

The share of employed women usually working in 2018 was slightly higher than the share of men, at 5.5% and 5%, respectively.

The share of those working from home increases with age. In the EU, just 1.8% of 15-24 year-olds usually worked from home in 2018, compared to 5% among 25-49 year-olds and 6.4% among 50-64 year-olds.

More on this data can be found here

28 Jan 2020, 13:52 PM

How does Ljubljana rate compared to other cities with regard to burnout and general stress among those in employment? A website that sells mattresses, Savvy Sleeper, recently commissioned an analysis that looked at nine different factors – work-related stress, employee presenteeism, lack of motivation at work, annual work hours, vacation time, working more than 48 hours a week, the prevalence of mental health disorders and substance abuse, getting less than 7 hours of sleep, and time spent commuting –  and used data from sources such as Glassdoor, UBS and the International Labour Organization – to rank 69 cities, from those with the highest to lowest levels of burnout.

For anyone struggling in Šiška, exhausted in Vič, or feeling underemployed in Trnovo the results may come as a surprise, along with the shocking realisation that things could be worse. For others, who skip to work with a song in their hearts and sleep soundly at night, they’ll confirm that the city is one that manages to balance development with a slower, more manageable pace than in many other capitals, with life still lived on a human scale.

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Screenshot: Savvy Sleeper

More specifically, out of 69 cities Ljubljana is said to have the second lowest level of burnout, with the related text on the best three being as follows:

The lowest scoring global city for work burnout is Tallinn, Estonia. The city offers a generous amount of vacation, with an average of 29.1 paid days off. Plus, just 5.6% of the population work more than 48 hours a week.

Ljubljana, Slovenia (68th) has the second-lowest risk of employee burnout. Just 5.5% of Slovenia’s population works more than 48 hours a week. While commuters spend only 27.93 minutes in traffic to and from work, compared to the average of all analysed cities, 40.10 minutes.

Oslo, Norway (67th) has been reported to be one of the happiest places in the world according to the World Happiness Report. Work-life balance is taken very seriously in Norway and just 4.2% of the entire population works 48 hours or more a week.

However, within this it should be noted that Ljubljana has relatively high levels of lack of motivation at work (#11), and that no data was obtained for work-related stress from Glassdoor for the city.

Looking at the end of the scale, the top 10 most stressed cities are said to be Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Istanbul, Manila, Jakarta, Hanoi, Taipei, Los Angeles, and Buenos Aires, with seven of these being in Asia. Looking at the EU, the most stressed cities are London (at #14), Rome (#21) and Athens (29).

It’s an interesting list to consider as you think about the trade offs between living in a 24-hour cosmopolitan metropolis and a smaller city in a relative backwater, and the different opportunities they provide for development and peace of mind. You can see the full list, and more details, here.

15 Jan 2020, 12:36 PM

STA, 15 January 2020 - Slovenia's average net pay for November was EUR 1,235, up by 10% in nominal terms and 9.9% in real terms compared to October and by 4.1% nominally year-on-year. The surge was due to extra payments at the end of year, such as Christmas and performance bonuses, shows the Statistics Office data released on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the average gross pay rose by 9% nominally to EUR 1,898, up 8.9% in real terms compared to October.

pay in slovenia 2020 01.jpg

average earnings slovenia 2020.JPG

The average gross extra payment in November amounted to EUR 724, with around 23% of employees receiving the sum, mostly level with 2018.

The November average net salary increased by 2.7% in real terms year-on-year. At a monthly level, the figure grew both in the private sector (+13%) and public sector (+5%), increasing the most in financial and insurance business (+24%).

Moreover, the average net pay for November grew in the electricity, gas and steam sector (+24%), where it was the highest (EUR 1,975), and in manufacturing (+17%).

You can learn more about the images on Slovenia’s euro coins here: Slovenia in your pocket – coins that celebrate the culture

06 Dec 2019, 11:11 AM

STA, 5 December 2019 - Pharmaceutical company Lek has been declared the top Slovenian employer in 2019, the first time in nine years that it has beaten rival drug maker Krka. The title is awarded by the jobs portal Mojedelo.

The award is the result of a poll involving 19,000 users of the jobs portal that measured various aspects of the reputation of companies as employers or potential employers, Styria Digital Marketplaces, which owns Mojedelo, said on Thursday.

Lek and Krka were followed in the rankings by energy companies Petrol and Gen-I, and telco Telekom Slovenije.

Lek, which is owned by the pharma giant Novartis, said the award recognised "that we have created an environment for our colleagues in which everyone can find their inspiration".

All our stories about employment in Slovenia are here

26 Nov 2019, 12:25 PM

STA, 25 November 2019 - Businesses from north-east Slovenia are worried that companies providing cross-border services in the EU could be severely affected if Slovenia introduces into its law the new directive governing cross-border services and posted workers "too rigorously". A study by an economist was presented to corroborate their view.

Earlier this year, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) asked the European Commission to investigate Slovenia for dumping in temporarily posting workers in other EU countries.

The EFBWW maintains Slovenia's law enables paying lower contributions and taxes for posted workers in the markets where they work, making them more competitive, explained the head of the Štajerska region's association of providers of cross-border services, Albert Kekec.

Related - Temporary Posting of Slovene Workers “Exports Cheap Labour” (Feature)

Slovenian companies believe these are false allegations, and have complained against them, waiting for the final decision, Kekec noted in Maribor on Monday.

He believes Slovenia was challenged because it is a small country and because it has a poor record of defending itself in such cases.

But since the dispute could result in case law which would also apply to other EU countries, it is important that our country realises the weight of the case and acts appropriately, he said.

This is why the regional Štajerska Chamber of Commerce has commissioned a study of exports of construction and engineering services, and posted workers.

Economist Jože P. Damijan, presenting his study, said legislative changes would considerably lower or entirely stop the export of construction, engineering and transport services by Slovenian companies to the EU.

This is particularly true for the part of Štajerska along the Drava river, which has an above-average number of such companies.

Damijan predicts a loss of more than 10,000 jobs around the entire country, and even up to 13,000 in the worst-case scenario, of which some 5,000 in the Drava area.

The chamber wonders whether the government is aware of all the consequences that could result from transposing the directive indiscriminately.

It points to direct and indirect impact on the country's GDP, while the area around the river Drava would be affected the most.

Damijan's study shows Slovenia's construction, engineering and transport companies generate around 20% of all exported services, and almost 4.5% of the country's overall exports. The majority or 80% is exported to the EU.

These companies employ more than 70,000 workers and post around 12,000 workers abroad monthly. Slovenia is thus preceded only by Poland.

Over the past few years Slovenia's services sector has been growing the fastest in the EU.

Damijan said it was true the three sectors employed over 70% of foreign workers, mostly from the Balkans, but noted these were still Slovenian-owned companies paying taxes in Slovenia.

The chamber also criticised the government for not providing enough information, including about the appeal against the EFBWW's request to investigate Slovenia.

State Secretary at the Labour Ministry Tilen Božič has recently said the ministry intends to tackle the issue of posted workers, including alleged violations of worker rights as highlighted by Slovenian trade unions, by changing the law on cross-border services "in a foreseeable future".

07 Nov 2019, 09:32 AM

STA, 6 November 2019 - The Labour Ministry is not planning in the short term to sign any new agreements on employing foreign workers, as there are enough recruitment opportunities in the country's neighbourhood for now. It also said on Wednesday it was keeping an eye on labour market dynamics prompted by warnings of a higher economic slowdown risk.

Responding to the recent media reports of Slovenia being interested in employing 2,000-5,000 Philippine workers, the ministry said the country was not preparing to enter into a bilateral agreement with the Philippines on issuing such work permits.

As for importing foreign workers, the ministry follows a migration strategy adopted this year which aims to curb the trend of Slovenian workers leaving the country, promote labour circulation and encourage Slovenians who have been away for a longer period to return home, State Secretary Tilen Božič told the press.

When looking for foreign workers, the ministry focusses on the areas which are geographically and culturally close to Slovenia. The country has so far signed two such treaties - with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, with another agreement being drawn up with Ukraine.

"Currently, the wider region provides enough opportunities," said Božič, highlighting that in any case negotiations to conclude such an agreement entailed a number of steps and usually took several years.

Asked whether businesses had been calling on the ministry to sign new work permit agreements, Božič said that businesses were more interested in a decree that would enable faster procedures to employ a foreign worker.

He also pointed out that out of some 900,000 working in Slovenia in August, almost 100,000 were foreigners, while in the same month in 2013, there were over 50,000 foreign workers out of 760,000 workers, adding that these figures indicated distinct shifts, including in Slovenia's economy and the labour market, which demanded swift adjustment tactics.

Slovenian media reported in late October that a delegation led by Economy Ministry State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti visited the Philippines to strengthen bilateral economic relations and met a Labour Ministry state secretary.

The delegation was accompanied by representatives of Slovenian businesses and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), who were the ones calling for importing Philippine workers, the Economy Ministry said last month, distancing itself from this possible strategy.

The ministry also added at the time that bilateral trade with the Philippines was modest; however, the Philippines' economic growth projections were opening up a huge potential for Slovenia, according to the MMC web portal of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.

The GZS told the STA today that it was currently not considering any new work permit agreements and that the October meeting, which was attended by Slovenian Honorary Consul to the Philippines Srečko Debelak as well, was an isolated case among such organised events.

According to the chamber, Slovenia's industry is looking for workforce outside the EU in the Western Balkans countries and Ukraine, focussing in particular on skills from the occupation shortage list.

Businesses can employ foreign workers from countries with which Slovenia does not have such an agreement; however, employment procedures are more complex in this case, the Labour Ministry told the STA today.

Regardless of the agreement status, the key issue in these procedures is a lack of Slovenian language skills. The existent agreements with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia envisage pre-integration measures which tackle this issue and are funded by the EU, the ministry explained.

03 Oct 2019, 15:15 PM

STA, 3 October 2019 - Slovenia's joblessness keeps declining with the latest official data putting the number of registered unemployed to 69,834 in September, down 2.4% from August and down 5.3% from September 2018.

The latest total is close to the record-low level registered in September 2008 when 59,303 were registered as being out of a job.

The Employment Service registered 5,752 newly unemployed people in September, which is 34.8% more than in August and 0.3% more than in September last year.

Most (2,917) saw their fixed-term job contracts expire; 981 just entered the job market and 741 were made redundant.

Out of the 7,462 unemployed who were removed from the unemployment roll, 5,420 got a job or became self-employed. The latter figure is 84.6% higher than in August but 7.4% lower year-on-year.

In the first three quarters of the year, an average 74,448 were registered as being out of a job, which is 5.7% fewer than in the same period a year ago.

The number of the newly unemployed in the nine months decreased by 4.1% from the same period a year ago. The number of registered first-time job seekers dropped by 16.4% and the number of those whose fixed-term jobs expired fell by 6.5%, whereas the number of those who were made redundant rose by 10.6%.

Of the 60,080 removed from the unemployment register, 44,530 found a job, which marks a decline of 9.3% year-on-year.

Employers registered 13,726 vacancies in September, 7.6% more than in August, but 5.2% fewer than in September last year. Most openings were for simple jobs in manufacturing.

The most recent data on the registered unemployment rate are available for July; at that month the rate was 7.4%, up 0.1 percentage point from June and down 0.6 points year-on-year.

Statistics Office data for July put the number of people in employment at 893,760, which is 0.4% fewer than the month before and 2.5% more than a year ago.

Govt proposes increase of unemployment benefit, stiffens conditions, including language tests

STA, 3 October 2019 - The government has proposed changes to the labour market regulation act that increase the minimum monthly unemployment benefit while stiffening entitlement conditions. The changes also introduce compulsory Slovenian language classes for non-Slovenian EU citizens registered as unemployed and a basic language skill requirement for the rest.

The minimum monthly unemployment benefit is being raised from EUR 350 gross to EUR 530 gross to equalise it with the basic minimum income for single-person households, which currently stands at EUR 402 net.

On the other hand, the minimum insurance period in 24 months prior to unemployment guaranteeing benefits would be extended from 9 to 10 months.

Also, the maximum duration of unemployment benefit entitlement for those over 53 and with an insurance period of at least 25 years is being set at 19 months and for those older than 58 with an insurance period of over 28 years at 25 months.

Currently, those over 50 and with a 25-year insurance period are entitled to benefits for 19 months and those over 55 and with 25 years for 25 months.

What is more, those meeting conditions for occupational and regular retirement age retirement will no longer be able to claim the unemployment benefit.

The government is on the other scrapping the financial penalisation of those failing to register as unemployed within three days after being laid off. Presently, the benefit in such cases is only set at 60% as opposed to 80% of the wage average.

Stricter penalising is meanwhile envisaged for those gravely violating the job search requirements of the Employment Service. One grave violation, for instance refusing to partake in an active employment policy programme or rejecting a suitable job, will be enough to get job seekers erased from the registry, while this will also be possible with two minor violations as is the case presently.

Also envisaged are changes for pensioners who perform occasional work. While they can presently work up to 60 hours in a month, an exception is being added that allows up to 90 hours, provided this only happens three times in 12 months and does not amount to more than 720 hours in total.

Foreigners wishing to be registered as unemployed also face stricter conditions. Third-country citizens will need to have at least A1 level command of the Slovenian language to register, while unemployed non-Slovenian EU citizens, citizens of Switzerland and European Economic Area members will have to attend Slovenian language classes and take a basic language skill exam while they are registered.

27 Sep 2019, 14:15 PM

STA, 27 September - Employer representatives announced at Friday's session of the Economic and Social Council (ESS) they were withdrawing from the industrial relations forum because bills were being filed in parliament without any regard for the forum. The trade unions followed suit and the head of the ZSSS trade union confederation resigned as the ESS president.

The latest development that angered the employers was Wednesday's decision of the Left, an opposition partner of the minority government coalition, to end a deadlock in talks with the coalition and table a bill that would in effect abolish supplementary health insurance and replace it with a progressive levy that would increase costs for employers.

Slovenian Employers' Association (ZDS) secretary general Jože Smole told the STA that this had been just the most recent blow, with the council being completely sidetracked under this government. He went on to list several pertinent legislative proposals, all of which were tabled by the Left.

Smole said it all began with the raising on the minimum wage, continued with the proposal to raise wages for students and later with proposed changes to the labour relations act that would give all parents a paid day off on their child's first school day.

Smole stressed that even though all of these changes had a major impact on the social partners, they had not been supplied with any material, analysis, calculations "on the basis of which we could discuss things, let alone decide on them".

"Social dialogue is dead," he said, adding that legislative proposals could no longer be affected by the social partners once they were filed in parliament.

The ball is now in the court of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, Smole summarised the position of the employers.

Commenting on the situation, Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Ksenija Klampfer told the STA that she had warned the Left on several occasions that "this is not how things should be done".

The filing of bills without coordinating them with the ESS also bothers the representatives of trade unions, who thus joined the employers, the ZSSS's Lidija Jerkič told the STA, adding she also resigned as the council's head. Her term would have expired at the end of October.

The employers said they were withdrawing until further notice, while Klampfer said she would try to solve the situation as soon as possible.

Notably, before suspending the forum, the social partners okayed both legislative proposals on the agenda of the session, one dealing with the minimum monthly unemployment benefit and the other equalising women's and men's pension rates for those with 40 years of pensionable service.

The Labour Ministry wants to increase the minimum monthly unemployment benefit from EUR 275 net to EUR 392 net while simultaneously stiffening conditions.

The proposed EUR 530 gross, or EUR 392 net, would level the minimum unemployment benefit with the basic minimum income for single-person households.

As for the pension rate, the plan is to increase it to 63.5% of the long-term average wage by 2025. This rate is already in place for women, while for men it presently stands at 57.25%.

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