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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case SI-2020-11/443 Updated – measures in Slovenia

Exemption from companies' obligation to pay pension and disability and contributions and crisis bonus

Oprostitev plačila prispevkov za pokojninsko in invalidsko zavarovanje za zaposlene in krizni dodate

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 13 March 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Case created 10 April 2020 (updated 24 February 2021)

Background information

The 'Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Contain the COVID-19 Epidemic and Mitigate its Consequences for Citizens and the Economy' (ZIUZEOP), valid since 11 April 2020, alleviate the negative consequences of the pandemic exempting companies from paying pension and disability insurance in April and May 2020 (Article 33). Not included are organisations, directly or indirectly financed by the state budget, financial and insurance companies with more than 10 employees, embassies, and foreign organisations.

Content of measure

All companies (not included are organisations, directly or indirectly financed by the state budget, financial and insurance companies with more than 10 employees, embassies, and foreign organisations) are exempted from paying contributions for pension and disability insurance in April and May 2020. More in detail, the state agreed to pay pensions and disability insurances until to a threshold corresponding to the contribution due for a salary equal to three times the minimum monthly wages. As indicated by the Financial Administration, employers have to pay the difference. In addition, the law compels employers to pay to their employees €200 per month if the worker's pay is below three minimum monthly wages. The so-called 'crisis bonus' is exempted from all taxes and social security contributions.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

03 February 2021

The eight COVID-19 law (ZDUOP), adopted on 3 February 2021, exempts annual bonus from the two minimum wages threshold. The provision has modified the measure from the seventh COVID-19 law (ZIUPOPDVE). The law linked the crisis bonus to salaries in December when some companies pay an annual bonus. Although some workers have wages below the two minimum wages (€1,881.16 gross), the annual bonus raised their wages above the threshold and, thus, workers lost the right to the crisis bonus.

29 December 2020

The seventh COVID-19 law (ZIUPOPDVE), adopted by the Parliament on 29 December 2020, provides all employees whose salary is below two minimum wages with a €200 crisis bonus. It is a one-time crisis bonus for December 2020 and is exempt from paying taxes and social contributions. Crisis bonus is refunded by the state. Not included are organisations, directly or indirectly financed by the state budget, embassies, and foreign organisations.

30 April 2020

The second COVID-19 law ZIUZEOP-A (issued on 30 April 2020) extends the eligibility rules. Employers are exempted from paying ‘occupational pension’ too. The law also entitles to the full crisis bonus the disabled persons in disability companies and the rehabilitation centers who were working during the epidemics. The bonuses for disabled persons are paid by the government, while employers must cover crisis bonuses for other employees in disability companies and rehabilitation centers. Companies from financial and insurance sector, employing less than 10 workers, may also benefit from the measure

Use of measure

The measure addresses all insured people with salaries below three minimum monthly wages. Publicly-financed organisations (receiving more than 70% of their income from public funds) cannot claim exemption from paying pension and disability insurance. The same holds for companies and organisation in the finance and insurance sector. It is a temporary measure for the period of the COVID-19 epidemic.

In March 2020, 44,161 employers requested an exemption from paying pension and disability insurance for 375,994 employees who continued to work during the epidemic. It means that almost half of all Slovenian employees were benefiting from this measure. This support amounted to €72.9 million for the period from 13 March to 31 March 2020

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

The two COVID-19 laws (ZIUZEOP and ZIUZEOP-A) were adopted under an accelerated procedure with no involvement of the Economic and Social Council. Its functioning was blocked because the new government, which came to power on 13 March 2020, had not appointed its members in the Economic and Social Council. On 20 April, trade unions protested against the exclusion of social partners in the preparation of the second emergency law (ZIUZEOP-A). They demanded the reactivation of the Economic and Social Council. The first meeting of the Economic and Social Council was held not before 15 May 2020. The Council then became involved in negotiations about the third emergency law ZIUOOPE, issued on 30 May 2020

Views and reactions

Trade unions and employers' organizations have submitted proposals to the law. Employers' organizations requested that the measure also applies to the finance and insurance sector. They also stressed that some workers, for example, those working at home during the epidemic, shouldn’t be entitled to ‘crisis bonus’. The Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia suggested the government pays crisis bonuses instead of employers. Trade unions proposed that the exemption also includes occupational pension, that the ‘crisis bonus’ can be higher if collective agreements determine a higher bonus, that the measure also applies to the finance and insurance sector. Social partners specifically stressed insurance agents who would be harmed by exclusion. Some of their solutions (eligibility of companies with less than 10 employees in the finance and insurance sector; exemption from paying also for occupational pension) were adopted in the second COVID-19 law (ZIUZEOP-A). The aforementioned laws were adopted under an accelerated procedure with no involvement of the Economic and Social Council. Its functioning was, indeed, momentarily blocked because the new government, which came to power on 13 March 2020, had not yet appointed its members in the Economic and Social Council. On 20 April, trade unions protested against the exclusion of social partners in the preparation of the second emergency law (ZIUZEOP-A). They demanded the reactivation of the Economic and Social Council. The first meeting of the Economic and Social Council was held not before 15 May 2020. The Council then became involved in negotiations about the third emergency law ZIUOOPE, issued on 30 May 2020.

Sources

  • 06 April 2020: Financial Administration, 'Preglednica ukrepov' [Table of measures] (www.gov.si)
  • 10 April 2020: Zakon o interventnih ukrepih za zajezitev epidemije COVID-19 in omilitev njenih posledic za državljane in gospodarstvo (ZIUZEOP) [Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Contain the COVID-19 Epidemic and Mitigate its Consequences for Citizens and the Economy (www.pisrs.si)
  • 30 April 2020: Zakon o interventnih ukrepih za zajezitev epidemije COVID-19 in omilitev njenih posledic za državljane in gospodarstvo, ZIUZEOP-A [Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Contain the COVID-19 Epidemic and Mitigate its Consequences for Citizens and the Economy (www.uradni-list.si)
  • 07 May 2020: [Workers’ social contributions have so far cost the state more than 90 million euros] Prispevki delavcev doslej državo stali več kot 90 milijonov evro (www.iusinfo.si)
  • 30 December 2020: Act Determining Intervention Measures to Assist in Mitigating the Consequences of the Second Wave of COVID-19 Epidemic (Zakon o interventnih ukrepih za pomoč pri omilitvi posledic drugega vala epidemije COVID-19, ZIUPOPDVE (pisrs.si)
  • 04 February 2021: Act on Additional Measures for Mitigation of Consequences COVID-19 (Zakon o dodatnih ukrepih za omilitev posledic COVID-19, ZDUOP (www.pisrs.si)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Exemption from companies' obligation to pay pension and disability and contributions and crisis bonus, case SI-2020-11/443 (measures in Slovenia), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.