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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-2020-11/910 Updated – measures in Slovenia

Crisis bonus for public employees

Krizni dodatek za javne uslužbenc

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 13 March 2020 – 31 December 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Case created 02 July 2020 (updated 22 January 2021)

Background information

On 10 April 2020, the government issued the first COVID-19 law (Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Contain the COVID-19 Epidemic and Mitigate its Consequences for Citizens and the Economy, ZIUZEOP). Article 71 gives public employees the right to crisis bonus during the epidemics (from 13 March to 31 May). The maximum level is 100% of hourly pay.

Content of measure

According to the Collective Agreement for Public Sector, public servants have the right to bonus in the amount of 65% of hourly pay for hazardous work. The first COVID-19 law gives them another 35%, up to a maximum of 100%.

The law says that employees who were exposed to a high health risk during the epidemics or overburdened with work have the right to crisis bonus. Directors of public institutions (health centers, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, police stations, ministries and so on) decide on who receives crisis bonus. The number of recipients was not limited.

The third COVID-19 law (ZIUOOPE) gives members of Civil Protection and other volunteers, participating in urgent interventions, the right to crisis bonus. Members of Civil Protection receive a daily bonus of €30, volunteers €10 (for work up to 4 hours), €20 (between 4 and 8 hours) or €30 (for more than 8 hours). On top of this, employers receive wage compensation for days when members of Civil Protection were absent from work.

Updates

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

29 December 2021

The seventh COVID-19 law (ZIUPOPDVE), adopted by the Parliament on 29 December 2020, gives 30% crisis bonus to employees working with COVID-19 patients in hospitals and institutions providing social protection programmes, home care work, education and care of children with special needs, asylum seekers. It is new that the crisis bonus goes to public employees as well as workers employed with concessioners and contractors. The measure will be in force until December 2021.

27 November 2020

The sixth COVID-19 law (ZIUOPDVE), adopted by the Parliament on 25 November 2020, makes directors of public institutions also eligible for crisis bonus. On the other hand, cleaners who clean facilities with a high risk of infection receive no bonus, as they are employed with private companies (cleaning services).

Use of measure

Interim report shows that indirect budget users (health institutions, nursing homes, etc.) spent €63 million for crisis bonuses, while direct budget users (central and local government) €11 million. Distribution of crisis bonus has raised concerns about arbitrary decisions of managers as well as its justification. For instance, one hospital refused to accept COVID-19 patients from nursing homes during the epidemic. Its employees nevertheless got €776,650 in crisis bonuses. The total sum spent on public employees’ crisis bonus is still unknown. Until October 2020, the Ministry of Finance collected all payment requests valued €193 million in total, €42.3 million under the first COVID-19 law and more than €150 million under the Collective Agreement for Public Sector.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
The COVID-19 risk group at the workplace
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Up to 15 May 2020, social partners communicated with the government mostly by the written proposals. Negotiations between social partners were 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 emergency laws. 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. Since 15 May, the Council is involved in negotiations about next emergency laws

Views and reactions

Trade unions publicly protested against the decision that appointed superiors (directors of public institutions) to decide who is entitled to the crisis bonus. Through the commission for the interpretation of the collective agreement, they demanded crisis bonus for all who worked during the epidemics, except those who worked at home. Although they failed, a majority of public employees have received crisis bonus: in the health sector, 22,000 workers out of 40.000.

Sources

  • 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)
  • 30 May 2020: Zakon o interventnih ukrepih za omilitev in odpravo posledic epidemije COVID-19 (ZIUOOPE) [Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Mitigate and Remedy the Consequences of the COVID-19 Epidemic (www.uradni-list.si)
  • 23 June 2020: Andreja Rednjak, ‘Javni sektor terja od države 75 milijonov evrov koronadodatkov’ [The public sector demands €75 million of corona allowances from the state] Financ (www.finance.si)
  • 12 September 2020: [€193 million for crisis bonuses] Za 193 milijonov evrov kriznih dodatko (www.delo.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)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Crisis bonus for public employees, case SI-2020-11/910 (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.