Factsheet for case SI-2020-15/482 – Updated – measures in Slovenia
|Country||Slovenia , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 11 April 2020 – 31 December 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
|Author||Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound|
|Case created||11 April 2020 (updated 11 January 2021)|
The ‘Intervention measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 infectious disease epidemic on citizens and the economy Act (ZIUZEOP)’ modified the already amended ‘Agricultural Act’, adopted on 24 April 2018, which created a new legal form of labour, the so-called temporary work in agriculture.
As an exception from the labour law, temporary work in agriculture does not fall under the general prohibition on work based on civil contract, if there are elements of the employment relationship. It is thus covered by a limited set of labour rights, like the ban on discrimination and harassment, the interdiction of child work, rules on working time, breaks, and rest periods, the prohibition of work for some specific groups. The Agricultural Act explicitly mentions viticulture, fruit growing, hop growing, and vegetable growing as sectors much in need of such unprotected and occasional labour force.
The 2020 provisions lifting restrictions to the utilization of temporary work in agriculture have been introduced to put a remedy to the shortage of immigrant workers in the agricultural sector, due to the limitations to cross-border movements caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
The measure responds to the concern of some agricultural sectors which, after the ban on border crossing relating to the COVID-19 epidemic, remained without seasonal migrant workers. By rule, ‘temporary work in agriculture’ is limited to 120 days a year. The emergency regulation suspend this limitation until the end of 2020. It means that such type of work can be carried out without restriction all year. The emergency regulation also stipulates that Public Employment Service may assign temporary work in agriculture to temporary laid-off persons. Upon the request of agricultural enterprise, the Public Employment Service sends to work a person who is temporary laid-off due to the epidemic
Hop growers report on troubles due to labour shortage after the ban on the border crossing. They say that the sector relies on Rumanian seasonal agricultural workers who are no more allowed to come. Goran Lukič from the Counselling Office for Workers commented that better pay and labour protections would help to make agricultural work more attractive to the Slovene population.
||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|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:
The law was adopted under an accelerated procedure with no involvement of the Economic and Social Council. Its functioning is momentarily blocked because the new government, which came to power on 13 March 2020, has not yet appointed its members in the Economic and Social Council.
Trade unions and employer organizations have submitted proposals to the law. The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia (KGZS) - the umbrella interest organization of natural and legal persons in the Republic of Slovenia engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishery - demanded uninterrupted ‘access’ to the migrant labour force, while trade union confederations requested the withdrawal of the relevant article.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|A - Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing||A1 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities|
|A2 Forestry and logging|
|A3 Fishing and aquaculture|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2020), Restrictions lifted on temporary work in agriculture, case SI-2020-15/482 (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.