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Database of national-level policy measures

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

Factsheet for measure SI-2020-23/904 Updated – measures in Slovenia

Subsidies for short-time work

Subvencioniranje krajšega delovnega čas

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 June 2020 – 30 September 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Measure added 02 July 2020 (updated 14 October 2021)

Background information

On 30 May 2020, the government issued the third COVID-19 Law (Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Mitigate and Remedy the Consequences of the COVID-19 Epidemic, ZIUOOPE).

Among many provisional measures, the most important is the short-time work subsidies scheme. The Labour Ministry will subsidise up to 50% of working time. For the time when a worker will not work, their employer will pay an allowance of 80% of the wage and subsequently be compensated by the state. Employers who cannot provide at least 10% of their employees with 90% of normal working time, i.e. 36 hours of work per week, will meet the basic qualifying condition for the subsidy.

Employers can apply for this measure every month in the period from 1 June to 31 December 2020.

Content of measure

The measure aims at the protection and retention of jobs. The measure helps companies to overcome temporary stagnation and prevent layoffs by subsidising up to 50% of full-time wages.

Workers covered by short-time subsidies scheme work at least 20 hours a week while, for the remaining working time, they are temporary laid off. For this part of working time (from 5 to 20 hours a week), the state pays monthly wage compensation:

  • €448 for 20-24 hours per week.
  • €336 for 25-29 hours.
  • €224 for 30-34 hours.
  • €112 for 35 hours.

Employers must meet the following conditions:

  • Be registered in the Slovenian Business Register before 13 March 2020;
  • employ full-time workers.
  • Cannot provide at least 10% of his employees with at least 90% of the work load.
  • Are not direct or indirect budget users.
  • Conduct consultations with trade unions or work councils (or workers directly) about the number of employees working under short-time subsidies scheme, their working hours and duration of the measure.
  • Notify the Employment Service of Slovenia about short-time work.

An employee who temporarily works short-time retains all rights and obligations as he or she would work full-time. Temporary short-time employees may register at the Employment Service and participate in active labour market policy measures. During short-time scheme, employers are not allowed to:

  • Start dismissal procedure for subsidised short-time worker up to one month after the end of the short-time work scheme.
  • Dismiss a higher number of employees.
  • Demand overtime or uneven distribution of working-time if this work could have been performed by the employees temporarily waiting for 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, extends short-time scheme until 30 June 2021. Employers must make their requests on 10 June 2021 at the latest. Companies are criminally and materially liable if they do not pay wages or wage compensations to workers or if they submit a false statement.

07 July 2021

The ninth COVID-19 (ZIUPGT), adopted by the Parliament on 7 July 2021, has extended the short-time work scheme until 30 September 2021. Government can further extend the measure until the end of 2021. The law has changed some rules on eligibility and payment limitations. Since July 2021, companies registered until 31 December 2020 and partially or fully prevented from operating their economic activities due to confinement measures are eligible. Furthermore, workers must be employed for at least three months. The state subsidy is limited to 80% of the wage compensation and the maximum payment of half of the average monthly wage (€928.10).

The total support of this measure is limited to €20 million. Employer organization The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) was not content with the limitation of the short-time work scheme only to sectors hit by confinement measures. The ninth COVID-19 law was adopted without negotiations in the Economic and Social Council (ESS). Trade unions left ESS on 14 May 2021, accusing the government of breaching the rules on tripartite social dialogue and sending laws to the parliament without prior negotiations in ESS. Apart from procedural breaches, tax reform was one of the content-related issues which drove trade unions into conflict with the government. They oppose the introduction of the social security cap and other ‘tax gifts’ on the ground that tax cuts would generate a hole in tax revenues and jeopardize social services. They announced the escalation of social conflicts in the following months.

03 February 2021

The eighth COVID-19 (ZDUOP), adopted on 3 February 2021, endows the right for short-time work to companies (including self-employed) registered before 18 October 2020. The minimum reduction is 90% of work for 10% of employees. Since January 2021, beneficiaries cannot pay dividends, buy their own shares, pay performance bonuses or awards to managers. If it happens, they must report to the Financial Administration for return or risk high fines.

Use of measure

Slovenian employers have submitted requests for short-time work subsidies for 20,556 employees just a week after the introduction of the scheme designed to help businesses, show data by the Employment Service.

According to the Employment Service of Slovenia, the average number of employees working short-time under the short-time work scheme was about 17,000 employees a month between June 2020 and March 2021. The highest number was 19,645 in June 2020. In the whole duration of the short-time work scheme, 49,526 persons were included in the scheme working for about 9,700 employers. Between June 2020 and March 2021, the measure costs €55 million. Given total sums spent for the two most important anti-COVID-19 measures (€539 million for the temporary lay-off scheme versus €55 million for the short-time scheme until March 2021), employers evidently favoured the temporary lay-off over the short-time scheme.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

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. The Council then became involved in negotiations about the third emergency law ZIUOOPE, issued on 30 May 2020.

Views and reactions

Trade unions suggested a temporary ban (of three months after the epidemics) on dismissals of workers for whom companies receive reimbursement of wage compensation. The legislator has not agreed to their proposal. Emergency laws determine the temporary employment protection of one month after the expiry of state subsidies.

Sources

  • 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)
  • 12 June 2020: IUS LABORIS, What do employers need to know about the Third COVID-19 Law in Sloveni (www.lexology.com)
  • 19 June 2020: M. Z., Za subvencioniranje skrajšanega delovnika prijavljenih že 20.500 zaposlenih [20,500 employees requested subsidies for short-time work], MMC RTVSL (www.rtvslo.si)
  • 03 August 2020: [Employers requested more than 400,000 subsidies] Delodajalci zaprosili za državne subvencije za več kot 400.000 zaposleni (www.rtvslo.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)
  • 07 July 2021: Zakon o interventnih ukrepih za pomoč gospodarstvu in turizmu pri omilitvi posledic epidemije COVID-19 (Act Determining Intervention Measures to Assist Economy and Tourism in Mitigating the Consequences of the COVID-19 Epidemic, ZIUPGT (www.iusinfo.si)
  • 08 July 2021: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS), Press Releas (www.gzs.si)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Subsidies for short-time work, measure SI-2020-23/904 (measures in Slovenia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/SI-2020-23_904.html

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