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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-2020-24/1102 Updated – measures in Slovenia

Initiative from employers for reforming teleworking arrangements

Pobuda za reformo dela od dom

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 11 June 2020
Type Non-binding recommendations or other texts
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Case created 11 September 2020 (updated 24 February 2021)

Background information

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of workers working at home. According to the Labour Inspectorate, about 2,000 companies reported on workers who worked at home in the past. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the number has increased to 10,000 companies (involving about 100,000 employees) (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia - GZS, 11 June 2020). Teleworking will become a more frequent form of work in the future. During the epidemic, when employers had to send workers to work from home, they experienced the rigidity and ambiguities of the current regulation in this respect (MDDSZ, Instructions, 22 June 2020). Employer organisations are now proposing certain reforms on that topic.

Content of measure

Employer organisations addressed the initiative for simplifying the regulation concerning the work at home to social partners and the government in particular (for instance, the Association of Employers Slovenia – ZDS, 15 May 2020). On 11 June, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) organised an informative webinar in which speakers (representatives of the employer organisation, ministry of labour, labour inspectorate, and private business) presented the state of the art and proposals of how to adapt regulations to new needs and necessities.

For now, if a worker starts to work at home:

  • the employer must conclude a new employment contract (because the place of work has changed);
  • he must inform the Labour Inspectorate;
  • he must pay compensation to the worker for the material costs (maximum five per cent of the average national salary);
  • he is fully responsible for the health and safety of workers.

The proposal presented at the webinar entails that the law would differentiate between the situation when the worker habitually works at home, and when the worker only occasionally works at home. In the first case, the current legislation would still apply; in the second situation, the employer would only have an obligation to set up rules on health and safety at work, but the worker would be responsible for taking them in the account.

Rules on health and safety at work usually encompass requirements on the working environment (lightening, noise, temperature), job post (separate mouse, keyboard and screen at a certain height), flexible office chair on five wheels, determination of working time and rest periods

Updates

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

03 February 2021

During the second wave of the epidemic, a new digital service was created to simplify the reporting of telework to the Labour Inspectorate via the website SPOT (eVem). Act on Additional Measures for Mitigation of Consequences COVID-19 (ZDUOP), adopted on 3 February 2021, extends the simplified reporting until 31 December 2021.

Use of measure

The proposal explicitly suggests the necessity of legal changes. It is interesting to add that half of all 26 collective agreements include a general clause about work from home. A quarter of them stipulates that the employer and employee can draw an annex to the employment contract on this – a controversial clause as the webinar has shown. Employer organisation GZS expects that more collective agreements are going to include clauses about work from home. GZS, for instance, supports the idea that the ‘right to switch off’ is included in collective agreements.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Employers' organisations
No special funding required

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable 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: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

Employer organisations addressed the initiative for simplifying the regulation concerning work from home.

Views and reactions

No feedback from trade unions and the government so far.

Sources

  • 15 May 2020: Association of Employers Slovenia – ZDS, ZDS na Ekonomsko socialnem svetu o PKP3 in preklicu epidemije, 15 May 202 (www.zds.si)
  • 11 June 2020: Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia – GZS, Delo od doma pod drobnogledom (webinar (www.gzs.si)
  • 18 June 2020: The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities (MDDSZ), Opravljanje dela na domu z vidika delovnega prava in varnosti in zdravja pri del (www.gov.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), Initiative from employers for reforming teleworking arrangements, case SI-2020-24/1102 (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.