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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-2020-36/1096 – measures in Slovenia

A new employment model in Höfe

Novi zaposlitveni model v Hoferj

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 September 2020
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes of working hours or work arrangements
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Case created 10 September 2020 (updated 11 September 2020)

Background information

At the beginning of August 2020, discount retailer Höfer announced a new employment model. According to this model, workers, mainly employed in sales services and logistics, will be employed full time, 40 hours a week, but will work fewer hours, on average 30 hours a week. Discount retailer Höfer emphasises the benefits for workers from this model, better work-life balance and more time spent with their families. Höfer launched the new employment model with paid advertisements in daily newspapers Delo and Dnevnik on 10 August 2020.

Content of measure

The new employment model targets workers in sales services and logistics. It is important to note that majority of them are already part-time workers, working 30 hours a week on average. Although their payment per hour is high compared to the average payment in the retail sector, these workers receive lower wage and also have lower pension security. Their pension insurance is proportional to part-time employment, so their annual contributions for pension security are equivalent to eight months of full pension insurance and these workers risk old-age poverty. Moreover, researchers point out the problem of a high intensity of work due to which workers carry out the work of eight hours in six hours, but are paid only for six hours (Kanjuo-Mrčela in Ignjatovič, 2018).

The new employment model which will requalify part-time employment into full-time employment will solve the problem of partial pension insurance. With the requalification of the employment contract, workers will also receive a full annual holiday allowance. Yet, as all other working conditions will remain the same, the new model does not solve many existing troubles, for instance, the problems of underemployment and high intensity of work.

It also raises many open questions – the payment of bonuses for ‘overtime’, the right of workers to second employment as they are in fact part-time employees, full availability of workers to the employer etc.

Use of measure

Discount retailer Höfer will introduce the new employment model with a test period from September to December 2020. In this period, the company will test the reactions of employees and adapt a model if necessary. Until the end of 2020, a quarter of all employees in sales and logistics will be included in the Höfer (full-time) employment model. The transitional period will be concluded by the end of 2021 when more than 1,200 employees (75% of all workers) in sales and logistics are expected to be included in the ‘Höfer (full-time)’ employment model.

Contents

  • Basic working time
  • Social protection, incl. pension

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Larger corporations
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

There was no involvement of social partners in designing the measure.

Views and reactions

The representative of the Trade Union of Workers in the Trade Sector (ZSSS-SDTS) presumes that the new employment contract is a manoeuvre for obtaining the right to state subsidies for short-time work.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G45 Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
      G46 Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
      G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 04 August 2020: Höfer, Press Release, 4 August 202 (www.hofer.si)
  • 10 August 2020: V Hoferju zdaj zaposleni za polni delovni čas (advertisement), Delo, 10 August 202

Citation

Eurofound (2020), A new employment model in Höfe, case SI-2020-36/1096 (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.