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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-2020-45/1482 – measures in Slovenia

Survey of companies about workers, infected in workplaces

Anketa podjetij o obolelih na delovnem mestu

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 06 November 2020 – 09 November 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Measure added 27 November 2020 (updated 13 June 2023)

Background information

On 16 October 2020, the Slovenian government issued Ordinance on the declaration of the COVID-19 epidemic in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia . The closure of some sectors (hospitality and restaurants, retail except shops selling essential goods) and the recommendation for employees to work at home did not lessen the prevalence of COVID-19 infections. The unfavourable outcome raises concerns about the health and safety measures in companies. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) organised the survey of 50 companies about the health and safety at the workplace in order to determine the impact of industry on infection rate.

Content of measure

Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije (The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, GZS) organised a quick survey of companies. On the ground of survey results, GZS reports that 0.8% of employees are absent from work due to COVID-19 infection and about 2% for other reasons (either the closure of schools or quarantine). According to GZS, the figures show that the spread of the virus is under control in the workplaces and that employers observe the safety rules recommended by the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ). These results support industries' request for the government to not close down the economy and risk more economic damage.

In contrast to GZS, dr. Žiga Zaplotnik (COVID-19 Tracker Slovenia, established by volunteering scientists) has proved that people have more diverse contacts at work than in other social environments (household, school, leisure and the like). Therefore, the risk of infection is proportionally higher in workplaces.

Moreover, The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) surveyed 10,205 persons who tested positive for COVID-19. Among them, the largest share got infected in the workplace (every fourth participant in the survey). The average age of infected persons (between 45 and 54) supports this survey outcome. While slightly less than a quarter cannot say the location, more than 20% got infected in household and 15% in care homes or centres for people with disabilities. Journal Mladina wrote that the Ministry of Health practically stopped tracing contacts and issuing quarantine decisions because of the lack of personnel.

Newspaper Dnevnik wrote that 10% of people surveyed continued to go to work despite having one of the COVID-19 symptoms. Workers are afraid of losing their jobs and employers are not incentivised to encourage employees to stay at home. Employer must cover 100% sick leave for persons who got infected in the workplace. The worker must first prove that they were infected at work in a procedure similar to the ‘accident at the workplace’ procedure. The employee needs the employer's permission for this procedure. For instance, health care workers who had worked with COVID-19 patients could not prove they were infected at work. It was said that even if they were infected in the workplace, it was due to their negligence.

Use of measure

In the second wave of the pandemic, people continue to work onsite compared to the first one, notwithstanding a much higher number of infections. It is estimated that during the first wave of pandemic in Spring 2020, about 30% of employees worked at their workplace. During the second wave, the proportion is turned upside down: 30% work at home and 70% at their workplaces.

In September, authorities issued about 6,000 quarantine decisions a month. Since 1 October, when the number of infections was extraordinarily growing, the number dropped to about 1,400 a month.

A website Mešanec has started to collect testimonies of workers about health and safety at work.


  • Health and safety

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Employers' organisations
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: N/A


No involvement.

Views and reactions

No information available.


  • 10 November 2020: GZS, Sporočilo za javnost [Press Release] (
  • 12 November 2020: COVID-19 Tracker Slovenia, Kako lahko znanost pomaga odločevalcem? [How can science help policymakers? (
  • 25 November 2020: MMC RTVSLO, Zakaj še vedno toliko okužb? [Why are there still so many infections? (
  • 27 November 2020: Borut Mekina, ‘Zakaj ukrepi ne delujejo?’ [Why measures do not work?], Mladin (
  • 28 November 2020: Igor Dernovšek in Tomaž Klipšteter, ‘Podjetja so postala največja žarišča’ [Businesses have become the biggest hotspots], Dnevni (


Eurofound (2020), Survey of companies about workers, infected in workplaces, measure SI-2020-45/1482 (measures in Slovenia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.