European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

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-2021-1/1675 – measures in Slovenia

Cancellation of employment contract of workers fulfilling requirements for retirement

Odpoved pogodbe o zaposlitvi delavcem, ki izpolnjujejo pogoje za upokojite

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category 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 08 January 2021 (updated 14 January 2021)

Background information

The seventh COVID-19 law (ZIUPOPDVE), adopted by the Parliament on 29 December 2020, brings two changes in the Employment Relationship Act and Public Employees Act. Articles 21 and 22 will ease the dismissals of older workers who fulfil requirements for retirement. This change was adopted with no involvement of the Economic and Social Council. While trade unions are protesting, the employer organisations are content with the measure. Trade unions announced to appeal the articles to the Constitutional Court. The Parliament took precocious measure against the possibility that the seventh COVID-19 is rejected on the public referendum. On 30 December 2020, it passed a decision which bans to call for a referendum regarding this law.

Content of measure

Articles 21 and 22 adds another reason for ordinary cancellation of an employment contract. When a worker fulfils the requirements for old-age pension, the employer may cancel the employment contract without any justification. The notice period is 60 days and the dismissed worker has the right to severance pay.

The measure is dubbed ‘forced retirement’ by trade unions. In the press release on 30 December 2020, seven trade union confederations said it is discriminatory to older workers. It is, they claim, also against the goal, set by social partners, to retain older workers in employment. Moreover, according to their estimation, the ‘forced retirement’ will trigger an additional outflow of €245 million in the pension fund. Employer organisations responded that trade unions’ reaction is exaggerated.

On 30 December 2020, the Parliament passed a decision banning the popular referendum regarding the Act Determining Intervention Measures to Assist in Mitigating the Consequences of the Second Wave of COVID-19 Epidemic (ZIUPOPDVE).

Use of measure

No information is available so far.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Older people in employment (aged 55+)
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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 Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

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

Involvement

This change was adopted with no involvement of the Economic and Social Council.

Views and reactions

‘Forced retirement’ of workers, who fulfil the requirements for retirement, generated harsh reactions from trade unions. Seven trade union confederations issued a press release (on 30 December 2020) saying that it is an abuse of the emergency law, adopted with no trade unions' involvement in negotiations. Contrary, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS, 31 December 2020) supports the measure by which the employer will be able to send into retirement a worker who is ‘no longer committed to work’

Sources

  • 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)
  • 30 December 2020: Seven trade union confederations, Izjava za javnost [Press release (www.zsss.si)
  • 30 December 2020: Decision on the ban on the popular referendum regarding Act Determining Intervention Measures to Assist in Mitigating the Consequences of the Second Wave of COVID-19 Epidemic [Sklep o nedopustnosti razpisa zakonodajnega referenduma o Zakonu o interventnih ukrepih za pomoč pri omilitvi posledic drugega vala epidemije COVID-19 (ZIUPOPDVE) (pisrs.si)
  • 31 December 2020: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS), Sporočilo medijem [Press release (www.gzs.si)

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Cancellation of employment contract of workers fulfilling requirements for retirement , case SI-2021-1/1675 (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.