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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-2021-36/2030 – measures in Slovenia

Collective bargaining on crisis bonuses in the public sector

Kolektivno pogajanje o kriznih dodatkih v javnem sektorj

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 02 September 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Bipartite collective agreements
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Measure added 08 October 2021 (updated 15 October 2021)

Background information

On 2 September 2021, the government adopted a proposal for the redefinition of the crisis bonus in the public sector. Collective agreement for public sector (Kolektivna pogodba za javni sektor, KPJS) stipulates that, during the pandemic, all working in hazardous conditions receive a crisis bonus, 65% of the basic pay. In the document sent to the public sector trade unions, the government proposed the crisis bonuses set at fixed amounts instead of a percentage. It is argued that fixed bonuses will more justly reward low-income workers directly or indirectly caring for COVID-19 patients.

Content of measure

During the COVID-19 pandemic, public employees working in hazardous conditions have the right to the crisis bonus according to Article 39 of the Collective agreement for public sector . COVID-19 laws endowed them with a right to an additional 30% crisis bonus (see Eurofound website, Case SI-2020-11/910 .

The public sector trade unions much criticised the distribution of crisis bonuses among public employees. Firstly, the management of each public institution decided on who gets the crisis bonus and in what amount. It led to a high inequality among public employees who may receive very different bonuses for the same jobs. Secondly, the crisis bonus, defined as a percentage of the basic pay, led to unequal compensation for the same risk. For example, a doctor and a nurse, working in the same hazardous conditions, received different bonuses because the nurse’s basic pay is much smaller than the doctor’s.

Launching collective negotiations, the government addresses the second issue by proposing the crisis bonuses set at fixed amounts. It suggested three sums:

  • €400 a month for health and care workers in direct contact with COVID-19 patients;
  • €200 for less hazardous working conditions (for instance, cleaning);
  • €100 for the least hazardous working conditions.

The government has not yet begun negotiations with the unions.

Use of measure

The payment of crisis bonuses for public employees has ended on 15 June 2021, with the end of the fourth wave of the pandemic. Despite the growth of COVID-19 infections since August 2021, crisis bonuses are not paid because the government has not declared a pandemic. Although healthcare workers are facing an increasing number of patients, they are not entitled to crisis allowances. No information is available so far.


  • Bonuses

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Workers in essential services
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Trade unions
National funds

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


The government issued the draft proposal with no involvement of trade unions.

Views and reactions

Trade unions are not satisfied with the crisis bonuses proposed by the government. The Healthcare Trade Union of Slovenia (Sindikat delavcev v zdravstveni negi Slovenije, SDZNS) said that allowances should be higher in order to keep workers in the sector and prevent fleeing of the workforce into other sectors.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
      Q87 Residential care activities
      Q88 Social work activities without accommodation

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 02 September 2021: The Government of Slovenia, The draft annex to CA for public secto (
  • 02 September 2021: Barbara Hočevar, 'Dodatke bi določili v nominalnih zneskih (Bonuses set at nominal amounts)', Delo (


Eurofound (2021), Collective bargaining on crisis bonuses in the public sector, measure SI-2021-36/2030 (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.