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Factsheet for measure SI-2021-53/2123 Updated – measures in Slovenia

Promotion of wage bracket for doctors and dentists

Napredovanje zdravnikov in zobozdravnikov do 63. plačnega razred

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 30 December 2021 – 11 April 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
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 09 January 2022 (updated 22 June 2022)

Background information

In November 2021, the government announced negotiations with trade unions in the health and social care sector. It promised wage increases for nurses and care workers from 4 to 25%. The government hopes that the agreement will prevent the migration of health and care workers to better-paid jobs in other sectors or foreign countries. Claiming that the agreement distorts pay relations in the health sector, the trade union of doctors and dentists started a campaign for better pay. A result is a much-contested statutory provision within the tenth anti-COVID-19 law (ZDUPŠOP), which provides doctors and dentists with a temporary exemption from the Public Sector Salary System Act (Zakon o sistemu plač v javnem sektorju, ZSPJS).

Content of measure

The trade union requested the exit of doctors and dentists from the public sector salary system, contesting the maximum salary threshold for the top health workers. In the Public Sector Salary System Act (ZSPJS), the highest wage bracket a doctor or a dentist can attain is the 57th wage bracket (€3,960 gross salary). The tenth anti-COVID-19 law (ZDUPŠOP) gives group E1 (doctors and dentists) a possibility to be promoted up to the 63rd wage bracket. It is a temporary measure until 31 December 2022. Raising their salaries by 25%, the measure may benefit about 35% of all doctors and dentists currently in the 57th wage brackets. Other trade unions claim the statutory provision abuses COVID-19 emergency law and deprives other public employees of the right to promotion. They announced to file a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court.

The tenth anti-COVID-19 law (ZDUPŠOP) also exempt the directors of firefighting and rescue units involved in the prevention of COVID-19 infections from the Public Sector Salary System Act . They are entitled to allowance for work in risky conditions, 65% of their hourly rate salaries for half of the regular working hours. It is a retroactive measure, valid from 19 October 2020 to 15 June 2021.


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

11 April 2022

The Constitutional Court annulled Article 48 (promotion of doctors and dentists up to a 63rd wage bracket) on 11 April 2022, arguing that the measure is not necessary to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use of measure

The measure may benefit about 35% of all doctors and dentists currently in the 57th wage bracket.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
National funds

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: Sectoral or branch level


The law was adopted without prior consultation with the Economic and Social Council. Its functioning has been blocked since 14 May 2021, when trade unions left the council. The reason for obstruction is a dispute with the government about the role of social partners. While the government claims that social partners have only a consultative role, trade unions request negotiations. According to trade unions, the government negates the fundamental principles of the social dialogue.

Views and reactions

The tenth anti-COVID-19 law (ZDUPŠOP) provoked harsh reactions of trade unions. Trade unions (The Association of Free Trade Union, ZSSS and Confederation of Slovenian Trade unions PERGAM) wrote that the government had breached the rules on tripartite negotiations by sending the draft law in the parliamentary procedure without negotiating it with the Economic and Social Council. According to the same source, the government has no wish to restore tripartite social dialogue and intends to exclude social partners from all legislative drafting procedures. Trade unions expressed concerns that COVID-19 emergency laws are abused for changing ‘systemic laws’.

The exemption from the Public Sector Salary System Act (ZSPJS) for doctors and dentists raised particularly harsh reactions. Trade unions claim the provision abuses COVID-19 emergency law and deprives other public employees of the right to promotion. They announced to file a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Health professionals


  • 16 December 2021: Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije (The Association of free trade unions of Slovenia, ZSSS), Letter to Parliamentary Deputie (
  • 27 December 2021: Confederation of Slovenian Trade Unions PERGAM, ‘KSS PERGAM's views on the amended PKP10 (
  • 29 December 2021: Act on Additional Measures to Stop Spreading and Mitigate, Control, Recover and Eliminate the Consequences of COVID-19 (Zakon o dodatnih ukrepih za preprečevanje širjenja, omilitev, obvladovanje, okrevanje in odpravo posledic COVID-19, ZDUPŠOP), Official Gazette, No. 206/200 (


Eurofound (2022), Promotion of wage bracket for doctors and dentists, measure SI-2021-53/2123 (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.