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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-2022-11/2274 Updated – measures in Slovenia

Access to the labour market for Ukrainian refugees

Dostop do trga dela za ukrajinske begunc

Country Slovenia , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 09 March 2022 – 04 March 2024
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Maja Breznik (University of Ljubljana) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 May 2022 (updated 13 June 2023)

Background information

Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine and a massive exodus of population, the temporary protection for persons displaced from Ukraine was activated by adopting the government decision on 9 March 2022 ( Decision establishing temporary protection for persons displaced from Ukraine ). The further Decree on the methods for ensuring the rights of persons enjoying temporary protection (24 March 2022) determined the rights of persons with temporary protection and applicants for temporary protection.

The Government decreed that Ukrainian refugees with temporary protection enjoy the immediate right to work. The Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants made the information on measures available through printed and online brochures, a website and a free call number.

The measure is limited to one year with two further possible extensions of six months.

Content of measure

According to the Temporary Protection of Displaced Persons Act (Zakon o začasni zaščiti razseljenih oseb, ZZZRO), people under temporary protection have access to the labour market. It means that they can enrol in the register of the unemployed and thus attain the right to individual counselling at the Employment Service of Slovenia (ZRSZ). In line with their 'career plan' made by the ZRSZ counsellor and a person under temporary protection, a worker may take part in education and training programmes, organised by the Employment Service, including the Slovenian language course.

The employment procedure is relatively smooth compared to the traditional process of employment for foreign workers. Employers and temporary work agencies - in the context of a labour shortage - expressed considerable interest in employing Ukrainian refugees. However, many refugees did not bring the certificates needed for the recognition of their professional qualifications, which makes it hard to determine an appropriate job placement. Also, many refugees have insufficient knowledge of the Slovenian and English languages, which lessens job opportunities.

The right to work is limited for the duration of temporary protection.


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

02 November 2022

Following the extension of the temporary protection until 4 March 2024, the measure is automatically extended until the same day.

Use of measure

The Employment Service (ZRSZ) published information on employment procedures on its webpage in Slovenian and Ukrainian languages. In larger accommodation centres, ZRSZ organised meetings with Ukrainian refugees where employment opportunities and procedures were presented and discussed.

Ukraine refugees have equal rights to the labour market access, counselling and training as Slovenian workers. The only precondition Ukrainian refugees have this right as long as they hold temporary protection status. The Employment Service reported that 300 Ukraine refugees are listed in the record of unemployed persons until June 2022. A tenth has already found a job in predominating hospitality, cleaning, and manufacturing sectors, where language proficiency is not required. The principal obstacle to employment in more lucrative professions is lack of Slovenian language knowledge.

In February 2023, there were 433 registered unemployed Ukrainian refugees, of which 80% were women. About the same number were in employment. There was a predominance of female workers (68%). Sectors where Ukrainian refugees most frequently find employment are hospitality (24%), manufacturing (22%), administrative activities (e.g. temporary work agencies, 14%), retail (11%), and professional activities (7%). Many Ukrainians found employment with cleaning services and temporary work agencies. The representative of Slovenian Philanthropy reported on many cases of abuse because people signed unfavourable contracts

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Migrants or refugees in employment
Does not apply to businesses Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


The measure was adopted without prior consultation with social partners.

Views and reactions

In press releases, social partners expressed their solidarity with Ukraine refugees. On the other hand, the media raise the question of unequal treatment of refugees on the ground of their origin. They asked why the ‘decent treatment’ of Ukraine refugees is not applied to all. In their letter, asylum seekers stressed double standards when Ukraine citizens and when other refugees are concerned. The state provided new beds and better food for Ukraine refugees in accommodation centres. Moreover, they are allowed to stay in private accommodations, have immediate access to work and receive income support, the privileges asylum seekers can only dream of. Asylum seekers thus demanded equal treatment, the right to work and access to the social system, the right to free movement, access to decent health care, decent housing in asylum centres and legal assistance to which they have otherwise the lawful right.


  • 09 March 2022: Decision establishing temporary protection for persons displaced from Ukraine (Sklep o uvedbi začasne zaščite za razseljene osebe iz Ukrajine (
  • 24 March 2022: Employers already seek workers among Ukraine refugees (
  • 24 March 2022: Access to the labour market and education for Ukraine refugees (
  • 25 March 2022: Decree on the methods for ensuring rights of persons enjoying temporary protection (Uredba o načinu zagotavljanja pravic osebam z začasno zaščito (
  • 05 April 2022: First refugees enrol in the register of the unemployed (
  • 08 April 2022: Asylum seekers point to double standard (
  • 26 June 2022:, So far, 300 Ukrainian refugees are listed in the register of unemployed/Na zavodu za zaposlovanje doslej 300 ukrajinskih begunce (
  • 02 November 2022: Ministry of the Interior, Press Releas (


Eurofound (2022), Access to the labour market for Ukrainian refugees, measure SI-2022-11/2274 (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.