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Amendment to Slovenia’s Employment Relationships Act

This article is available in both English and Slovenian.

On 7 November 2023, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted an amendment to the Employment Relationships Act (“ERA-1D“) that entered into force on 16 November 2023. The ERA-1D transposes Directive (EU) 2019/1152 on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union and the Directive (EU) 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and carers to Slovenian legislation. In addition, the ERA-1D also introduces other changes, some of which are outlined below.

1. Work-life balance measures

1.1 Carers’ leave

The ERA-1D introduces the institution of carers’ leave for employees providing care or support to a family member, or to a person who lives in the same household, for medical reasons that do not entitle the employee to use care leave under health insurance rules. This is a form of unpaid absence from work of up to five working days per calendar year. The employee will have to prove to the employer that he or she is entitled to this type of absence by submitting a statement explaining the reasons for the absence, along with the details of the person who is in need of significant care and the relevant supporting documents (medical certificate, certificate from social services, etc.).

1.2 Right to disconnect

The ERA-1D stipulates the employer’s obligation to ensure employees’ right to disconnect, so that they are not at the employer’s disposal during periods of rest or justified absence from work. In this respect, under the ERA-1D, employers are obligated to implement measures by way of amending the collective bargaining agreements or internal acts that are necessary to provide for the right to disconnect, within one year of the entry into force of ERA-1D (i.e. by 16 November 2024).

Furthermore, ERA-1D establishes a presumption that, in the event of a dispute where the employee claims that the employer has violated his or her right to disconnect, the burden of proof is on the employer.

1.3 The right to part-time work for parents and carers

An employee caring for a child under the age of eight will now be able to propose to the employer that they work part-time based on an employment contract for a fixed period, during which the employee’s existing employment contract will stay dormant. The same option will be available to carers. The employer will have to respond to such a proposal from the employee and justify their decision within 15 days. An employee who enters into a part-time employment contract on this basis will enjoy the same social security rights as if they worked full-time.

2. Measures for transparent and predictable working conditions

2.1 Predictable and improved working conditions

Employment contracts concluded after the entry into force of ERA-1D will have to include, as mandatory elements, provisions on payment of allowances and provisions on training provided by the employer. The time spent on education and training that are required for the work process is regarded as working time.

An employee who has been employed by the employer for at least six months and whose probationary period has expired, may propose to the employer to change his/her employment contract. Such a change could be in the form of a transition from a fixed-term contract to a contract for an unlimited period or from a part-time to a full-time contract, in order to improve the working conditions. The employer will have to respond to such a proposal and justify their decision in writing within 30 days.

2.2 Higher compensation for agency workers

Agency workers who are temporarily laid off will now receive a higher salary compensation of 80 % of their salaries (instead of the previous 70 % of the minimum wage in the Republic of Slovenia).

2.3 Higher level of protection and security for employees posted to a user

An employer must inform an employee who has been posted to work for a user undertaking, in writing, regarding the user, the working conditions and the employee’s obligations and rights during their work for the user, including details related to the remuneration for the work in question.

3. Measures for additional protection of employees

3.1 Employee’s defence in the event of a warning before dismissal for culpability

If a warning is given to an employee, the employer will now be required, at the employee’s written request, which may be made within three working days of receipt of the written warning, to give the employee the opportunity to make a statement regarding the alleged violations within a reasonable period of no less than three working days and no more than 30 days. The employer will have to give the employee their decision, in writing, on the written warning within eight days following the defence meeting.

The ERA-1D shortens the period during which an employee must not repeat a violation of his or her obligations while employed, in order to avoid being dismissed for culpability, from one year to six months. The maximum period allowed in collective bargaining agreements will change from two years to 18 months. In practice, it is often difficult to determine whether the reason for a violation is culpability or incompetence. The shorter reference period makes it more difficult for the employer to decide on this matter, while at the same time forcing them to monitor the employee even more closely.

3.2 Rights of employees’ representatives

The ERA-1D provides that the suspension of the effect of termination, with respect to an employment contract with employees’ representatives, may be extended until the dispute is resolved in a court of first instance, or within a maximum of six months. If the employer prevents said employee from working, the employee will be entitled to a higher compensation of 80 % (instead of the previous 50 %) of the employee’s salary. These provisions apply 12 months after the entry into force of the ERA-1D.

3.3 Additional leave and part-time work for victims of violence

The ERA-1D introduces paid absence for employees who are victims of domestic violence so they may manage their personal affairs. Such employees are entitled to five days of paid leave per calendar year to arrange for protection, manage legal matters and other institutional procedures and to deal with the consequences of domestic violence. The employee will be required to provide the employer with a certificate from the social services with an assessment of the risk of domestic violence, proof of having reported the instance or instances of violence to the police and proof of making use of measures to ensure the employee’s safety.

An employee who is a victim of violence may also propose to work part-time based on a fixed-term employment contract.

3.4 Longer period to carry over the unused leave

If the employee is absent due to illness, injury, maternity leave or childcare leave, the period for carrying over annual leave shall extend from 31 December of the following year, to 31 March of the year following the year to which the annual leave may be carried over. We recommend examining the case law of the EU Court of Justice in individual cases where the employee will not be able to exercise this right before the end of the extended carry-over period, for example due to long-term illness.

3.5 Expiry of notice in the event of absence due to illness or injury

The ERA-1D makes it clear that, if in the event of termination of an employment contract due to business reasons or incapacity, the employee is absent from work due to illness or injury at the end of the notice period, said period will expire on the last day of the employee’s absence and the employee’s return to work will no longer be relevant. The objective time limit for the expiry of the notice period remains as six months following the expiry of the notice period.

4. Additional obligations and fines for employers

4.1 Subsidiary liability in construction

In the construction sector, the ERA-1D introduces subsidiary liability of the contractor towards the employees of its direct subcontractor when the latter is unable to provide salaries to its employees.

4.2 New violations and fines for employers

Violations of the right to disconnect, of the obligation to enable the use of carers’ leave and parental leave, of the obligation to enable a victim of violence to use additional leave and the obligation to respond to employees’ proposals to amend their employment contract are punishable by a fine ranging between EUR 1,500 and EUR 4,000 for the employer and between EUR 450 and EUR 2,000 for the responsible person.

5. How can Wolf Theiss assist you?

Wolf Theiss offers integrated and tailor-made solutions for business compliance with ERA-1D, as well as with other regulations, including:

  • Revision of the existing and/or drafting of new internal employer policies;
  • Revision of the existing and/or drafting of new employment contracts;
  • Legal advice by an experienced team of employment lawyers in the event of specific questions or legal representation of employers before inspection authorities or courts.

In addition to our team of employment law experts, our strength is our extensive international experience and understanding of the organisational structure of corporations within the CEE and SEE region.

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Novela Zakona o delovnih razmerjih

Državni zbor Republike Slovenije je 7. 11. 2023 potrdil novelo Zakona o delovnih razmerjih (“ZDR-1D“), zakonske spremembe pa so stopile v veljavo 16. 11. 2023. Z ZDR-1D se že z nekaj zamude v slovenski pravni red prenašata Direktiva (EU) 2019/1152 o preglednih in predvidljivih pogojih dela v Evropski uniji in Direktiva (EU) 2019/1158 o usklajevanju poklicnega in zasebnega življenja staršev in oskrbovalcev. ZDR-1D poleg tega uvaja tudi druge novosti, pri čemer nekatere predstavljamo v nadaljevanju.

1. Ukrepi, namenjeni usklajevanju prostega časa, počitka in poklicnega življenja

1.1 Oskrbovalski dopust

ZDR-1D uvaja institut oskrbovalskega dopusta, in sicer za primer, ko delavec oskbuje družinskega člana ali osebo, s katero živi v skupnem gospodinjstvu, zaradi zdravstvenih razlogov, ni pa upravičen do npr. nege v skladu s predpisi o zdravstvenem zavarovanju. Gre za obliko neplačane odsotnosti z dela v obsegu do petih delovnih dni v koledarskem letu. Pravico do tovrstne odsotnosti bo delavec delodajalcu izkazal s predložitvijo izjave, v kateri bo navedel razloge za odsotnost in podatke o osebi, ki ji mora zagotavljati znatnejšo nego, za kar bo moral priložiti tudi ustrezna dokazila (zdravniško potrdilo, potrdilo centra za socialno delo, itd.).

1.2 Pravica do odklopa

ZDR-1D določa obveznost delodajalca, da delavcu zagotavlja pravico do odklopa, tako da delavec v času izrabe pravice do počitka oziroma upravičenih odsotnosti z dela ne bo na razpolago delodajalcu. Delodajalcu ZDR-1D nalaga tudi obveznost, da v ta namen v kolektivni pogodbi oziroma s splošnim aktom sprejme ustrezne ukrepe za zagotovitev pravice do odklopa v roku enega leta od uveljavitve ZDR-1D (tj. do 16. 11. 2024).

ZDR-1D vzpostavlja domnevo, da je v primeru spora, ko bi delavec trdil, da naj bi delodajalec kršil njegovo pravico do odklopa, dokazno breme na strani delodajalca.

1.3 Pravica do krajšega delovnega časa staršev in oskrbovalcev

Delavec, ki neguje otroka, mlajšega od osmih let, bo lahko po novem predlagal delodajalcu sklenitev pogodbe o zaposlitvi za krajši delovni čas za določen čas, v katerem bo njegova obstoječa pogodba o zaposlitvi mirovala. Enako bodo lahko storili tudi delavci oskrbovalci v primeru oskrbe. Delodajalec se bo moral na takšen predlog delavca odzvati in svojo odločitev utemeljiti v 15 dneh. Delavec, ki bo na tej podlagi sklenil pogodbo o zaposlitvi za delo za krajši delovni čas, bo užival pravice iz socialnega zavarovanja, kot če bi delal polni delovni čas.

2. Ukrepi, namenjeni zagotavljanju preglednih in predvidljivih pogojev dela

2.1 Predvidljivi in boljši delovni pogoji

Pogodbe o zaposlitvi, sklenjene po uveljavitvi ZDR-1D, bodo kot obvezne sestavine morale vključevati tudi določilo o plačilu dodatkov in določilo o usposabljanju s strani delodajalca. Čas izobraževanja, izpopolnjevanja in usposabljanja delavca, ki ga zahtevajo potrebe delovnega procesa, se všteva v delovni čas.

Delavec, ki je pri delodajalcu zaposlen vsaj šest mesecev in se mu je iztekel tudi čas morebitnega poskusnega dela, bo lahko z namenom izboljšanja pogojev dela delodajalcu predlagal spremembo pogodbe o zaposlitvi, npr. iz pogodbe za določen čas v pogodbo za nedoločen čas ali iz pogodbe za krajši delovni čas v polni delovni čas. Delodajalec bo moral svojo odločitev o delavčevem predlogu pisno utemeljiti v 30 dneh.

2.2 Višja nadomestila agencijskih delavcev

Agencijski delavci, ki bodo na čakanju na delo, bodo odslej prejemali višje nadomestilo, in sicer v višini 80 % delavčeve plače (namesto dosedanjih 70 % minimalne plače v Republiki Sloveniji).

2.3 Višja raven varstva in zaščite delavcev, napotenih na delo k uporabniku

Delodajalec mora delavca, ki ga je napotil na delo, pisno obvestiti o uporabniku, pogojih dela pri uporabniku ter o njegovih obveznostih in pravicah pri uporabniku, kar vključuje tudi podrobnejše informacije o plačilu za delo.

3. Ukrepi, namenjeni dodatnemu varstvu delavcev

3.1 Zagovor delavca v primeru opozorila pred odpovedjo iz krivdnega razloga

Delodajalci bodo morali odslej v primeru podaje opozorila delavcu na njegovo pisno zahtevo, ki jo lahko vloži v treh delovnih dneh od prejema pisnega opozorila, omogočiti, da se delavec v razumnem roku, ki ne sme biti krajši od treh delovnih dni in daljši od 30 dni, izjavi o očitanih kršitvah. Delodajalec bo moral delavcu v osmih dneh po zagovoru podati pisno odločitev o pisnem opozorilu.

ZDR-1D časovno obdobje, v katerem delavec v izogib odpovedi iz krivdnega razloga ne sme ponoviti kršitve delovnih obveznosti, skrajšuje z enega leta na šest mesecev ter najdaljši rok, dovoljen v kolektivnih pogodbah, iz dveh let na 18 mesecev. V praksi so pogosti primeri, ko je težko ugotoviti, ali je razlog za kršitev krivdne narave ali nesposobnost, pri čemer krajše referenčno obdobje delodajalcu tovrstno odločitev otežuje, hkrati pa delodajalca primora k še natančnejšemu spremljanju delavca.

3.2 Pravice delavskih predstavnikov

ZDR-1D določa, da se lahko zadržanje učinkovanja prenehanja pogodbe o zaposlitvi delavskim predstavnikom podaljša do odločitve v sporu na prvi stopnji oziroma najdlje za šest mesecev. Če delodajalec takšnemu delavcu prepove opravljati delo, bo delavec upravičen do višjega nadomestila, in sicer v višini 80 % (namesto prejšnjih 50 %) delavčeve plače. Navedene določbe se začnejo uporabljati 12 mesecev po uveljavitvi ZDR-1D.

3.3 Dodatni dopust in možnost krajšega delovnega časa za žrtve nasilja

Z ZDR-1D se uvaja plačana odsotnost za namen urejanja zadev delavcev, ki so žrtev nasilja v družini. Takšen delavec ima pravico do petih dni plačane odsotnosti v koledarskem letu za urejanje zaščite, pravnih in drugih postopkov pri institucijah ter odpravljanja posledic nasilja v družini. Delavec bo moral delodajalcu predložiti potrdilo centra za socialno delo o oceni ogroženosti zaradi nasilja v družini, dokazilo o prijavi na policijo in dokazilo o uveljavljanju ukrepov za zagotovitev varnosti žrtve.

Delavec, ki je žrtev nasilja, lahko za določen čas predlaga tudi sklenitev pogodbe za krajši delovni čas.

3.4 Daljše obdobje za prenos neizkoriščenega dopusta

Če bo delavec odsoten zaradi bolezni, poškodbe, materinskega dopusta ali dopusta za nego in varstvo otroka, se obdobje za prenos letnega dopusta podaljšuje z 31. decembra naslednjega leta do 31. marca leta, ki sledi letu, v katerega je možen prenos letnega dopusta. Svetujemo, da se v posamičnih primerih, ko delavec pred potekom podaljšanega obdobja za prenos zaradi npr. dolgotrajne bolniške odsotnosti ne bo imel dejanske možnosti izvršitve te pravice, preuči aktualna sodna praksa Sodišča EU.

3.5 Iztek odpovednega roka v primeru odsotnosti z dela zaradi bolezni ali poškodbe

ZDR-1D jasneje določa, da v primeru, ko je delavec ob izteku odpovednega roka v posledici odpovedi pogodbe o zaposlitvi iz poslovnega razloga ali razloga nesposobnosti z dela odsoten zaradi bolezni ali poškodbe, se mu odpovedni rok izteče z zadnjim dnem odsotnosti delavca; ne omenja se več vrnitev delavca na delovno mesto. Objektivni rok za iztek odpovednega roka ostaja šest mesecev po izteku odpovednega roka.

4. Dodatne obveznosti in globe za delodajalce

4.1 Subsidiarna odgovornost v gradbeništvu

ZDR-1D v panogi gradbeništva uvaja subsidiarno odgovornost pogodbenika napram delavcem njegovega neposrednega podizvajalca, kadar slednji ne more zagotoviti plač svojim delavcem.

4.2 Nove kršitve in globe za delodajalce

Za kršitve pravice do odklopa, obveznosti zagotavljanja oskrbovalskega in starševskega dopusta, pravice žrtve nasilja do odsotnosti, obveznosti odzvati se na predloge delavcev po spremembi pogodbe o zaposlitvi, je za delodajalca predvidena globa od 1.500 do 4.000 EUR, za odgovorno osebo pa globa od 450 do 2.000 EUR.

5. Kako vam lahko Wolf Theiss pomaga

Wolf Theiss ponuja celostne in hkrati po meri strank prilagojene rešitve za zagotavljanje skladnosti poslovanja, tako v luči ZDR-1D kot drugih predpisov, in sicer:

  • revizijo obstoječih pravilnikov oz. pripravo novih internih pravilnikov delodajalca,
  • revizijo obstoječih oz. pripravo novih pogodb o zaposlitvi,
  • izkušeno ekipo odvetnikov specialistov za delovno pravo v primeru, ko se pojavijo posamezna konkretna vprašanja oziroma ko je potrebno zastopanje delodajalcev pred inšpekcijskimi organi ali sodišči.

Našo prednost poleg samih strokovnjakov s področja delovnega prava predstavljajo bogate mednarodne izkušnje ter učinkovito čezmejno sodelovanje, kadar gre za korporacije s povezanimi družbami v regiji Srednje, Vzhodne in Jugovzhodne Evrope.

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