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Slovenia

January 15, 2021

By Martin Safar and Polona Borsnak

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Slovenia

KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2021


 

Increase in COVID‑19‑related employment litigation

In order to prevent and mitigate the consequences of COVID‑19 for citizens and the economy, several Acts were adopted by the Government in 2020. A number of measures had an impact in the field of labour law, giving employers both financial aid as well as some obligations. Due to the ambiguity of the intervention legislation, an increase number of labour claims are expected in the future, as well as claims of the Government toward employers who were entitled to financial aid.


 

Recent case law in relation to fixed‑term and indefinite‑term employment contracts

Although case law is not an official source of law in Slovenia, it has to be taken into account as it often represents an interpretation of otherwise dubious legislative stipulations. In 2020, the Supreme Court passed an important decision (ref. nr. VIII Ips 91/2019) regarding the provision of the Employment Relationship Act (ERA‑1) regulating the suspension of rights and obligation arising from an employment contract concluded for an indefinite duration in cases when an employment contract for a definite period is concluded with the same employer afterwards (for example, an employee employed for an indefinite period concludes an employment contract for a definite period for the period of performing duties of a managing director). The Supreme Court decided that the employer and employee are unable to agree upon termination of the previous employment contract (for an indefinite period) with the newly concluded employment contract for definite period.


 

Supreme Court decisions regarding the use of redundancy criteria for individual redundancies

Two decisions (ref. nr. VIII Ips 63/2019 and VIII Ips 70/2019) of the Supreme Court were also passed regarding individual redundancies (less than 10 employees) and the use of criteria for the determination of redundant workers. The Supreme Court decided that an employer is not obligated to use criteria for determination of redundant workers (provided that nothing to the contrary is contained in a collective agreement or that the employer is obligated to use them in accordance with a general act of the employer) in case of an individual redundancy. However, the employer is still obligated to comply with the prohibition of discrimination.

 

KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2020


 

Recent case law in relation to the payment of Wage Compensation

In a recent judgment regarding the payment of wage compensation, the Supreme Court held that employees are only entitled to wage compensation if they are absent from work for one of the reasons stipulated in the legislation, and not if there is an unjustified absence from work and the employee has not provided a reason for it.

Another important judgment issued by the Supreme Court in relation to annual leave provides that employees may have the right to be compensated for untaken annual leave, even though Article 164 of the Employment Relationships Act stipulates that compensation for unused annual leave will only be valid if concluded at the time of termination of the employment relationship.

In another case, the Supreme Court has also held that overtime pay is the sum of 'regular' pay and additional pay, with the latter being calculated on the basis of basic salary only.


 

Justified absence to accompany a child on their first day of school

An amendment to the Employment Relationships Act has recently been passed, which gives employees the right to paid absence from work, in order to accompany their child (provided that the child is under the age of 12) on the child's first day of school.

 

KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2019


 

Key case law developments regarding wage compensation

The Court of second instance issued a judgment in 2018, where it held that an employee is entitled to be paid, even if the employee is absent from work and did not inform the employer of the reasons for his/her absence. This decision departed from previous case law. The Supreme Court will decide whether an employer is obligated to pay the salary in such case and this decision will probably be made in 2019.


 

Key case law developments regarding protection of worker representatives

Another important judgment was issued by the Supreme Court in September of 2018 regarding special protection of worker representatives. The judgment states that the worker representatives are not only protected against termination of the employment relationship, but the protection also refers to termination of the employment contract with the offer of a new contract.

 

KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2018


 

Data Protection Act

The new Personal Data Protection Act, which implements the EU General Data Protection Regulation, will impact how employers gather and store data on employees.


 

Act on Cross-Border Performing of Services

The Act on Cross-border services came in to force on 1 January 2018. The Act governs the conditions under which legal entities registered in Slovenia are allowed to temporarily render services in another EU member state and vice versa.


 

Case Law Updates

In 2017 the Constitutional Court of Slovenia passed an important decision regarding the way employers have to serve a termination letter to the employees in order for it to have effect. The Supreme Court also issued 2 decisions regarding redundancies, stating that all employees, whose work under the current employment contract will no longer be needed (even those who are offered a new one together with the cancellation of the employment contract), have to be taken into account when determining the redundancy process required and when selecting employees for redundancy.

With thanks to Martin Safar and Polona Borsnak of Šafar & Partners, Ltd for their invaluable collaboration on this update.

Contributors

Image: Suzanne Horne
Suzanne Horne
Partner, Employment Law Department

Image: Kirsty Devine
Kirsty Devine
Associate, Employment Law Department

Image: Aashna Parekh
Aashna Parekh
Associate, Employment Law Department

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