Employment 2023

Last Updated August 10, 2023


Law and Practice


Jadek & Pensa is a leading Slovenian law firm with more than 60 years of experience and 35 specialised lawyers. It has a team of lawyers dedicated to dealing with human resources and labour law issues, who can assist clients with any major issues or challenges. The firm is known for its responsiveness and pragmatic approach to all HR issues; believing that nothing is more damaging to business than conflict with employees, it strives to resolve disruptions before they occur. Recent highlights include advising Hidria group (H&R d.d., Hidria Holding d.o.o., Hidria d.o.o.) – the majority shareholders in H&R d.d. (Inovatis d.o.o., Ladis d.o.o., Rafis d.o.o.), a prominent player in the automotive industry – on negotiating the entry of strategic partner Gonvarri. The team has extensive experience in representing employees in labour disputes, so can provide realistic assessments of the likely outcome in the courts.

In Slovenia, there is no formal distinction between blue- and white-collar workers. However, there are differences in the case of managerial employees in companies, which includes managers/legal representatives as well as executives.

Manager and Procurator Contracts

The Slovenian Employment Relationships Act (Zakon o delovnih razmerjih – ZDR-1) allows distinct employment contracts for managers and procurators, including differences in rights, duties and responsibilities.

Managers' employment contracts should comply with local regulations but are exempt from certain labour law provisions due to a manager's dual role as a company representative and employee. Such contracts may differ with respect to time limits, working hours, breaks, rest periods, compensation, disciplinary measures and termination. This is particularly important with regard to remuneration, working hours and termination of the employment contract.

Managers and procurators can legally enter into all-in employment contracts, which allow for unlimited working hours and the determination of remuneration without mandatory additional payments (such as overtime or seniority allowance).

The termination of employment can also be regulated at will. This means that managers' employment contracts can specify termination methods and conditions that are less favourable to employees than those prescribed in ZDR-1, regardless of whether they are fixed-term or indefinite-term contracts. For example, contracts may specify that a manager's or procurator's employment will terminate automatically and without formality upon completion of his or her term (eg, removal, expiration, termination). Employers may also terminate the contract by providing a simple notice of termination without giving any reasons, specifying severance payments and notice periods. In addition, Slovenian labour law allows deviations from the standard rules on severance pay and notice periods in employment contracts of managers, either in their favour or to their disadvantage, if this is explicitly stated.

These unique contracts apply exclusively to managers and procurators, not to other employees, including executives.


An executive employee is someone who manages a business area or an organisational unit of the employer and has the authority to make personnel and organisational decisions and conclude legal transactions independently.

It should be noted, however, that executive employees should generally be treated in the same manner as regular employees as defined in ZDR-1, except in certain limited circumstances specifically identified in ZDR-1 – ie, with respect to the conclusion of a fixed-term contract and the suspension of an indefinite-term contract, and with respect to certain other minor matters.

While there is no standard differentiation between blue-collar and white-collar workers in Slovenia, the provisions outlined above cater to the specific roles and responsibilities of executive and managerial employees within organisations.

Employment contracts serve as the basis for the working relationship between employers and employees. These contracts come in various forms, each with its own characteristics and implications. This section will examine the different types of employment contracts and the essential requirements associated with them.

Indefinite Duration Contracts

As a rule, the employment contract is concluded for an indefinite term. In this arrangement, the employment relationship is considered to continue until one of the parties decides to terminate it or until a situation provided for by law occurs (eg, the death of the employee). If the duration is not explicitly specified in writing or if a fixed-term contract is not documented, it is assumed that the contract is indefinite.

Written Form Requirement

An employment contract should be in writing. The employer must submit a written contract proposal to the employee before signing, and a final written contract is submitted upon approval.

Key Elements in an Employment Contract

An employment contract should include the following vital aspects to ensure a clear understanding between both parties:

  • identifying information of the parties involved;
  • commencement date of employment;
  • detailed job title and responsibilities;
  • specified work location;
  • duration of employment, if applicable;
  • nature of employment (full-time or part-time);
  • working hours and schedule;
  • compensation details, including salary, allowances and payment intervals;
  • terms regarding annual leave;
  • notice periods for termination;
  • references to relevant collective agreements or company policies; and
  • other rights and obligations as stipulated by law.

Specific Types of Contracts

Apart from indefinite duration contracts, the following specific types of contracts cater to various circumstances:

  • fixed-term contracts cover temporary engagements for reasons such as seasonal work, project-based needs or temporary absence replacement;
  • contracts with employer providing work are agreements between workers and employers providing work services to user undertakings;
  • part-time contracts are contracts for reduced working hours, ensuring proportional rights and obligations;
  • home worker contracts cover work conducted at home or through teleworking arrangements; and
  • contracts with managers contain tailored provisions for managerial roles, offering flexibility in contract terms.

Working Hours, Flexibility and Part-Time Contracts

The allocation of working time is a fundamental aspect of employment contracts, ensuring a balance between productivity and the well-being of workers. This section examines the regulations on maximum working hours, the flexibility in arrangements, and key details on part-time contracts.

Maximum Working Hours

The law sets clear limits on the duration of work to protect the health and rights of workers. In general, full working hours should not exceed 40 hours per week. This limit may be adjusted downward, but not below 36 hours per week. In situations where there is a higher risk or potential harm, special provisions may establish shorter full working hours.

As a rule, working hours are evenly distributed, normally with eight hours per day, five days per week, Monday through Friday. Employees are also entitled to a daily break of 30 minutes.

However, working hours may also be distributed unevenly or temporarily redistributed, due to the nature or organisation of the work (eg, longer in the first month, less in the second month). However, the working time may not exceed 56 hours per week, and the full-time working time is assumed to be the average work commitment over a certain reference period.

Overtime Regulations

Overtime work is permissible under certain circumstances, including cases of increased workload, urgent operational needs and safety issues. Overtime should ideally be requested in writing before it begins. However, due to the nature of the work or its urgency, a verbal assignment might also be permissible.

The cumulative limits for overtime are eight hours per week, 20 hours per month or 170 hours per year. A single workday may not exceed ten hours.

When assigning overtime, the statutory provisions on daily and weekly rest periods must be considered.

Part-Time Contracts

Part-time employment offers flexibility to both workers and employers. Workers under part-time contracts experience proportional rights and obligations compared to their full-time counterparts, ensuring fairness. Part-time workers have the right to annual leave and are entitled to pay in accordance with their actual working obligation.

Additional Protections

Certain worker categories have safeguards against excessive working hours, including pregnant individuals, parents, older workers and those with health concerns. Part-time workers under pension, disability or health insurance rules maintain similar rights to full-time employees, unless stated otherwise.

Minimum Wage Requirements and Compensation

In Slovenia, the government sets a mandatory minimum wage to ensure fair pay for all workers. As of August 2023, the monthly national minimum wage is set at EUR1,203.36 gross.

Remuneration for Work

Remuneration for work includes the salary and other types of remuneration, as specified in the collective agreement. For the salary, the employer must take into account the minimum amount laid down in legislation and/or any collective agreement by which they are bound directly.

The salary consists of the basic salary, a portion for job performance, additional payments and potentially remuneration for business performance as per the collective agreement or employment contract.

Basic salary, job performance and additional payments

The basic salary considers the degree of difficulty of the work, as specified in the employment contract. Job performance is evaluated based on cost-effectiveness, quality and work scope.

Additional payments are provided for special working conditions related to the distribution of working time, such as night work, overtime, Sunday work, public holidays and work-free days as defined by law. Further additional payments related to special work burdens, unfavourable environment impacts and work hazards may be stipulated in a collective agreement.

Seniority Bonus and Reimbursement of Work-Related Expenses

Workers are entitled to a seniority bonus, the amount of which is determined by a branch collective agreement. Employers are responsible for reimbursing expenses for meals during work and for travel to and from work, and expenses incurred during certain tasks on business trips.

Vacation and Leave in Slovenia

Slovenian labour law covers various types of leave, including annual leave as well as personal, health-related and holiday-related absence. The main points are as follows.

Annual leave

Employees are entitled to annual leave from the date of hire, which must be at least four weeks per year. Additional days may be granted under certain circumstances or by agreement.

Holidays, days off and justified absences due to illness or other reasons are not counted as annual leave days.

Use of annual leave

Annual leave may be taken in several parts, with at least one part consisting of two weeks. Since annual leave is an entitlement intended to promote the well-being, rest, relaxation and personal interests of employees, its use should be a joint decision between employees and employers.

Other absences from work

Employees are entitled to paid absences due to certain personal circumstances. Employees are granted a leave of absence due to illness or injury in accordance with health insurance regulations, and are entitled to wage compensation during this time. The extent of this compensation and whether it is covered by the employer or reimbursed by the health insurance plan depends on the nature and duration of the illness/injury.

Pay for annual leave

Employers are obliged to provide payment for annual leave to eligible workers, with the payment being at least the minimum wage.

Validity and Enforcement of Non-Compete Clauses in Employment Contracts

Non-compete clauses are contractual provisions that restrict an employee's ability to engage in competitive activities after the termination of the employment relationship. These clauses aim to protect the employer's legitimate interests, such as technical knowledge, production techniques and business connections the employee may have gained during their employment. The validity and enforcement of non-compete clauses are subject to specific requirements outlined in the law.

Requirements for validity

Non-compete clauses should be expressly agreed upon in writing within the employment contract. If not in writing, they are assumed to be non-existent.

The duration of the non-competition clause cannot exceed two years after the termination of the employment contract.

Non-compete clauses can only be enforced if the employment contract is terminated by mutual agreement, due to ordinary cancellation by the worker, ordinary cancellation by the employer for worker misconduct, or extraordinary cancellation by the employer, excluding specific cases mentioned in the law.

Compensation for compliance

Employees subject to non-compete clauses are entitled to compensation, which should be equal to at least one-third of the employee's average salary during the period of enforcement if the clause prevents them from earning comparable income. The compensation must be explicitly stated in the employment contract.

Non-solicitation clauses are contractual clauses that are intended to prevent employees from actively soliciting or attempting to solicit other employees from their current employer for competitive purposes on the one hand, and to prevent customers from soliciting employees from their current employer on the other.

Non-solicitation clauses are not regulated by law in Slovenia and it is still questionable whether they are enforceable due to possible conflicts with the constitutional right to freedom of work. According to the legal theory, it is possible to take the position that non-solicitation clauses may not interfere in any way with the employee's right to freely choose employment with a particular employer, so that a company seeking to enforce this ban with respect to the employee's employment itself would not succeed.

On the other side, there is a question whether the company could successfully enforce a contractual penalty against an employee or a customer who violates the non-solicitation clause. Since Slovenian legal practice in this area is not yet developed, it is not possible to provide definitive answers on the validity and enforceability of such clauses.

Employers are the controllers of personal data because they process personal data in various ways (eg, collect, record, modify), including the personal data of employees and others (eg, applicants for employment).

The processing of personal data in the context of an employment relationship is subject to the general legal bases for the processing of personal data, as set out in Article 6 of the General Data Protection Regulation, meaning that the processing of personal data is permitted only if an employer has the appropriate legal basis.

The protection of personal data in employment relationships is governed by specific laws for both the public and private sectors. Due to the unequal power relations between the parties in employment relationships, the legislator has regulated this area more strictly. Therefore, in employment relationships, the processing of personal data on the basis of consent is, in practice, usually applicable only in exceptional cases, and only if the individual is in a position to genuinely refuse consent without this having consequences for the employment relationship.

Work-Related Immigration in Slovenia

Slovenian employment immigration legislation differentiates between short-term business visits, short-term provision of work in Slovenia, and temporary or permanent relocations as a result of employment in Slovenia. Citizens of EU and European Economic Area (EEA) member states and Switzerland have free access to the Slovenian labour market, while citizens from third (non-EU) countries must meet many eligibility criteria (particular criteria are set for each type of permit), such as:

  • passing a prior labour market test (to determine if there are any other suitable candidates for employment registered as unemployed at the Employment Service of Slovenia);
  • non-conviction for criminal offences; and
  • demonstrating sufficient means of subsistence required for their stay in Slovenia.

Available Permits and Authorisations

The following permits and authorisations are available to foreign workers:

  • single permit (a joint residency and work permit) for employment;
  • single permit for seconded workers;
  • EU Blue Card (a subtype of the single permit);
  • EU ICT permit (a subtype of the single permit);
  • single permit for daily migrant workers;
  • work permit under the bilateral agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina (a separate residency permit is required);
  • work permit under the bilateral agreement with Serbia (a separate residency permit is required);
  • posted worker notification from another EU member state;
  • short-term provision of work notification (a visa may be required for entry);
  • short-term legal representative work notification (a visa may be required for entry);
  • business visit permit (no permit or notification is required if conditions are fulfilled, but a visa may be required for entry); and
  • different types of visas.

There are no registration requirements for employers to use foreign workers.

A foreign citizen may only conclude an employment contract in Slovenia if they fulfil the conditions for obtaining the work (single) permit and cannot commence work until the permit is issued. An employment contract concluded with a foreign citizen who does not hold a valid permit is null and void. Employers may only employ foreigners with valid work permits. The application for a work permit may be submitted by the employee or the employer.

Depending on the legal nature of the offence, employers who are fined for an offence can be prohibited from employing and working with foreigners for one, two or three years, or for five years from the date the offence becomes final.

In Slovenian employment law, changing the work location requires mutual agreement under the provisions governing remote work, including telecommuting. Before starting remote work, a safety inspection by the company's safety authority is needed to assess workplace risks and ensure compliance with safety requirements.

Incorporating an international aspect into remote work recognises the work's detachment from the employer's location. As Slovenian labour law lacks specific regulations for mobile and teleworking, numerous questions arise when addressing these scenarios.

Employment Contract Considerations

According to Slovenian law, the place of work must be specified in the contract, otherwise the employer's registered office is assumed to be the place of work. Proper regulation of the place of work is important, especially for nomads, to ensure compliance and safety. However, according to the law, new contracts must be concluded if the place of work changes, which is a major challenge in certain cases of nomads working from different locations.

Local Labour Legislation

It should be noted that the local labour law of another country may come into effect for an employee working from abroad. If the foreign legislation is more favourable to the employee and cannot be deviated from, the employer must respect it.

Taxes and Social Security

Tax and social security obligations may apply in the employee's country of residence. Tax liability depends on factors such as working hours, tax regulations and bilateral agreements.

Migration Implications

If under current law it is assumed that the employee will enter the labour market in Slovenia, it is important to ensure that the employee has all necessary and appropriate permits to work in Slovenia. Workers must pay attention to whether they have the appropriate residence and work permit in the country where they are established, or whether they need such a permit to perform their work as a nomad.

Possibilities and Restrictions of Sabbatical Leave in Slovenia

Although not widespread in Slovenia, sabbatical leave offers employees the opportunity to take an extended break from work for various reasons, often regulated by individual agreements between the employee and the employer. The right to sabbatical leave may be stipulated in the employment contract or in a special agreement between the employee and the employer. More rarely, a right to sabbatical leave is agreed in a collective bargaining agreement or in an employer's internal rules.

If an employer agrees to pay all or part of the employee's salary during the sabbatical, the employer is also responsible for paying the associated social contributions and taxes.

A sabbatical can also be agreed upon as unpaid leave, also known as special leave, which is a form of absence from work that serves the interests of the employee. While general labour law does not explicitly regulate this form of absence, it is regulated in some collective agreements. When unpaid leave is agreed upon, the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement must be observed.

Embracing Flexibility

In line with global trends, Slovenian employees and employers are increasingly seeking enhanced flexibility within employment relations. This has given rise to new manifestations in the field of “new work”, where traditional employment structures are being reimagined to accommodate evolving needs.

The Rise of Work Nomads

One notable trend is the rise of work nomads, where individuals perform their tasks from various locations, often transcending borders.

However, legislative frameworks are struggling to keep pace with the challenges faced by both employees and employers in this new era of work. Work nomads are becoming more common, necessitating clear regulations that address issues such as taxation, social security and legal jurisdiction.

Adapting Post-Pandemic Workspaces

Another prominent shift is the growing adoption of desk sharing, amplified in the aftermath of the pandemic. With remote work becoming the norm in certain industries, the concept of desk sharing has gained traction, not only to optimise physical office space but also to align with a more flexible approach to work arrangements. However, implementing desk sharing effectively requires addressing concerns related to privacy, equipment access and overall convenience for employees.

AI Integration

In parallel with these trends, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is gaining momentum. While this may bring efficiency, it also raises questions about transparency, bias, data protection and the potential displacement of certain job roles.

Platform Work Challenges

In Slovenia, the emergence of platform work has introduced complex legal challenges. Concerns about potential exploitation and abuse of platform workers have prompted discussions about the existence of an employment relationship between platform providers and individuals. This dynamic has highlighted the need for clarity on the rights and protections afforded to platform workers, encompassing issues like fair compensation and working conditions.

Trade Unions in Slovenia: Definition and Recognition

The national labour law does not contain a definition of a trade union as a specific organisation. Therefore, trade unions in Slovenia are recognised as legitimate workers' organisations in accordance with the ratified ILO conventions and the characteristics they define. Against this background, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia has provided a definition of a trade union as “any organisation or association of workers whose aim is to improve and protect the interests of workers, regardless of its name”.

Autonomous Entities

Trade unions operate as autonomous legal entities with their own financial resources at a company, branch or national level, and may form associations (at the branch and national levels).

Impact on Labour Relations

The establishment of a trade union in a company has an impact on individual and collective labour relations with the employer.

  • On the one hand, the employer must take into account the rights that individual union members have in relation to their individual employment relationship.
  • On the other hand, the employer must take into account the collective rights of employees that can be exercised through a trade union.

Collective Bargaining and Representation

Most importantly, the employer is precluded from establishing rights and obligations arising from the employment relationship through an internal law, as these types of matters must be governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

Unions play a crucial role in negotiating and representing employees in matters such as wages, working conditions, annual leave and other employment-related rights and obligations.

Power of Strikes

Unions have the right to organise strikes, which are an effective tool for putting pressure on employers and advocating for the demands and rights of their members.

Influential Role in Restructuring: Transfers and Dismissals

Unions also play an important role in transfers of undertakings and collective dismissals.

Works Councils v Trade Unions: Differing Roles

In comparison to trade unions, works councils are primarily intended to engage in co-management relations, not in employment relations determining rights and obligations in employment relationships. Works councils only assume the role of trade unions in employment relations in certain exceptional cases determined by ZDR-1 and principally if there is no trade union at the employer. This means, generally, that the works council does not deal with workers' rights and obligations from the employment relationship, such as salary, working conditions, etc (it is actually precluded from dealing with this if the company also has an operation trade union), but rather acts as a representative voice for the workers in a company’s management and business decision-making.

Role and Establishment

A works council is an elected body that represents the interests of all employees within a company. Each company is permitted to have only one works council, which functions as an internal structure rather than an independent legal entity.

The works council assumes several responsibilities that contribute to the overall well-being of the workforce and the organisation, as follows.

  • Trade union role: n cases where there is no trade union present within the company, the works council acts as a substitute trade union, advocating for employees' rights and interests.
  • Information rights: the works council has the right to access essential information concerning the company's economic status, developmental objectives, production and sales performance, industry conditions, technological changes, annual accounts and reports.
  • Health and safety: the works council actively participates in discussions and decision-making processes related to workplace safety and health, ensuring that employees' well-being is prioritised.
  • Joint consultations: the works council is a key participant in discussions and decisions involving human resources matters, including workforce requirements, job classifications, redeployment strategies, supplementary pension programmes, disciplinary rules, downsizing initiatives and legal modifications affecting the company's status, ownership or governance.
  • Co-decision/consent: the works council holds a significant role in decisions pertaining to various aspects, such as determining annual leave entitlements, defining performance evaluation criteria, recognising innovative contributions, establishing employee promotion criteria and addressing mass dismissals.

Collective Agreements and Employee Rights

In Slovenia, there are collective agreements at the company, industry and national levels that provide rights and obligations that go beyond the labour law, benefiting employees but not going beyond the legal limits. Employer regulations, on the other hand, shape company-specific work structures within the legal boundaries. Individual employment contracts, as an autonomous source, also contribute to favouring employees over laws or collective agreements.

Role and Importance

Collective bargaining agreements follow labour laws in a hierarchical fashion and generally favour workers but with limited exceptions specified in the laws. The Collective Bargaining Act of 2006 further defines the hierarchy between the different agreements. It emphasises that agreements at a lower level should maintain favourable terms, with specific exceptions possible under the terms of the broader agreements.

Collective agreements are considered secondary to legislation, although they are socially important. They are not very detailed in Slovenia but have a high value in shaping labour relations through negotiations between unions and employers. This promotes better understanding, minimises conflicts and improves compliance with labour standards.

Under Slovenian law, motivation for the termination of an employment contract is required (a posteriori) if the employment is terminated by an employer. On the other side, the worker may terminate the employment contract without a statement of grounds (in the case of ordinary termination).

Termination by the Employer: Grounds for Termination

An employment contract can be terminated by the employer based on one of the following termination grounds determined by ZDR-1:

  • business grounds;
  • the incompetence of the employee;
  • the employee’s violations of their obligations deriving from an employment relationship;
  • failure to complete a probationary period; or
  • inability to perform work under the terms of the employment contract because of a disability.

An employee’s violation of a working obligation can represent grounds for two different types of dismissals, depending on the severity of the violation in question. In the most severe violations (eg, criminal offence), the employer has the right to execute extraordinary termination; for less severe violations, the employer has to perform a regular termination procedure, which is lengthier.

The employer must always explain the reason for dismissal.

Procedure for ordinary dismissal

The course of the procedure for ordinary dismissal varies depending on the reason for dismissal.

There is no special procedure determined for termination on business grounds: the employer simply serves the termination notice with the required mandatory content determined by ZDR-1. The employee is entitled to the notice period and the severance pay.

Prior to the ordinary cancellation of an employment contract for the reasons of misconduct, the employer is obliged – within 60 days of the identification of the violation and no later than six months from the occurrence of the violation – to issue a written warning to the employee and inform him or her of the possibility of termination of their employment contract. The employer must issue a written accusation (which includes a description of all violations, and also the violations included in the written warning) and invite the employee to the hearing. At the hearing, the employee has the right to present their defence statement. After the hearing, the employer decides whether or not to issue the termination notice.

Prior to termination due to the employee’s incompetence, the employer must prepare a written explanation of the reasons for incompetence. The employee must also be invited to a special meeting, at which they have the right to present their view of the matter and arguments in their favour. After the meeting, the employer decides whether or not to issue the termination notice.

Procedure for extraordinary dismissal

Prior to termination due to the most severe violations of the working obligations, the employer must prepare a written accusation and invite the employee to a special meeting, called a hearing, at which the employee has the right to present their defence statement. After the hearing, the employer decides whether or not to issue the termination notice. In an extraordinary termination due to the most severe violations, the employee is not entitled to any notice period or severance pay.

Mass dismissals

These rules/requirements apply to mass layoffs when an employer proposes to lay off the following numbers of employees within a period of 30 days:

  • at least ten employees if there are more than 20 and fewer than 100 employees;
  • at least 10% of employees if there are at least 100 but fewer than 300 employees; and
  • at least 30 employees if there are 300 or more employees.

In such cases, the employer must inform and consult a recognised trade union and a works council, if any. It should be noted that the employer must carry out the information and consultation procedure with the works council or employee representative body if they are organised with the employer. In practice, the notification of the works council or the employee representation and the invitation to the hearing meeting are sent to the works council or the employee representation.

The information must also be submitted to the Employment Service of Slovenia.

In the event of a dismissal procedure, the employer must also prepare a redundancy programme after consulting the trade union and the works council (if organised in the company). Note that the employer is not obliged to obtain the consent of the two employee representative bodies.

If there is no trade union and/or works council in the company, the redundancy programme has to be presented to all employees at a simple meeting of the employees – the so-called “employees’ meeting”.

A copy of the redundancy programme proposal has to be sent to the Employment Service of Slovenia as well.

30 days after informing the Employment Service of Slovenia in writing about the procedure for determining the reasons for the dismissal of a larger number of employees, the employer may issue the notices to the employees in accordance with the redundancy plan.

The Employment Service may make a decision to extend the 30-day period to 60 days, in which case the employer may terminate the employment contracts 60 days after notifying the Employment Service in accordance with the requirements described above.

Both worker and employer may terminate the employment contract within a statutory or contractual notice period to be determined by both contracting parties, taking into account the minimum duration of the period of notice provided by ZDR-1.

In the event of the worker’s or employer’s notice of termination of the employment contract during the probationary period due to unsuccessful completion thereof, the notice period is seven days.

In the case of ordinary termination of the employment contract by the worker, the notice period shall be 15 days for up to one year of service with the employer, and 30 days for a period exceeding one year of service with the employer. A longer period of notice may be agreed in the employment contract or collective agreement, but it may not exceed 60 days.

In the event of ordinary termination of the employment contract by the employer for a business reason or reason of incompetence, the notice period shall be 15 days for up to one year of service with the employer and 30 days for a period exceeding one year of service with the employer. After a two-year period of employment with the employer, the 30-day notice period shall increase for each year of employment with the employer by two days, but shall not exceed 60 days. After a period of 25 years of service with the employer, the period of notice shall be 80 days unless a different notice period is specified by a branch collective agreement, and in no circumstances less than 60 days.

In the event of termination of the employment contract by the employer for reasons of misconduct, the notice period shall be 15 days.

Severance Payment

An employer who terminates an employment contract for a business reason or for reasons of incompetence on the part of the worker shall be obliged to pay the worker severance pay. A worker whose fixed-term employment contract has been terminated pursuant to paragraph one of Article 79 of ZDR-1 (lapse of the period for which it was concluded) shall also be entitled to severance pay.

There are situations when a worker is not entitled to severance pay, such as in the case of extraordinary termination by the employer (for reasons on the worker’s side). On the other hand, in the case of extraordinary cancellation by the worker (for reasons on the side of the employer), the worker shall be entitled to severance pay as defined for the case of ordinary termination of the employment contract for business reasons, and to compensation amounting to no less than the amount of the lost remuneration during the notice period.

The basis for the calculation of severance pay shall be the average monthly salary that the worker received or would have received if working during the last three months before termination (the “basis”).

The worker shall be entitled to severance pay amounting to:

  • one-fifth of the wage basis for each year of employment with the employer if the worker has been employed with the employer for more than one and up to ten years;
  • one-quarter of the wage basis for each year of employment with the employer if the worker has been employed with the employer for a period of ten to 20 years; or
  • one-third of the basis for each year of employment with the employer if the worker has been employed with the employer for a period exceeding 20 years (Article 108(2) of ZDR-1).

Dismissal for serious cause includes the extraordinary termination of an employment contract by the employer.

Notice of the extraordinary termination of an employment contract must be delivered by the contracting party within 30 days of the day the reasons for the extraordinary cancellation are identified, and no later than six months after the occurrence of the reason.

Prior to the extraordinary cancellation of the employment contract, the employer must notify the worker in writing of the alleged violations and give him or her the opportunity to defend themselves within a reasonable time period, which may not be shorter than three working days, unless circumstances exist due to which it would be unjustified to expect the employer to provide the worker with such an opportunity.

Extraordinary termination of an employment contract shall be given in writing, with the employer explaining the actual reason for termination. Upon termination, the employer must inform the worker in writing of the legal protection and rights deriving from insurance against unemployment and of the obligation to register in the job seeker register.

Upon instituting the proceedings for extraordinary termination, the employer may prohibit the worker from carrying out work during the extraordinary termination proceeding.

A worker who is dismissed for serious cause (extraordinary termination) is not entitled to severance pay, and their employment relationship ends on the day following service of the termination notice (without a notice period).

Termination agreements are permissible under Slovenian employment law, but must be concluded in writing in order to be considered valid. A termination agreement should be carefully crafted, outlining the terms of termination, any severance pay and other relevant details.

Upon termination of the employment relationship, the employer is obliged to inform the worker in writing about their rights arising from unemployment insurance. Failure to provide this notice will not affect the validity of the termination agreement itself, but the employer may be fined for such omission.

To ensure enforceability, a termination agreement should comply with statutory requirements and not be coerced or misleadingly obtained. An employee should never be deceived or compelled to sign such an agreement. If an employee is tricked or forced into signing, they have the right to contest the agreement's validity in court.

Employee Representatives

The legislation provides specific protections against dismissal for certain categories of employees, including workers' delegates, worker representatives and appointed or elected trade union representatives. Their employment contracts cannot be terminated without consent from the works council, the workers who elected them or the trade union. The protection applies throughout their term of office and an additional year after it ends.

Protection for Workers Nearing Retirement

For workers nearing retirement, the employer cannot terminate the contract for business reasons when they reach a certain age or have limited time left to fulfil the pension qualifying period. However, this protection does not apply in specific cases, such as providing compensation covered by unemployment insurance or offering new appropriate employment.

Protection for Pregnant Workers and Parents on Leave

Female workers during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as well as parents on parental leave, are also shielded from dismissal during these periods and for one month after. The law prohibits employers from taking actions necessary for dismissal during this period, ensuring job security for expecting and new parents.

Disabled Workers

Protection against dismissal is also granted to disabled workers who are unable to perform their jobs due to disability, subject to certain conditions.

Multiple Legal Protection

In cases where an individual worker benefits from multiple legal protections due to their status, the strongest legal protection prevails. This ensures that protected individuals are provided with the highest level of security under the law.

Employees can contest unfair dismissals within 30 days of starting work or becoming aware of law violations. If procedural rights were violated (eg, there was no defence opportunity) or the termination reasons lack evidence (eg, the work duty breach was unproven), the dismissal is deemed unlawful.

In a wrongful termination dispute, the court can rule the employment never ended due to the wrongful dismissal, upholding all employee rights under the contract. The court can order the employer to reinstate the employee.

If the court deems the continuation of the employment impossible despite its unlawfulness, it may determine the employment's duration (up to first-instance judgment issuance), acknowledge service length and grant reasonable compensation (not exceeding 18 months' salary in the last three months). The awarded compensation considers employment duration, employability prospects and termination circumstances. This encompasses the rights asserted by the employee until the contract's termination.

Grounds for Anti-discrimination Claims

In Slovenia, any form of differential treatment based on personal characteristics, including nationality, race, ethnic origin, social background, gender, skin colour, health status, disability, beliefs, age, sexual orientation, family status, trade union affiliation or financial standing, can serve as grounds for anti-discrimination claims. The Slovenian legal framework employs an open system, allowing any personal circumstance to potentially form the basis for a discrimination claim. It is important for employers to maintain equal treatment and avoid any form of bias or prejudice in their employment practices.

Burden of Proof

If an employee or a candidate for a job position provides the facts from which it may be presumed that there has been direct or indirect discrimination, the employer must prove that the principle of equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination has not been violated.


If the employee or a candidate has been discriminated against, the following reliefs are available:

  • invalidating the termination and reinstating the employment if the employee was discriminatorily dismissed;
  • compensation, which must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive; or
  • monetary compensation from EUR500 to EUR5,000 under the Protection Against Discrimination Act.

Under the provisions of the Civil Procedure Act, which extends to labour and social disputes, there have been developments in the digitalisation of employment disputes, including the option of conducting court proceedings via videoconferencing. As outlined in the Act, with mutual agreement parties can participate in hearings and undertake procedural acts remotely through audio and visual transmission (videoconference). This flexibility allows parties and their counsels to be situated at different locations while still participating effectively in proceedings.

However, it is important to note that, while the legal framework permits such digitalised proceedings, the utilisation of these possibilities in practice remains relatively rare. The option to conduct court proceedings via video conference is subject to the consent of all parties involved. In addition, courts may use digital means for taking evidence, such as onsite inspections, document reviews, hearings of parties and witnesses, and consultations with court experts. These provisions reflect a step towards embracing digitalisation to enhance efficiency and accessibility in employment dispute resolution.

Specialised Employment Forums

In the Republic of Slovenia, there are four labour and social courts, which as specialised courts of first instance decide in individual and collective labour disputes. In labour and social disputes, the panel of the court of first instance is composed of a judge as the president of the panel and two lay judges as members of the panel, one of whom is elected from the list of candidates/workers or insured persons and the other from the list of candidates/employers or institutes. Ljubljana Higher Labour and Social Court is the court of second instance for adjudicating on decisions issued by the courts of first instance.

Class Actions

According to Article 2 of the Collective Actions Act, class action claims are available in labour disputes, namely workers' claims that can be brought in an individual labour dispute, as defined by the Labour and Social Courts Act.

Representations in Court

In disputes before the (first instance) Labour and Social Court, which holds the position of a district court, and before the Higher Labour and Social Court, only an attorney at law or a person who has passed the state legal exam can act as an authorised representative.

In a procedure with extraordinary legal remedies, a party may also perform procedural acts through a representative who is a representative of a trade union, an association of insured persons or employers, if the latter employs said representative to represent its members and they have passed the state legal exam.

Mediation and Arbitration

In Slovenia, mediation is the preferred route for resolving individual disputes between workers and employers, often endorsed by the courts. In contrast, arbitration is primarily used in collective disputes and conflicts between employers and works councils.

Mediation and Arbitration in Individual Disputes

For individual disputes, mediation takes precedence. Parties can voluntarily initiate this process. If no resolution is reached within 90 days, the worker can pursue judicial protection within an additional 30 days.

Collective agreements may include arbitration clauses for individual labour disputes. In cases defined by such agreements, arbitration boards follow specified procedures. Parties can agree on arbitration within 30 days from obligation fulfilment or violation resolution.

Collective Dispute Resolution

In collective disputes, Slovenia employs negotiation, conciliation and arbitration. Interest-based disputes over collective agreements trigger conciliation or arbitration. Interpretation or implementation disagreements lead to rights-based disputes, which can escalate to conciliation or arbitration.

A roster of conciliation experts for individual cases is established by the Minister responsible for labour, based on recommendations from union and employer associations.

Arbitration in collective disputes follows the Labour and Social Courts Law, with potential modifications agreed upon by the parties.

There is a special rule for legal costs in labour and social disputes. The court may decide that the employer must bear all costs of presenting evidence, even if an employee has not completely prevailed in the litigation and has not incurred any special costs as a result. The court may also order that each party shall bear its own representation costs if an employee participated in the proceedings without a representative or was represented by a trade union representative and did not fully prevail in the dispute.

In cases involving the existence of an employment relationship and the termination of the employment relationship, the employer shall bear its own costs regardless of the outcome of the proceedings, unless the employee has abused its procedural rights by bringing the action or by its conduct in the proceedings.

Jadek & Pensa

Tavčarjeva ulica 6

+386 1 234 25 20

+386 1 234 25 32

info@jadek-pensa.si www.jadek-pensa.si/en
Author Business Card

Trends and Developments


Jadek & Pensa is a leading Slovenian law firm with more than 60 years of experience and 35 specialised lawyers. It has a team of lawyers dedicated to dealing with human resources and labour law issues, who can assist clients with any major issues or challenges. The firm is known for its responsiveness and pragmatic approach to all HR issues; believing that nothing is more damaging to business than conflict with employees, it strives to resolve disruptions before they occur. Recent highlights include advising Hidria group (H&R d.d., Hidria Holding d.o.o., Hidria d.o.o.) – the majority shareholders in H&R d.d. (Inovatis d.o.o., Ladis d.o.o., Rafis d.o.o.), a prominent player in the automotive industry – on negotiating the entry of strategic partner Gonvarri. The team has extensive experience in representing employees in labour disputes, so can provide realistic assessments of the likely outcome in the courts.

Employment in Slovenia: an Introduction

This overview highlights key developments shaping Slovenia's current landscape in the field of labour and employment law.

Floods in August 2023

The catastrophic floods of 4 August were the worst in Slovenia's history, causing great damage to individuals, infrastructure and businesses. About one third of Slovenia was affected by the floods and, according to Prime Minister Robert Golob, the amount of damage could reach several billion euros.

In this difficult time, the government is making efforts to support the affected population and businesses. The scale of the devastation shows how important it is to act quickly as Slovenia begins its road to recovery. The floods not only impact businesses and individuals but will also redefine government priorities and consequently influence developments in labour and employment law.

Interventive measures to support businesses and employers

In response to the floods, the Slovenian Parliament quickly passed an intervention law on 9 August 2023 to provide rapid assistance to those affected. The law provides for a number of measures, such as the reimbursement of wage compensation payments in the event of incapacity to work due to force majeure and the partial reimbursement of wage compensation payments in the event of temporary waiting for work. The country is already familiar with such measures following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the ongoing recovery from the devastating floods, the Slovenian government is actively working on other new laws and measures that are expected to be adopted in late August or early September 2023. A law for emergency measures to quickly restore infrastructure and provide housing for those affected is currently in the works, which will be followed by a comprehensive law for sustainable, long-term reconstruction. It has also been announced that the employment of foreign workers will be accelerated to speed up the removal of flood damage.

Increase in salaries

2023 began with a notable 12% increase in the minimum wage. The government also committed to raising public sector salaries and renewing the public sector wage framework. Negotiations with public sector unions are currently underway. Prior to the summer of 2023, the government had submitted a proposal for a new salary system to the public sector unions. In light of the recent floods, the government is now proposing to postpone implementation of the wage reform until 2025, to allow for recovery after the floods.

As a consequence of developments in the public sector, the increase in the minimum wage and the rise in the price of consumer goods by around 7%, the pressure to raise wages has also extended to the private sector.

In addition, June 2023 statistics show a low unemployment rate of about 3.5% and a record high in the number of employed individuals. Growth is seen in both the employed and the self-employed. The number of employed persons has increased in most industries, with the largest increase in the information and communications industry.

The result is strong competition in the labour market, where many employers are fighting for qualified workers, which also leads to salary increases.

Changes in immigration law

The lack of a skilled workforce is driving an augmented demand for foreign workers. However, delays caused by extended immigration processes for foreign worker permits have prompted the implementation of new legislation aimed at expediting these procedures, addressing the critical need for a more efficient immigration system.

The most important changes include a new programme offering free Slovenian language and Slovenian society courses, and the extension of the effective date of the additional condition for family reunification; a certificate of successful completion of an examination of the Slovenian language at the basic level (A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required for the permanent residence permit and a certificate of successful completion of an examination of the Slovenian language at the entry level (A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required for the temporary residence permit based on family reunification of non-EU citizens. This condition will come into force on 1 November 2024.

In addition, the amendments to the law introduced longer storage of fingerprints in the national database, so that foreigners no longer have to submit their fingerprints during renewal procedures.

Renewed residence permits can now be sent by mail and no longer have to be delivered in person at the administrative unit. The regular ex officio verification by the administrative unit of the fulfilment of the condition of sufficient means of subsistence during the validity of the permit has been abolished.

Moreover, the administrative units no longer decide on the change of employer or job during the validity period of the permit, with only a confirmation from the Employment Services being required.

Future changes are expected, such as changes in the procedure and conditions of the EU Blue Card, to make this type of combined permit, intended for highly qualified workers, more favourable. The Slovenian government is also in talks with the Philippines and hopes to conclude an agreement to recruit workers from the Philippines.

Developments and trends regarding whistle-blowers

Slovenia implemented EU Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of EU law in January 2023, and adopted a Reporting Persons Protection Act. The local law provides broader protection for all violations of law applicable in Slovenia, not just EU law.

Larger employers with 250 or more employees had until May to set up an internal reporting channel, while smaller employers have until December 2023. The law applies to all private and public sector employers with 50 or more employees.

The internal reporting channel at the company level is assigned to a trustee, one or more employees, or an organisational unit of the company. Employers must ensure that the identity of reporting individuals is protected throughout the process, that anonymous reporting is possible, and that reporting individuals are not subject to retaliation.

If the internal reporting mechanism is not in place or may not be effective, or if there is a risk of retaliation, the reporting individual can report the violation directly through the external reporting mechanism. The law has designated 24 state agencies for external reporting.

In the event of a direct threat to the public interest or if the internal or external reporting mechanisms have been ineffective, the reporting person may publicly disclose the violation.

As part of the protection, the reporting person cannot be held liable for publicising information about a violation if they had reasonable grounds to believe that the report was necessary and that the information was true at the time of the report.

Developments in ESG reporting (the Social Pillar)

Slovenian employers (especially group companies and larger employers) are increasingly focusing on sustainability and human rights in business.

The new Sustainability Reporting Directive, which has not yet been implemented in Slovenia, expands the scope of companies that are required to report on their sustainability impacts. This includes non-financial and diversity information. Companies will be required to disclose the total number of “employees” with whom they do not have an employment contract, the work they perform, and the type of employment contract they have. In addition, the disclosure will cover internal measures to prevent discrimination, harassment and bullying in the workplace, and to promote equal opportunities and other ways to improve diversity and inclusion.

Due to expected reporting requirements in the coming years and demands from investors, banks and consumers, companies are focusing more on diversity and employee rights.

Evolving working time tracking

The prevailing regulations require employers to maintain records encompassing employee particulars, labour expenditures, work hours and collective labour disputes. In 2023, the existing law was amended to establish a more transparent foundation for effectively monitoring compliance with legislative requirements concerning working hours, breaks, rest and other employee rights linked to work time. This holds paramount importance in ensuring occupational safety and health.

The revised Labour and Social Security Registers Act (ZEPDSV) specifies the persons for whom working time records are obligatory, the details to be recorded, and the right of employees to be acquainted with this data. The amendments also expand the existing data set, necessitating the daily recording of:

  • arrival and departure times;
  • break utilisation and duration during work hours;
  • hours worked under specific conditions due to work time scheduling (eg, night, Sunday, shift, holiday, split shifts) stipulated by law or agreement;
  • hours worked in unevenly distributed or temporarily rearranged work time; and
  • cumulative weekly, monthly or yearly hours reflecting reference periods for unevenly distributed and temporarily rearranged full work time.

There continues to be no specification in the law of storage locations or record formats – ie, whether manual or electronic.

Amid this regulatory evolution, companies are now in the process of aligning their systems with the new rules, especially those that have previously tracked working time through IT systems.

Expanding recognition of occupational diseases

A new regulation regarding occupational diseases came into effect on 1 May 2023, introducing significant changes in the realm of employee health and workplace conditions. The revised regulation grants employees the opportunity to confirm cases of occupational diseases, thereby enhancing working conditions and ensuring comprehensive healthcare coverage related to such diseases.

According to the Ministry of Health, this updated regulationempowers employees to officially recognise and validate instances of occupational diseases. Individuals with confirmed cases of occupational diseases will now receive coverage for all healthcare expenses linked to the specific illness. In addition, they are entitled to full wage compensation during periods of sick leave due to said ailment.

This development reflects a proactive approach towards safeguarding employee well-being and addressing health concerns arising from work-related conditions. The expanded recognition of occupational diseases signifies a shift towards a more comprehensive understanding of workplace health risks. By encompassing a wider spectrum of health-related situations under the umbrella of occupational diseases, the new regulation may influence the liabilities and responsibilities of employers concerning the health and safety of their workforce.

Changes to labour code (ZDR-1)

As of August 2023, the changes to labour law regulations include amendments to the Employment Relations Act (ZDR-1), which is the main source of law governing labour relations.

ZDR-1 is currently undergoing a revision. This process is marked by extensive consultations between the government and representatives of social partners, aiming to refine and adapt the legal framework to contemporary employment realities.

According to preliminary information available to the public, one significant alteration being considered pertains to the recognition of a work arrangement involving 30 or more hours per week as being equivalent to full-time employment. This proposed reform carries implications for various aspects of employment, from benefits and compensation to legal entitlements and obligations.

Moreover, a forward-looking dimension of the envisaged modifications involves granting workers the right to request more favourable work conditions and flexible schedules. This move aligns with the changing nature of work and the growing importance of accommodating diverse individual needs within the employment sphere.

However, it is important to note that the process of legislative change is intricate and deliberative. These proposed regulations remain under discussion and are yet to be formally enacted. The timeline for their implementation remains uncertain, hinging on the intricate balance of legal considerations, societal needs and the complexities of policy-making.

Union activity in the private sector and renewed collective agreements

In addition to legislative changes, the private sector is witnessing union activity that extends beyond the scope of mere salary negotiations. Anticipations are high, as it is projected that fresh collective agreements will be established at the industry level during the course of 2023. Notable sectors, including but not limited to retail, are poised to engage in these negotiations to redefine the terms of employment.

An exemplary illustration of this trend emerges from the recent development in the domain of crafts and entrepreneurship. After four years, a renewed collective agreement for crafts and entrepreneurship was successfully negotiated and concluded in April 2023. In an agreement reached between the Association of Employers of Crafts and Entrepreneurs of Slovenia and the Craft and Entrepreneurship Trade Union of Slovenia, this new accord supersedes the basic agreement that lapsed at the close of 2018. Both social partners, expressing satisfaction with the accord, have jointly called upon the state to implement measures aimed at alleviating payroll burdens.

The new collective agreement became valid on 1 May 2023 and has historical significance. It follows in the footsteps of the oldest collective agreement for the private sector in the country, which was initially established at the conclusion of 1971 and remained in force until 2018 with subsequent amendments. The ambit of this new agreement encompasses employers who are members of the association, their employees, and agency workers, students and high school students engaged in work under these employers. Remarkably, the agreement covers 43 economic activities within the domain of small enterprises, covering approximately 140,000 individuals in various industries.


This short article highlights just some of the labour and employment developments that are shaping the current environment in Slovenia. At the time of writing, the focus remains on the government's rapid response to the devastating floods in August 2023. It is believed that some policies and planned changes are now on hold, and further developments can be expected next year.

Jadek & Pensa

Tavčarjeva ulica 6

+386 1 234 25 20

+386 1 234 25 32

info@jadek-pensa.si www.jadek-pensa.si/en
Author Business Card

Law and Practice


Jadek & Pensa is a leading Slovenian law firm with more than 60 years of experience and 35 specialised lawyers. It has a team of lawyers dedicated to dealing with human resources and labour law issues, who can assist clients with any major issues or challenges. The firm is known for its responsiveness and pragmatic approach to all HR issues; believing that nothing is more damaging to business than conflict with employees, it strives to resolve disruptions before they occur. Recent highlights include advising Hidria group (H&R d.d., Hidria Holding d.o.o., Hidria d.o.o.) – the majority shareholders in H&R d.d. (Inovatis d.o.o., Ladis d.o.o., Rafis d.o.o.), a prominent player in the automotive industry – on negotiating the entry of strategic partner Gonvarri. The team has extensive experience in representing employees in labour disputes, so can provide realistic assessments of the likely outcome in the courts.

Trends and Development


Jadek & Pensa is a leading Slovenian law firm with more than 60 years of experience and 35 specialised lawyers. It has a team of lawyers dedicated to dealing with human resources and labour law issues, who can assist clients with any major issues or challenges. The firm is known for its responsiveness and pragmatic approach to all HR issues; believing that nothing is more damaging to business than conflict with employees, it strives to resolve disruptions before they occur. Recent highlights include advising Hidria group (H&R d.d., Hidria Holding d.o.o., Hidria d.o.o.) – the majority shareholders in H&R d.d. (Inovatis d.o.o., Ladis d.o.o., Rafis d.o.o.), a prominent player in the automotive industry – on negotiating the entry of strategic partner Gonvarri. The team has extensive experience in representing employees in labour disputes, so can provide realistic assessments of the likely outcome in the courts.

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