Connecting People with Jobs: The Labour Market, Activation Policies and Disadvantaged Workers in Slovenia

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Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. However, weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. This report on Slovenia is the second country study published in a series of reports looking into how activation policies can encourage greater labour market participation of all groups in society with a special focus on the most disadvantaged. Labour market and activation policies are well developed in Slovenia. However, the global financial crisis hit Slovenia hard and revealed some structural weaknesses in the system, which have contributed to a high level of long-term unemployment and low employment rates for some groups. This report on Slovenia therefore focuses on activation policies to improve labour market outcomes for four groups: long-term unemployed people; low-skilled workers; older workers; and workers who were made or are at risk of becoming displaced. There is room to improve policies through promoting longer working lives and through enabling the Employment Service and related institutions to help more harder-to-place jobseekers back into employment.



Assessment and recommendations

The global financial crisis revealed important weaknesses and rigidities in Slovenia’s social and labour market policies which hindered rapid adjustment. Among those are: a strong labour market dualism with a high share of temporary employment especially among young people; a high minimum wage relative to the average wage which was further increased in 2010, coupled with high taxes on labour; some tendency for growth in repeat unemployment with short intermittent employment periods; and a high level of long-term dependence on social assistance benefits.



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