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.



Assuring work motivation and work incentives in the Slovenian benefit system

A critical component of activation policies concerns the incentives that individuals face to become formally employed or to remain in employment. To what extent does social policy in Slovenia strike the right balance between providing income support for vulnerable individuals while ensuring that such individuals are still motivated to seek employment? Do those receiving unemployment or social assistance benefit have strong financial incentives to engage in job search? What are the financial incentives for delaying retirement until the statutory retirement age – and how can individuals exploit the system of unemployment, disability and social assistance benefits to effectively exit the labour market at an earlier age? Finally, how did the 2009 recession and the subsequent austerity measures affect social policy, and what have been the effects of these changes on government expenditures and the number of benefit recipients? These questions are discussed in this chapter.




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