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OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Slovenia 2009

image of OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Slovenia 2009

This report analyses the main challenges for labour market and social policies in Slovenia and considers the available policy options from the perspective of OECD countries' experience. It finds that Slovenia has one of the most equal income distributions in the world and a tradition of social dialogue. However, its unemployment insurance and employment service system are not sufficient to deal effectively with the present economic crisis and the country is also faced with rapid population ageing and a low employment rate among 55-to-64 year olds. This report makes recommendations to deal with these issues.

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Flexicurity and Activation in the Labour Market

Slovenia’s labour market institutions and co-ordinated collective bargaining have responded well to changes in the economic environment. However, relatively strict employment protection legislation (EPL) fosters an excessive use of precarious forms of employment to the detriment of young people who would prefer regular jobs. Recent changes in EPL have been too cautious.

One of the main social safety nets in Slovenia, unemployment insurance (UI), has holes that loom large in the current economic downturn. Coverage of the unemployed is low due to very strict qualifying criteria. It is appropriate in the present circumstances to relax these criteria so that a higher proportion of the newly unemployed can receive benefits. A key challenge is to ensure that they do not prematurely lose contact with the job market. This will put more pressure on the Employment Service of Slovenia (ESS) to adapt its activation programmes and to strengthen its co-operation with Centres for Social Work with a view to the unemployed recipients of social assistance. The planning and implementation of active labour market programmes (ALMPs) should be more flexible and there is a need for additional training programmes, notably for job seekers with long work experience.

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