1. What types of employment contract are recognised in Slovenia?
An employment contract may be drawn up for a full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time role, for an indefinite period or a fixed term.
Employment contracts for managerial positions may include special terms for working hours, restrictions on fixed-term work, holiday and rest allowance, payment for work, disciplinary responsibility and termination of the contract.
2. What are the minimum and maximum terms for which a fixed-term employment contract can be concluded in Slovenia?
There are no legal requirements relating to a minimum term, but fixed-term contracts are limited to a maximum of two years.
3. How can a contract of employment be terminated in Slovenia?
The methods of termination of an employment contract vary, depending on whether:
- the contract is for a fixed or indefinite period; and
- the contract is subject to reconciliation or cancellation by mutual consent.
A fixed-term employment contract expires without notice once the contract term has concluded, when the agreed work is completed, or if the agreed work is no longer required.
A contract may be terminated with written mutual consent between the employee and the employer, or through the termination of one of the contracting parties. The parties involved may agree to terminate the contract without a notice period.
Termination of a contract of employment may be regular or extraordinary. For a regular termination by the employer, the notice period must expire and there must be an appropriate reason for dismissal, such as:
- business grounds: termination of work requirements under the terms of the employment contract;
- incapacity grounds: failure to achieve expected work results, or non-fulfillment of prescribed conditions for performing work;
- faulty grounds: breach of obligations arising from an employment relationship;
- unsuccessful experimental work; or
- inability to perform work under the terms of the employment contract due to disability.
The worker and the employer may also terminate the employment contract without notice when appropriate legal conditions arise.
Alternatively, the employer may terminate an employment contract exceptionally if:
- the worker intentionally or through gross negligence violates a contractual obligation or other obligation arising from an employment relationship, especially if the infringement has all the signs of a criminal offense;
- the worker, as a candidate in the selection procedure, provided false information or evidence of the fulfillment of the conditions for performing the work;
- the worker does not come to work for five consecutive days and offers no explanation or apology for the absence; or
- during an absence from work due to illness or injury, the worker fails to comply with the instructions of the competent doctor.
An employee may also terminate an employment contract exceptionally if:
- for more than two months the employer has not provided them with work or a payroll, or the worker gets a significantly reduced salary;
- the employer has not paid their salary within a period of six months, in accordance with the statutory or contractually agreed deadline;
- the employer has not paid social security contributions for three consecutive months or for a period of six months;
- the employer has not provided protection against sexual or other forms of harassment or maltreatment in the workplace; or
- the employer has not guaranteed the safety and health of its workers, and the worker previously requested the employer resolve a health and safety concern.
4. What are the applicable notice periods, and what determines their length?
The minimum notice period for employment contract termination is 15 days and the maximum is 60 days.
In case of termination during the probationary period, the notice period is reduced to seven days.
By contract of employment or mutual agreement, the parties may agree to a longer notice period than is set by law. This should not be longer than 60 days, however, in the exceptional case of 25 years of employment with the same employer, it can be up to 80 days.
If the employee terminates the employment contract, the notice period during the first year of employment is 15 days, increasing to 30 days for longer periods.
If the employer terminates the employment contract, the notice period is dependent on the reason for the termination and the period of employment.
5. Is it possible to employ employees as teleworkers in Slovenia, and are there any particular regulations that apply (differentiating from other regulations)?
Teleworking is possible, though there are very few cases in practice.
An employee working at home must have the same rights in accordance with the law as those who work at their employer’s premises. For example, a worker is entitled to reimbursement of expenses for food during work, as well as compensation for the use of their own funds when working at home (for example, operating costs of the domestic work space).
Special conditions must be regulated by the employer and employees through the contract of employment.
6. What are the rights for women who become pregnant during their employment contract, and are they protected from being dismissed?
Workers have the right to special employment protection in relation to pregnancy and parenting demands. The employer may not terminate the contract of employment of workers during pregnancy until the child is one year old. This applies from the time that they commence parental leave (in the form of full absence from work) through to one month after the use of that leave. During this time the employer may not take any action that is otherwise necessary for the termination of the employment contract or the employment of a new employee.
An employment can however expire if a worker has a fixed-term employment contract that ends during the period of parental leave due to the conclusion of the agreed term. Similarly, the employer may terminate the employment contract if reasons for extraordinary termination or initiation of the procedure for termination of the employer are given, subject to the prior consent of the labour inspector (see Q3).
7. What types of paid days-off are the employees entitled to in Slovenia?
In addition to annual leave, a worker has the right to be absent from work and be paid up to a maximum of seven working days in each calendar year due to personal circumstances. For each individual case – own marriage, the death of a spouse / extra-marital partner / child / parent / adoptive parent, or a major accident – the worker has the right to be absent from work and be paid for at least one business day.
A worker is entitled to absence from work in cases of temporary incapacity due to illness or injury, and in other cases, in accordance with the regulations on health insurance.
A worker who is a blood donor has the right to absence from work for the purpose of donating blood on a day when they voluntarily donate blood.
Workers who have been selected to work for the Republic of Slovenia – for elections, court colleagues, training in military service or civil protection – are also entitled to the absence from work.
8. Is it possible to include a non-competition clause in the employment contract, and what are the grounds for concluding a valid non-competition agreement?
An employer and a worker in a contract of employment can agree to prohibit the pursuit of competitive activity after the termination of employment if the worker acquires technical, production or business knowledge and business relationships (non-competition clause) in their work or in connection with their work.
A non-competition clause can be agreed for a maximum of two years after the termination of the employment contract. It is necessary that such a clause be clearly set and written, reasonable time limits must be defined, and it must not prevent the possibility of suitable new employment for the worker.
9. Is the employer obliged to pay compensation for the period of validity of a non-competition clause/agreement after the termination of employment?
If compliance with a non-competition clause makes it impossible for the worker to obtain earnings, the employer must pay him monetary compensation for the entire duration of the observance of the restriction. The compensation must be determined by an employment contract and amount to at least one third of the average monthly salary of the worker. If monetary compensation for respecting a non-competition clause is not determined by a contract of employment, the clause does not apply.
The employer and the worker have the option to agree on the termination of the non-competition clause. The clause must be explicitly enforced upon termination of the employment contract by the employer, otherwise it will lose this right. The employer can also lose this right if it seriously violates the provisions of the employment contract and the worker exercises their rights.
10. What happens to employees if their employer goes bankrupt in Slovenia, and are they entitled to severance pay?
If an employer goes bankrupt, the employment contract terminates and the worker acquires the right to register with the Employment Service as an unemployed person and obtain monetary compensation.
All workers who have been insured against unemployment and who have been in employment for at least 12 of the last 18 months are entitled to monetary compensation. The amount of compensation for the first three months is 70% of the average salary received by the worker prior to unemployment, reducing to 60% for the following months. However, the compensation must not be less than half the minimum wage, and no more than three times of it.
The duration of entitlement to monetary compensation is limited from three to 24 months, dependent on the time of unemployment insurance.
The law stipulates that some of the workers’ claims arising from the employment contract are defined as priority claims and will be repaid before other unsecured and subordinated claims, provided that the amount of the bankruptcy estate will be sufficient to repay all priority claims.
11. Are there any courts specially appointed for the purpose of dealing with labour law matters in Slovenia?
The settlement of disputes arising out of an employment contract is the sole responsibility of the labour courts.
12. In the event that an employee is a debtor in enforcement proceedings in Slovenia, to what extent is it possible for a bailiff to seize remuneration?
The bailiff can seize up to two-thirds of the salary received by the debtor from his employer, but only in such a way that the debtor retains at least an amount equal to 70% of the minimum wage in Slovenia (approximately 630 EUR).
If the debtor pays to maintain a family member or another person, this amount cannot be seized as part of the remuneration.