Slovenia: Growth of precarious work in the media sector

The media sector in Slovenia is characterised by a high rate of precarious work, especially among young people. The management of the largest national media company RTV Slovenia has already been warned by the Labour Inspectorate against violating labour legislation.

Currently in Slovenia, around 40% of workers are in precarious employment, according to data from the Statisical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS, 2012). SURS defines precarious employment in terms of flexible forms of employment: part-time work (10.7% of employees), self-employment (12.6% of employees) and fixed-term employment (16.7% of employees). Almost 70% of young people under 25 are in precarious employment. Sociologist Aleksandra Kanjuo Mrčela told the daily newspaper Dnevnik that she believes the situation is worse than statistical data are showing. 

The Slovenian Union of Journalists (SNS) has complained about the enormous amount of precarious employment in the media sector. Mario Belovič, the newly elected President of SNS believes that precarious work in journalism is becoming more and more systemic and is superseding normal employment relationships. He added that the situation in the media sector is worse than in other sectors. The consequence is that the quality of Slovenian journalism is diminishing rapidly.

In 2015, the Labour Inspectorate of Slovenia inspected a considerable number of media companies. Inspectors were looking out for breaches of labour legislation in the area of employment relationships (Employment Relationships Act), especially how the companies respect the prohibition of concluding civil law contracts when in fact the elements of an employment relationship exist.

In the last quarter of 2015, the Labour Inspectorate issued a warning to the management of national media company RTV regarding violations of labour legislation related to honorary work. There are 270 employees at RTV who should be, in line with labour legislation, in regular employment at the company. The company is obliged by 2018 to employ all honorary workers who meet the formal requirements. In December 2015, RTV employed about 2,000 people, not counting honorary workers.

The Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS) has estimated that the number of precarious workers in Slovenia is growing at a pace that requires immediate legislative or regulatory amendments. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities is therefore planning to prepare some solutions during the first quarter of 2016

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