EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Quality in work and employment — Slovenia

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  • Observatory: EurWORK
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  • Published on: 28 June 2007

Martina Trbanc

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

In Slovenian employment policy quantity of employment is currently more emphasized than issues of quality of work. The need to increase employment flexibility is strongly stressed by employers and the Government. Proposals for changes in employment legislation concerning more numerical flexibility are being strongly negotiated by social partners. Flexicurity concept is often referred to by all social partners, but it remains unclear how it would be implemented. Reconciliation of work and family/private life is supported by legislative regulations concerning paid parental leaves and provision of publicly subsidised child-care services, but organisations have very rarely developed any additional practices or initiatives that would exceed the legislative standards. Evidence shows an increase in intensification of work and insecurity of employment.

1. The importance of quality in work and employment

In the recent years the policy emphasis in Slovenia has been on raising the employment rate, in combination with activation of the unemployed and inactive recipients of social assistance. According to the former Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs (replaced in November 2006) more employment can be achieved by economic growth and increased labour market flexibility. Quality of employment is mentioned in the context of the need (developmental priority) to develop a more innovative and technologically advanced economy based on knowledge. In the Framework of Economic and Social Reforms for the Increase of Well-being in Slovenia and Reform Programme for Lisbon Strategy in Slovenia (both documents were adopted by the Government in 2005) this developmental priority is seen as closely related to creating more quality jobs for well-educated work force. Therefore the issue of quality in work and employment is in the political and policy rhetoric mainly connected to innovative, technologically advanced and globally competitive economy (to be developed) in Slovenia, and in this context quality of jobs actually means more demanding (in terms of required education and skills) jobs, which are also relatively stable, well-paid and offer opportunities for dynamic career.

Certain elements of quality in work and employment are occasionally raised by trade unions, such as:

  • The situation of people with unstable jobs (fixed-term employment, employment through agencies for leasing workers),

  • Long and unfavourable working hours in certain sectors,

  • Health and safety at work, pay issues (occasional delays in payment of wages in some enterprises, pay of over hours, different bonuses).

Certain issues related to quality in work and employment are also occasionally covered in the press, for example cases of sexual and other harassment at work, precarious types of work, student jobs, pay issues and similar. Despite this it can be claimed that in general the issue of quality in work and employment as a whole is not growing in importance in Slovenia; most of the emphasis (especially in the policy and politics context) is still on quantity of employment.

  • Is there concern about a possible conflict between job creation and the pursuit of quality in work, or are the two aspects seen to be complementary?

In the policy context the consequences of stimulation of flexibilisation of labour market (and work contracts) and increasing the quantity of employment on the type of jobs available and on the issue of quality in work are not questioned. Implicitly quantity and quality of jobs are understood as complementary (although there is no proof of that). Employment issues experts pointed out this possible conflict (and other consequences of intended flexibilisation of labour market and ‘rationalisation’ of social policy) in the public discussion on the measures proposed in Framework of Economic and Social Reforms for the Increase of Well-being in Slovenia, but their concerns remained unanswered by the Government.

  • Is the national debate being influenced by policy discussions and developments at EU level?

Important EU strategies and documents (such as Strategy for Growth and Jobs, and European Employment Strategy) are well echoed in the national programmes and reform documents. Besides this it can be claimed that some issues related to quality in work and employment became important at the national level only after being put forward at the EU level. Two examples are the issue of harassment at the workplace (until recently there was not much sensitivity for this issue) and the issue of balancing work and family life (emphasised in the last few years: Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs supports development of strategies on national and organisational levels, as well as finances the promotion projects).

  • Are any particular aspects of job quality (as listed above) seen as especially important?

In the context of governmental reform documents and negotiations of social partners around changes in the labour legislation the following aspects of job quality are seen as especially important:

  • Security of jobs in terms of duration of employment and different employment contracts (open-ended, fixed-term, precarious types of jobs). While the government and employers want to increase the flexibility of employment contracts and simplify hireing and fireing of employees, the unions oppose the changes and point out the possible consequences of diminished job security, especially for the situation of older workers and other less adaptable categories of labour.

  • Payment issues (wage categories, payment of over-hours and different pay supplements) are constantly emphasised, which is seen in negotiations around collective agreements (according to 2006 Collective agreement on adjustment of wages, the wages are regularly adjusted with inflation growth, but the unions now demand the wages to be adjusted to the productivity growth too) and in frequent demands from professional groups in public sector (such as physicians, teachers, judges) and their interest organisations that their jobs should be paid higher.

  • Health and safety at work has been recognised as an important issue of quality of jobs for quite some time already. Lately the issue of reducing the extent of sickness leaves has been emphasised. Ministry of Health proposed some changes in the legislation regarding the sickness leave (limiting the longest duration of sickness leave to one year or 21 months with interruptions and more diversification in the sickness leave compensation) but because of opposition of unions and public opinion the changes were not implemented.

  • Have any major initiatives been taken by any of the interested parties, either separately or together, with respect to quality in work and employment?

After unsuccessful negotiations between trade union of employees in trade and employers, trade unions started a campaign against Sunday work of employees in shops and shopping centres. In September 2003 the campaign culminated in national Referendum on Opening hours of shops (with very low participation), where the majority voted for shops being closed on Sundays. Based on the referendum the Amendments to the Act on Trade were passed in the Parliament. Employers (especially big trade companies) fought the Amendments before and after they came into force using all legal means, including a complaint to the Constitutional Court (claiming the changes are against the principles of free trade). The situation was finally settled in October 2006, when trade union of employees in trade and employers in trade signed a new Collective Agreement for Trade – according to which the union agrees that individual trade companies are free to decide on the opening hours of shops (including Sundays and holidays), providing the employers pay 100% Sunday and holiday supplement to the employees and fulfil some other conditions. As a consequence, the Amendments to the Act on trade will be changed and the shops can again be open on Sundays.

2. Career and employment security

In the official Slovenian documents the flexicurity concept first appeared in 2005 as part of Slovenian Development Strategy. After that it has become one of the frequently mentioned concepts in governmental documents, as well as part of the current political rhetoric. The concept is used in close relation to the demand for greater competitiveness of Slovenian economy and labour market in the global environment and to the proposed greater deregulation of both. From the governmental and employers sides the emphasis of the concept is on flexibility rather than on social security. In public discussion on Framework of Economic and Social Reforms for the Increase of Well-being in Slovenia the trade unions as well as several experts strongly pointed out the need for a balance between intended greater flexibilisation of employment relations and social security measures (especially because in the proposed reform measures social benefits cuts were also envisaged).

  • In your national context, is it likely to be helpful in promoting a new consensus regarding positive labour market and social policy reforms, or is there a risk of it becoming more of a verbal compromise between different interests?

The original document of Framework of Economic and Social Reforms for the Increase of Well-being in Slovenia (adopted by the Government in 2005) was rather radical and liberal in the proposed measures. In the public discussion that followed the intended reform measures were strongly contested by trade unions, parliamentary opposition and the majority of experts (especially the proposed reduction of social security of workers). As a result, the government abandoned some of the proposed measures (for example the flat rate tax idea) and softened (and delayed) the reform measures related to the labour market. Changes in the Employment Relations Act that would enable more employment flexibility and would support flexicurity are still in the process of negotiations between social partners and by Spring 2007 the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs already gave up most of the more radical proposals that were strongly supported by employers. In the political rhetorics there was a new turn of shaping the reforms towards the social-democratic model of Scandinavian countries instead of the originally proposed path towards the liberal model. In June 2006, Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs of the time announced that Scandinavian approach towards the flexicurity is the right way for Slovenia. However, it for now remains rather unclear how it will be implemented.

In general, all major decisions about economic, labour market and social policy changes (in legislation and/or policy directions and measures) are discussed and negotiated between social partners at the Economic and Social Council of Slovenia. In the last two years there were some attempts by the government to override this institute of negotiations on the national level (since it is not legally binding) and force certain decisions regarding employment relations, but trade unions insisted that there should be a consensus on all major decisions regarding labour market and social policy reforms or they would use other means (strikes, protests). Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs was changed in November 2006 and one of the arguments for his replacement was his reluctant attitude towards social dialogue and his inability to negotiate with unions.

  • In such discussions, is the nature of the employment contract - notably between permanent full-time job contracts, and those that are not – a central issue?

The current Employment Relations Act is often stated as one of the obstacles to greater labour market flexibility in Slovenia - despite the fact that it is relatively new (introduced in January 2003). Employers point out that still prevailing permanent full-time job contracts are too rigid and workers too protected. On the other hand, the experts point at the concentration of fixed term (temporary) jobs among young people and the fact that those performing temporary and other precarious jobs are exposed to greater social risks than the permanently employed.

The nature of employment contracts is the central issue of the current negotiations around changes to be introduced in the Employment Relations Act, where:

  • Trade unions perceive the current Employment Relations Act as still adequate for achieving greater flexibility. According to them, recent negotiations are aimed at reducing workers’ rights - that is at reducing their socio-economic, material and legal security. Trade unions claim any amendments of the Act should be achieved by consensus.

  • Employers are demanding: a) greater numerical flexibility (to shorten the dismissal notice periods, to cut down or even abolish the dismissal compensations and to reduce their responsibility for redundant workers – Employment Service should take a more decisive role after the workers are notified of dismissal and before they formally become unemployed); b) more functional flexibility (employment contracts should be more general - for the type of work, not specifically for the job); c) to reduce the legal influence of trade unions at the company level; d) to limit the pay supplement currently related to total years of service only to length of service at the present employer; to link some other workers rights to length of service at the present employer; and to reduce the rights of older workers (regarding dismissals).

  • Governmental side (Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, which takes part in negotiations) was for a long time very close to the standpoint of employers. It suggested cut down of dismissal compensations, shorter dismissal notice periods, no pay supplement for years of service, half hour lunch time not any more counted as part of working time, limited longest duration of annual vacation leave, lower refundation of costs related to work and limited legal role of unions at the company level. But after the replacement of Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs (November 2006), the governmental standpoints became much softer and most of the listed proposals were withdrawn. The still remaining demands are: unified longest length of dismissal period instead of previously modified according to length of service, more general employment contracts (for type of work not for work place), no limitations on project work on temporary bases, and more active role of Employment Service in situations of dismissals.

  • Are there other concerns in such debates – such as appropriate levels of unemployment compensation, or the need to link flexibility and security with increased investment in human resources in order to cope with structural change?

In 2006 (in the negotiations on changes in Employment Relations Act) Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs proposed a trade-off between dismissal compensations and unemployment benefits: lower dismissal compensations and somewhat higher unemployment benefits, especially for those with the lowest benefits and for those agreeing to leave the job immediately after dismissal notice (giving up the dismissal period when they could still receive the pay). The idea was to speed up the transition process of redundant workers to unemployment and enable and motivate them to search for new jobs while receiving higher unemployment benefits. But the proposal was not accepted well by the unions and later on the Ministry gave up the idea.

The need for increase of investment in human resources has been pointed out several times in debates on the need for more flexibility – it is especially emphasised by trade unions, but the Government agrees upon it too. In the Framework of Economic and Social Reforms document (2005) there are some proposals of measures intended to stimulate and co-finance education and re-training of employees whose work places are likely to be endangered.

3. Health and well being

In general, health and safety at work is well-emphasised issue at organisational level, partially because the legislation in this area is very strict (Occupational Health and Safety Act). However, most of the concerns are still oriented towards manual work and enterprises in manufacturing sector have most developed prevention measures against work accidents, injuries and specific occupational diseases. It is a common practice in bigger enterprises (in all sectors) that employers and/or unions at organisational level offer employees various (free of charge or at reduced price) recreation possibilities (out-of-work) and organise annual days of sport, with the intention to promote health and enable gathering of employees. In service sector there are less concerns about health at work issues – unions are rarely addressing these issues, while employers take care of basic safety at work place issues, such as safe use of computers (for example protection against computer screen radiation). In general, the public awareness as well as the awareness of trade unions and employers about new health concerns emerging in the service sector is low (with the exception of occasional appearance of issues such as stress at work in the media).

  • How far is the health of older workers seen to be an issue in relation to the debate about increasing the effective retirement age?

Health of older workers has been an issue regularly stressed by trade unions in the debate about reform of pension system and increase of retirement age. Trade unions especially pointed out the problem of workers in manufacturing who are, because of work in demanding working conditions and in shifts (often performing night shifts too), burnt out after decades in service. Another issue pointed out by trade unions is the problem of partially disabled older workers (due to occupational diseases and other work-related reasons) and their employability. Because of relatively high numbers of partially disabled older workers in certain manufacturing sectors some bigger manufacturing enterprises established especial disability units, where such workers were employed at performing less physically demanding jobs supporting the production.

  • How important are workplace relations for well-being? Is the main focus on violence, harassment or abuse, or are there other, more general, concerns?

Workplace relations are not an emphasised issue and are mainly dealt with at the organisational level – depending on each organisation. Elements of workplace relations most often exposed in the companies are relations between employees and their immediate superiors and relations between co-workers. The public and organisational sensitivity for violence, harassment and abuse at work has been slowly rising in the recent years - one case of sexual harassment at work (in service sector) was legally prosecuted and well covered by media, while some other cases of harassment that made their way to media were dealt with at the organisational level.

  • To what extent is there recognition that men and women may often suffer from somewhat different work-related health problems?

The evidence of Institute of Public Health of Republic of Slovenia (Inštitut za varovanje zdravja RS) that publishes statistics on work injuries and absence days from work (sick leave) by using different indicators proves there are gender differences in occurrence of different work-related health problems. However, it seems the gender differences are to a large degree caused by structure of male and female employment (types of jobs, sectors of employment).

4. Skills development

The need for lifelong learning has been part of political rhetoric for nearly a decade and is accepted by all relevant actors as well as public at large. In the Framework of Economic and Social Reforms for the Increase of Well-being in Slovenia (2005) encouraging lifelong learning is stated within the development priority on modern social state and increased employability. Several measures are envisaged to stimulate lifelong learning, among them: development of motivation programmes to stimulate enrolment of employed people in formal or informal education and training programmes; state incentives for enterprises (and development of especial funds in cooperation with social partners) to invest in education and training of employees whose jobs will be endangered and those with low levels of education; promotion of standard developed in international project ‘Investors in people’ in organisations; obligation of local communities to prepare annual local or regional adult education plans. However, for now such measures mostly remain in plans and in political rhetoric.

  • Has the fact that demand for manual skills is falling, and demand for non-manual skills rising, been reflected in the type of support provided by the educational and training systems in your country?

Education and training system on primary and secondary levels (initial education) was reformed in the second part of the 1990s, with especial emphasis on reform of vocational education and training – including curriculum reform and some institutional changes (such as introduction of two-year post-secondary non-university professional programmes). Since the reform employers are (through branch sections of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Chamber of Crafts) more involved in preparation of programmes and in execution of training in vocational education. Because of the changed demand for labour the numbers of places in programmes for traditional manufacturing occupations were reduced, while, on the other hand, there have been many new programmes established on secondary and post-secondary level (several of them in cooperation with or on the initiative and co-financing of employers) for achieving qualifications for occupations in service sector (in tourism, business and administration areas, accounting and similar). “Soft” skills largely needed for jobs in service sector (such as communication, team work, problem-solving and similar) have also been incorporated in the curricula of new and modernised programmes.

  • To what extent have specific actions been developed to help those most at risk of being left behind – notably workers in areas dominated by traditional industries and agriculture?

  • education and re-training programmes (as part of active employment policy) are available to the unemployed and redundant workers.

In the last decade several Regional Development Agencies (RDA) were established (in cooperation of the Government and local partners, such as municipalities, local enterprises, social partners, education and training centres and similar). One of the important tasks of RDA is supporting the development of human resources in the area. RDA cooperate with local enterprises to determine the current and future qualification needs (especially in cases of redundancies, anticipated changes in technologies and other structural changes), support cooperation of local/regional enterprises and prepare/organise the needed training for them. Especial emphasis is supposed to be on least qualified and poorly educated workers. RDA carry out part of active employment policy programmes (in cooperation with local partners), such as public works and local development programmes.

  • To what extent are employers, trade unions and government working together – at policy or company level - to address these or related concerns, such as the better integration of young workers, or the retention of older workers?

Cooperation of employers, trade unions and government in addressing issues such as better integration of young workers or retention of older workers (at policy as well as at company level) is rather limited. Government (Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs) prepares employment policy measures and different policy documents that are at the national level discussed at Economic and Social Council, where social partners present their views on the issues.

5. Work life balance

Reconciliation of work and family/private life has been in Slovenia for decades successfully supported by generous statutory regulations concerning paid parental leaves and provision of publicly subsidised child-care services. However, analysis of current trends in work/employment arrangements and practices shows that changes since 1990s are less in favour of higher quality of working life and easier balance of work and private life and go increasingly in the direction of intensification of work and insecure employment arrangements, especially for the younger generation.

Results of a research study on Parents between work and family (survey performed in 2004 on a sample of 608 parents of children up to 7 years old) showed that parenthood influences employment and work experiences of men and women in Slovenia (Kanjuo Mrčela and Černigoj Sadar, 2004). The Survey confirmed that employed women perform more unpaid care work, while men are more involved in paid overtime work. Women more often than men report on negative experiences in employment and at work connected to parenthood (i.e. in job searching and career building) – the fact that parenthood is still often seen as mothers’ responsibility causes gender specific consequences of parenthood on employment and work experiences. Especially vulnerable in employment are young mothers (up to 30), divorced and single mothers.

  • In so far as new working time arrangements are being developed, are the initiatives coming from employers, or from joint initiatives with their employees and/or trade unions?

The legislative standards concerning parental leave and other parental rights are rather high and the employers are in generally respecting them. However, the large majority of organisations in Slovenia did not develop any additional practices or initiatives for reconciliation of work and family life (including the lack of family-friendly working time arrangements) that would exceed the legislative standards. So far, there is neither the internal incentive of employers (to see family-friendly policies and working time arrangements as a recruitment device and a device for motivating and retaining workers) nor external pressure (via demands put forward by employees themselves or trade unions in collective bargaining) to introduce family-friendly policies/programmes at organisational level (Kanjuo Mrčela, 2005).

  • To what extent is public policy playing a role? What sorts of actions or initiatives have there been? Do gender or parenting policies play a particular part? Do these include childcare arrangements?

Two key elements of public policy in the area of reconciliation of employment and parenthood are paid parental leaves and provision of publicly subsidised child-care services. Parenthood and Family Income Act (PFIA, 2001) stipulates four types of parental leaves for employees: maternity leave, paternity leave, leave for nursing and caring of baby (following the maternity leave, can be used by mother or by father or can be divided between them) and adoption leave. All four types of leave are financed through social security system (employers do not contribute directly) as 100% pay replacement. In reality, it is still mainly women who use the leave for nursing and caring of a baby – large majority of employed women stay at home for one year (taking up the whole length of their maternity and parental leave) and then return to full-time work. PFIA also introduced the possibility for parents to work part-time until child’s third year of age, but this option is rarely used by women (and practically not at all by men), mostly because of financial reasons.

Child-care is supported and enabled by a suitable legislative and institutional framework at the national level. The importance and availability of public and publicly subsidised child-care services did not diminish after the transition. As institutional child-care is available and affordable through a dense network of public and publicly subsidised private providers, employers are only exceptionally involved in providing child-care services or support. There are only a few kindergartens attached to big enterprises and in some enterprises employers cover part of the child-care expenses.

The current Government is strongly emphasising the issue of low birth rate in Slovenia and its problematic future consequences on labour force supply (and national economy). In the context of policy rhetoric on stimulating family decisions for more children, the active role of fathers is being emphasised (for example, an awareness raising and information campaign in media focused at young fathers: “Daddy, be active!”). More active role of young fathers in caring for children and greater gender redistribution of paid and unpaid work should also have positive effects on employment situation and career possibilities of young mothers (when employers stop associating parenthood only with women).

  • Long, or ‘unsocial’ working hours can be a particular cause for concern, whatever the intrinsic quality of the job or the pay being received. Likewise, reasonable proximity to one’s place of work will limit the amount of time lost in travel. How do these issues rank as concerns with the public and workforce?

Analysis of CRANET data for Slovenian enterprises (with more than 200 employees) in 2001 and 2004 revealed the broad extent of forms of work that are unfriendly to individuals and families and the rare use of family- and employee-friendly forms of work (Kanjuo Mrčela and Ignjatović, 2005). The most frequently used forms of flexible employment include: fixed-term work (used in 99% of organisations), overtime (used in 96% of organisations), shift work (used in 85.2% of organisations) and weekend work (used in 82.6% of organisations). Family- and employee-friendly forms of flexible work are lagging behind the abovementioned forms. It could be speculated that they are in use primarily when (and if) employers have a major benefit from them. The forms of flexible employment least used are those that demand spatial flexibility of organisations and individuals (job-sharing, home-based work and tele-working). Labour intensity has increased over the last years: from 2001 to 2004, 34.3% of Slovenian organisations increased the extent of overtime work practices, 24.7% of organisations increased their weekend work practices and 23% increased the extent of shift work.

Increased intensification of work and insecurity of employment is presented by employers as a (necessary) cost to achieve competitiveness of Slovenian companies (and national economy) in the circumstances of global competitive pressures. Intensification of work is usually agreed upon by workers at the organisational level (mostly because of financial reasons – they get extra payment for overhours, shift work and weekend work) and even the unions are mostly willing to negotiate on it (although they also point at the consequences of such intensification).


Framework of Economic and Social Reforms for the Increase of Well-being in Slovenia (Okvir gospodarskih in socialnih reform za povečanje blaginje v Sloveniji). Document adopted by Government of RS in November 2005. Available in Slovenian language at: /31.1.2007/.

Kanjuo Mrčela, Aleksandra (2005). Reconciliation of Work and Private Life in Slovenia. External report commissioned by and presented to the EU Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs, Unit G1 'Equality between women and men'.

Kanjuo Mrčela, Aleksandra and Černigoj Sadar, Nevenka (2004). Starši med delom in družino (Parents between work and family). Research report. Available in Slovenian language at: /15.11.2006/.

Kanjuo Mrčela, Aleksandra and Ignjatović, Miroljub (2005). Unfriendly flexibilisation of work and employment: the need of flexicurity. In Svetlik and Ilič, (eds). HRM's Contribution to Hard Work. Bern: Peter Lang.

Reform Programme for Lisbon Strategy in Slovenia (Program reform za izvajanje lizbonske strategije v Sloveniji). Document adopted by Government of RS in 2005. Available in Slovenian language at: /31.1.2007/.

Slovenian Development Strategy (Strategija razvoja Slovenije). Document adopted by Government of RS in June 2005. Available in Slovenian language at: /6.2.2007/.

Annex – Country data

Place of work and work organisation EU27 SI
q11f. Working at company/organisation premises 72.8 87.2
q11g. Teleworking from home 8.3 8.5
q11j. Dealing directly with people who are not employees (e.g. customers) 62.4 58.2
q11k. Working with computers 45.5 51.3
q11l. Using internet/email for work 36.0 40.2
q20a_a. Short repetitive tasks of <1m 24.7 26.6
q20a_b. Short repetitive tasks of <10m 39.0 40.9
q20b_a. Working at very high speed 59.6 75.2
q20b_b. Working to tight deadlines 61.8 67.3
q21a. Pace of work dependent on colleagues 42.2 58.1
q21b. Pace of work dependent on direct demands from customers, etc. 68.0 64.0
q21c. Pace of work dependent on numerical production/performance targets 42.1 21.3
q21d. Pace of work dependent on automated equipment/machine 18.8 22.6
q21e. Pace of work dependent on boss 35.7 34.8
q22a. Have to interrupt a task in order to take on an unforeseen task 32.7 30.7
q24a. Can choose/change order of tasks 63.4 60.6
q24b. Can choose/change methods of work 66.9 60.8
q24c. Can choose/change speed of work 69.2 72.5
q25a. Can get assistance from colleagues if asked 67.6 78.0
q25b. Can get assistance from superiors/boss if asked 56.1 71.1
q25c. Can get external assistance if asked 31.6 34.9
q25d. Has influence over choice of working partners 24.2 21.6
q25e. Can take break when wishes 44.6 39.3
q25f. Has enough time to get the job done 69.6 75.9
q26a. Task rotation 43.7 72.2
q26b. Teamwork 55.2 84.8
q31. Immediate boss is a woman 24.5 33.1
Job content and training    
q23a. Meeting precise quality standards 74.2 66.9
q23b. Assessing quality of own work 71.8 69.5
q23c. Solving unforeseen problems 80.8 82.6
q23d. Monotonous tasks 42.9 39.5
q23e. Complex tasks 59.4 61.3
q23f. Learning new things 69.1 80.1
q25j. Able to apply own ideas in work 58.4 64.4
q27. Job-skills match: need more training 13.1 11.8
q27. Job-skills match: correspond well 52.3 54.3
q27. Job-skills match: could cope with more demanding duties 34.6 33.9
q28a1. Has undergone paid-for training in previous 12 months 26.1 38.0
Violence, harrassment and discrimination    
q29a. Threats of physical violence 6.0 6.3
q29b. Physical violence from colleagues 1.8 1.0
q29c. Physical violence from other people 4.3 3.9
q29d. Bullying/harassment 5.1 7.4
q29f. Unwanted sexual attention 1.8 2.8
q29g. Age discrimination 2.7 3.5
Physical work factors    
q10a. Vibrations 24.2 29.2
q10b. Noise 30.1 40.1
q10c. High temperatures 24.9 27.6
q10d. Low temperatures 22.0 26.0
q10e. Breathing in smoke, fumes, powder or dust, etc. 19.1 25.6
q10f. Breathing in vapours such as solvents and thinners 11.2 13.0
q10g. Handling chemical substances 14.5 19.8
q10h. Radiation 4.6 7.8
q10i. Tobacco smoke from other people 20.1 17.5
q10j. Infectious materials 9.2 9.8
q11a. Tiring or painful positions 45.5 51.8
q11b. Lifting or moving people 8.1 5.1
q11c. Carrying or moving heavy loads 35.0 35.0
q11d. Standing or walking 72.9 72.7
q11e. Repetitive hand or arm movements 62.3 64.3
q11m. Wearing personal protective clothing or equipment 34.0 52.4
Information and communication    
q30b. Consulted about changes in work organisation, etc. 47.1 49.3
q30c. Subject to regular formal assessment of performance 40.0 40.9
q12. Well-informed about health and safety risks 83.1 88.1
q32. Consider health or safety at risk because of work 28.6 45.6
q33. Work affects health 35.4 62.3
q33a_a… hearing problems 7.2 17.5
q33a_b... problems with vision 7.8 24.0
q33a_c... skin problems 6.6 14.6
q33a_d… backache 24.7 45.9
q33a_e… headaches 15.5 25.7
q33a_f… stomach ache 5.8 7.1
q33a_g… muscular pains 22.8 38.2
q33a_h… respiratory difficulties 4.7 9.5
q33a_i… heart disease 2.4 5.8
q33a_j...injury(ies) 9.7 21.3
q33a_k...stress 22.3 37.7
q33a_l...overall fatigue 22.5 41.4
q33a_m...sleeping problems 8.7 18.9
q33a_n...allergies 4.0 9.0
q33a_o...anxiety 7.8 9.3
q33a_p... Irritability 10.5 24.3
q35. Able to do same job when 60 58.2 33.7
q34a_d. Absent for health problems in previous year 22.9 28.3
q34b_ef. Average days health-related absence in previous year 4.6 8.7
Work and family life    
q18. Working hours fit family/social commitments well or very well 79.4 74.2
q19. Contacted about work outside normal working hours 22.1 21.7
ef4c. Caring for and educating your children every day for an hour or more 28.8 34.5
ef4d. Cooking and housework 46.4 48.3
Job satisfaction    
q36. Satisfied or very satisfied with working conditions 82.3 71.6
q37a_ef. I might lose my job in the next 6 months 13.7 27.3
q37b_ef. I am well paid for the work I do 43.2 35.3
q37c_ef. My job offers good prospects for career advancement 31.0 30.6
Structure of workforce    
q2d_ef. Seniority (mean years) 9.7 11.8
Working time    
q8a_ef. Mean usual weekly working hours 38.6 41.6
q8b. % usually working five days per week 65.1 65.9
q9a. % with more than one job 6.2 9.9
q13_ef. Daily commuting time (return, in minutes) 41.6 35.4
q14e_ef. Long working days 16.9 17.8
q16a_a. Work same number of hours each day 58.4 54.7
q16a_b. Work same number of days each week 74.0 70.1
q16a_c. Work fixed starting and finishing times 60.7 58.0
q16a_d. Work shifts 17.3 30.0
q17a. % with less flexible schedules 65.3 41.6
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