Slovenia: latest working life developments Q2 2018

A new information system to record the skills of young people, the adoption of a law to improve the social inclusion of people with disabilities and the well-being of Slovenia’s children a re the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Slovenia in the second quarter of 2018.

Skill-tracking system boosts employability

The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (MDDSZ), in cooperation with the Slovenian Student Union (SSU), launched an information system designed to record the competencies and skills that young people acquire through temporary and occasional work. Financed by the MDDSZ and the European Social Fund (ESF), the system aims to improve the employability of young people by providing a comprehensive overview of their experience.

The Ministry expects the information system to have a particularly positive impact on individuals and employers. A 2010 Eurobarometer report found that 87% of EU and 92% of Slovenian employers strongly believe that work experience is important when selecting employees, and having formal evidence of that experience will make recruitment easier. For young people, the system will offer the support they need to assess their current competencies, identify missing skills and plan their career paths. It also allows skills and competencies to be compared internationally, supporting job mobility across the EU.

New law to improve conditions for people with disabilities

In April, the Slovenian Parliament adopted an Act on Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities, which aims to provide better working and living conditions for people with mental and physical disabilities in the community. 1

The new law has been expanded to include people with severe autism, brain damage and visual or auditory impairments for the first time. It also caters for young people who had a disability before they started work and were therefore not entitled to these rights under the retirement and health insurance legislation. These young people will now be able to enter the workplace and retain their rights after their contract has ended.

Among the new law’s key improvements is the introduction of social inclusion and support services for people with disabilities. These include independent living training, lifelong learning, living with assistance and services for older people.

People with disabilities will now have the option of staying at home and choosing a support services provider. This represents a major step forward towards de-institutionalisation and the integration of people with the most severe disabilities into society.

Slovenia ranks sixth in the EU for child well-being

The Social Protection Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (IRSSV), in cooperation with Unicef and the MDDSZ, developed the Child Well-Being Index to simplify how the well-being and quality of life of children is monitored. The index’s design and methodology follow the latest normative and theoretical guidelines in this field, and enable the identification of trends and international comparisons.

The index comprises 31 indicators in areas such as material well-being, health and safety, behaviours and risks, education, housing and environment, family and peer relationships, and subjective well-being. It also takes into account the social, economic and public policy contexts in which these indicators occur, ranging from average child income, risk of poverty in households with low work intensity, the Gini coefficient and GDP to human development (UNDP) and social progress.

In a Unicef report published in April 2018 (and based on data from 2014), Slovenia is ranked joint sixth with Sweden out of 27 countries. This shows that despite the economic crisis, Slovenia has managed to maintain a relatively high level of quality of life for its children.

Commentary

While the new government in Slovenia has still not been formed, Parliament adopted an important social act on equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Slovenia is also creating better employment opportunities for the young by introducing formal evidence of their skills and competences, and maintaining high levels of child well-being. The challenge for the new government remains wage growth, which lags behind economic and productivity growth, and a new social agreement, which will define the model for wage growth and address key future challenges (e.g. lifelong learning, an ageing workforce and digitalisation).


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