Addressing the gender pay gap: Government and social partner actions – Slovenia

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Inequality,
  • Pay and income,
  • Working conditions,
  • Published on: 26 April 2010



About
Country:
Slovenia
Author:
Aleksandra Kanjuo-Mrcela
Institution:

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

The gender pay gap in Slovenia is relatively low (8.3 % in 2008) in comparison to EU average. There is no extensive research on determinants of the gender pay gap in the country. Recent analyses are oriented on proving the existence rather than explaining reasons for the gender pay gap. Both the government and social partners have initiatives to address gender pay gap and it could be expected that these will have some positive impact on reducing the gender pay gap in future. There are no recent initiatives to analyse or address the effects of the current economic crisis on the gender pay gap in Slovenia.

1. The gender pay gap: national data

1.1. Please provide the reference details (see fact-sheet below), including a brief summary, of the main studies and research on the size and the determinants of the gender pay gap in your country published in the period 1999-2009.

The unadjusted gender pay gap is relatively low in Slovenia (8,3 % in 2008) in comparison to EU average (17,4%) and other EU countries. Considering trends of gender pay differentials, data show that after an increase at the beginning of the 90s, from mid-90s on there is an evident reduction of the gender pay gap. Data show that gender pay gap is more pronounced in the public than in the private sector and that differs among activities (being higher in feminised activities), groups of occupations and levels of professional attainment (being considerably higher than in total for university level and skilled workers) (Kanjuo Mrčela, 2006; 2009).

The gender pay gap has not been addressed frequently in research projects in the last decade, because of the long time prevalent normative declaration of gender equality in Slovenia (that included a conviction on the nonexistence of a gender pay gap due to legislative postulation of equal pay) combined with a lack of data and statistics. In the last years more gender disaggregated statistics on wages have become available. The few studies and analyses carried out in the last decade aim to show the existence of a gender pay gap rather than to analyse reasons for it.

National studies on the gender pay gap: Fact-sheet no. 1

National studies on the gender pay gap

Fact-sheet no. 1

Title

Gender pay gap in Public administration

Authors

Seljak Janko

Year of publication

2003

Bibliographic references

Seljak, J. (2003) Razlike v plačah in zaposlovanju med spoloma v dejavnosti javne uprave (Gender differences in Wages and employment in the Activities of Public Administration). Uprava, 2003, vol. 1.no.1. pp. 106-123.

Link to electronic copy of the report  
Coverage (nation-wide, sectors, occupations, regions, etc: please specify in detail)

Nation-wide and sector

Time span (e.g. 1995-2003)

2001

Data-set (official, ad-hoc survey or study, etc: please specify in detail)

Official (data on employed persons and wages by the Statistical office of Republic of Slovenia)

Type of analyses performed on the data-set (methods, e.g. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition)  
Main results. Unadjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends

The analysis showed that compared to a relatively small pay gap between men and women in Slovenia, there exists a relatively large gap between wages of men and women in the public administration: in this activity, women's wages were in 2001 by 15% lower than men's wages. In other countries the gender pay gap in public administration is usually lower than the gender pay gap in other sectors. The analysis also showed especially high differences between the wages in the group with secondary (where women earn 77.5% of men’s wages) and non-university level (female wages amount to 86% of male’s) of professional skills.

Main results. Adjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends  
Main results. Please list the individual and/or workplace variables taken into consideration in the adjusted gender pay gap (e.g. education, age, seniority, working hours, occupation, region, sector, firm size, etc.)

Analysis of the gender differences in employment and pay in public administration (L in the NACE classification, including public administration, defence and compulsory social security) in Slovenia. The main purpose of the analysis was to determine differences in the treatment of men and women in public administration focusing on two areas: gender employment structure according to professional attainment and professional skills and the wage differences between men and women. The study compares the situation and earnings of women employed in public administration with other employed women in Slovenia. Women at the top positions in public administration are better off in comparison to other employed women. But the situation of women in public administration with secondary or higher (non-university) education is completely different: their average wages are lower than the average for all employed women in these categories of professional skills, and lower than the wages of men employed in the public administration.

Main results. Which ‘institutional’ or policy variables (qualitative or quantitative) have been taken into account in the study?

Is there evidence (i.e. in multi-national studies incorporating your country, or when observing a national switch in policies such as, for instance, the introduction of sectoral minimum wages) that certain institutional factors or policies have tended to affect (narrow) the gender pay gap?

 
Main results. The determinants of the gender pay gap: please provide a brief summary

The author expresses the opinion that the personal engagement of different groups of women in fighting for their rights may explain their relative position: “It is undoubtedly easier for the educated women in public administration to stand up for their rights. The employed women with lower levels of professional skills do not sufficiently stand up for their rights, they are not sufficiently informed about them, and are probably still caught in the so-called "female" occupations with a lower status and lower wages.” (Seljak, 2003: 122).

Main results. Policy recommendations: please provide a brief summary

The author suggests that the state as an employer should ensure comparable wages to the employees regardless of their sex. Special attention should be pay to the differences between wages of employees with secondary and non-university level of professional skills as 30% of all employed women in public administration are in that category.

Female pay as a percentage of male pay.

National studies on the gender pay gap: Fact-sheet no. 2

National studies on the gender pay gap

Fact-sheet no. 2

Title

Gross earnings of employed persons in public research institutes in 2001, 2002, 2003

Authors

Maca Jogan, Polona Novak

Year of publication

2004

Bibliographic references

“Data on gross earnings of employed persons in public research institutes in 2001, 2002, 2003” and “Changes of normative acts aimed in abolition of gender discrimination” (presentations at the Workshop “Equal gender opportunities at the University”; 31st May 2004 organised by the Commission for improvement of women in science at Ministry for Education, Science and Sport and University of Ljubljana)

Link to electronic copy of the report

http://www.mvzt.gov.si/fileadmin/mvzt.gov.si/pageuploads/pdf/znanost/place_JRZ_2001-2003.pdf

Coverage (nation-wide, sectors, occupations, regions, etc: please specify in detail)

Full time employees in all registered public research institutes in Slovenia (disaggregated by sex, education and academic research title).

Time span (e.g. 1995-2003)

2001-2003

Data-set (official, ad-hoc survey or study, etc: please specify in detail)

In 2001, 2002 and 2003 the Office For Science at Ministry for Education, Science and Sport collected data on gross earnings of employees in all registered public research institutes (PRI) in Slovenia:

2001 - 18 PRI, 1543 employees (874 men and 669 women (43.4%)),

2002 - 17 PRI for 1582 employees (893 men and 689 women (43.6%)), and

2003 - 15 PRI for 1603 employees (913 men and 690 women (43.0%)).

The collected data only cover full-time employed persons who worked during the whole year. In that way all differences based on different working hours were excluded.

The data on gross earnings, functional supplements and stimulation (payments such as individual performance bonuses, additional payments on the basis of periodical and final accounts, Christmas bonus or some other additional cash payment) were analysed separately. The data were analysed by sex, level of education and academic research titles.

Type of analyses performed on the data-set (methods, e.g. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition)  
Main results. Unadjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends

The results show that for both men and women, earnings depend on educational level and academic title. In top three educational levels (PhD, MSc, University Degree) average annual gross earnings of men are higher than those of women. The gender pay gap is biggest at the highest educational level (PhD). The analysis of the functional supplements and stimulation shows even greater gender differences. Average annual functional supplement as well as stimulation for men was considerably higher in all years. A gender gap is also evident in the analysis of earnings by the academic/research titles – in all three years men received higher earnings in all academic/research titles. The highest was the difference in 2001 for the highest title (1. full professor or equivalent research/scientific or expert title), where women received 87.3% of men’s average earnings. In 2002 women received 91.3% and in 2003 they received 91.9% of men’s earnings. The gender gap in functional supplements was in all three years considerably higher for men than for women for all research/academic degrees titles. In 2001 women with the highest title received only 47.2% of the average functional supplement of men with the same title. For years 2002 and 2003 the percentages were 38.8 and 54.3 respectively. In the next title (2. associate professor or equivalent research/scientific or expert title) the situation is not much better: in 2001 women got 58.7% of men’s supplements, in 2002 women got 59.2% of men’s supplements and in 2003 they got 53.2% of men’s supplements. In 2003 women with the lowest title did not get functional supplement at all. The second lowest female functional supplement was in year 2002 when women with 5th title (Teaching assistant with MSc or equivalent research/scientific or expert title) received only 6% of men’s supplements. Average stimulation of women is lower than stimulation of men. Only exceptionally did women achieve or minimally surpass male stimulation. Women with the highest title in 2001 received 54.6% of male stimulation, in 2002 66.0% and in 2003 52.8% of male stimulation. In the second title (where absolute stimulations are the highest) women received in 2001 86.7% of male stimulation and percentages in 2002 and 2003 were 84.5% and 100.7% respectively.

Main results. Adjusted gender pay gap (W/M%*): please indicate both levels and trends  
Main results. Please list the individual and/or workplace variables taken into consideration in the adjusted gender pay gap (e.g. education, age, seniority, working hours, occupation, region, sector, firm size, etc.)

Education, academic title

Main results. Which ‘institutional’ or policy variables (qualitative or quantitative) have been taken into account in the study?

Is there evidence (i.e. in multi-national studies incorporating your country, or when observing a national switch in policies such as, for instance, the introduction of sectoral minimum wages) that certain institutional factors or policies have tended to affect (narrow) the gender pay gap?

 
Main results. The determinants of the gender pay gap: please provide a brief summary

Commission for the Improvement of the Position of Women in Science concludes that the collected data indicate gender discrimination in the public research institutes.

Men have higher bonuses than women and they are more often than women nominated to the positions that are financially better rewarded. In the analysed period one third of nominated directors of public research institutes were women. 30% of leaders of research groups in public research institutes were women.

Main results. Policy recommendations: please provide a brief summary

The commission recommended that policies in the university (concerning work evaluation and promotions) should take into consideration reconciliation of academic work and family life of academics as well as explicitly consider equal gender opportunities.

1.2. Are there any studies published in the 1999-2009 period, possibly using qualitative methods, which investigate the social processes which contribute to determining the gender pay gap through selection, occupational segregation, discrimination, and the like? Is there any research on the development of pay gaps during the life course? Do pay gaps emerge at the beginning of the individual careers of women or do they become significant at later stages of professional development? Because of different gendered career paths or because pay gaps tend to increase as the professional career advances (i.e. higher gaps at higher organisation positions)?

An interesting analysis of pay differences between a feminised and a masculinised occupation (nurse and police officer) was done by Kozel (2002) based on the data of the Office for the Wage System.(Urad za sistem plač, USP) Analysis showed that there are gender pay differences between and within two occupations in Slovenia, using the examples of a highly feminised occupation of medical nurse/technician and the highly masculinised occupation of police officer. The author chose these two occupations as both are placed in the same (5th) tariff rank of the Slovene Standard classification of occupations and both occupations have a number of similar characteristics:

  • both are in the public sector,
  • both are seen as socially useful,
  • both demand regular and direct interaction with people,
  • both involve work in shifts (night and week-end work, work on holidays),
  • both include high physical and psychological demands,
  • both have expectations of emotional work,
  • both include exposure to health and security risks at work.
Table 1. Factors determining wages of two occupations in the same tariff class

Factors

Police officer

Nurse/ Medical technician

Basic factor for wage determination

2.30

2.20

Minimal supplements*

0.05< than for medical nurse

0.05>than for police officer

Maximal supplements**

1.36

1.05

Total

0.41 > than for medical nurse

0.41 < than for police officer

* supplements that are connected with the job and are paid as a part of monthly wage.

** total of minimal and special supplements that are connected with the job position.

Source: data from Kozel, 2002

According to the data from the Office for the wage system factors used for wage determination of two occupations differ, regardless of classification of both occupations in the same tariff rank. The difference is in favour of the male dominated occupation. Some special supplements that are higher for police officers are: the supplement for dangerous job, work with mentally ill people, night work). The author concludes that the analysis indicates that the difference could be mainly explained by the socially different valuation of two occupations, that favours police officers.

The Association for Evaluation of Work, Organizational and Human Resources Development - DVD (Društvo za vrednotenje dela, DVD)(1998) analysed earnings of nurses and police officers in 1996. The earnings of medical nurses amounted to 65% of earnings of police officers. In the same year, women police officers had 9.2% lower earnings than their male colleagues, while male medical technicians had 17.5% higher earnings than female nurses.

According to data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2002 there were 6.8% women among police officers, while according to Ministry for Health in the same year there were 11% of men among medical technicians (Kozel, 2002).

1.3. Are there any studies in your country on how gender differentials of pay have been affected by the current economic crisis?

There are no studies or analyses on the effects of the current crisis on the gender differentials in pay in Slovenia yet. As Slovenia was not among the first countries hit by the crisis, the indicators on the labour market situation for 2008 still do not show effects of the crisis.

2. Government initiatives to address the gender pay gap

2.1. In light of the current economic crisis, has the national government taken any steps to assess and monitor the impact of the current economic downturn on gender pay inequalities? If yes, please briefly illustrate them, including the results of such assessment. Has the government started any initiatives to prevent or address the possible widening of the gender pay gap because of the economic downturn?

The national government has not taken any additional steps to assess or monitor the impact of the current economic downturn on gender pay inequalities. These could be assessed based on analysis of the gender disaggregate statistics that are collected by the Statistical Office of RS (data from the Structure of Earnings statistics and data from Structure of Earnings survey.)

2.2. Please illustrate the major government initiatives to address the gender pay gap put in place since 2005. Since there is extensive legislation on gender equality, interventions are usually of an indirect nature.

The most important contribution in the last few years to the equal opportunities policy framework in Slovenia in general and concerning the gender pay gap in particular was the adoption of the Resolution on the National Programme for Equal Opportunities of Women and Men (2005–2013) by the Parliament in October 2005. The Resolution states four aims towards promoting equal opportunities of men and women in employment and work:

  • decreasing gender discrimination in employment and work;
  • decreasing differences in employment and unemployment of men and women,
  • increasing self-employment of women and female entrepreneurship,
  • decreasing vertical and horizontal segregation and the gender pay gap.

Based on the resolution, the Office for Equal Opportunities (Urad za enake možnosti, UEM) prepares biannual periodical plans for implementation of the national programme for equal opportunities of women and men. The first one (for 2006-2007) was accepted by government in April 2006 and the second one in May 2008.

In the second periodical plan, reconciliation of work and private life is defined as an issue that has to be further improved and special attention in the next period will be paid to development of programmes of reconciliation especially regarding child care adapted to the needs of employed parents. Planned activities encompass the following:

  • support to employers for providing programmes and measures for easier reconciliation strategies,
  • research on the issues of reconciliation,
  • monitoring of EU indicators on reconciliation,
  • improvement of public and support services for reconciliation.

Amendments to the Employment Relationship Act that have been adopted in 2006 enable the parents of children who attend school to use at least one week of their annual leave during school holidays.

Important improvements in possibilities of achieving of work-life balance contained recent changes in: extension of the right to part time work for parents of two children until the younger child is six years old, co-funding of kindergartens’ payments for second and further children who are in kindergarten with the first child.

One of the aims declared in the resolution is the decrease of segregation in educational programmes in secondary schools and universities that are still distinctly ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.

The first periodical plan contains the plan to carry out research on establishing indicators with respect to the accessibility of education in general for men and women (responsible for the activity: Ministry of Education and Sport and a chosen research organisation). The aim of this research work is to encourage men and women into education and employment areas that are gender segregated in order to reduce vertical and horizontal segregation in employment and the gender pay gap. The periodical plan also foresees the introduction of the system of EU indicators on decision making in the social and economic domain in order to stimulate an increase in the participation of women in positions of decision-making in economy, trade unions, organisations and associations.

The Ministry of Education and Sport co-financed the research project (Faculty of management in Koper) “System possibilities for development of occupational orientation in gymnasium” that analysed reasons for educational choices of girls and boys in 2006. Based on the research results a model for assisting in occupational choices in science and technical education should be developed.

The Ministry of Education and Sport published in 2007 information on under-graduate education in Slovenia aimed to monitor availability of the educational programmes dominated by women or men. Activities aimed at promoting the natural sciences were performed by the ministry. The ministry plans to use ESS funds in projects in kindergartens and schools in order to eliminate differences between “female” and “male” jobs and occupations that should on the long-run diminish gender segregation in employment.

2.3. Please illustrate the main initiatives by the government to address the gender pay gap since 2005 in the public sector. Here the government acts as the employer and can intervene more directly, even if often the rules on compensation leave less room for pay differentials.

There were several measures and activities foreseen by periodical plans for implementation of the national programme for equal opportunities of women and men aimed at the improvement of the organisational structure and abilities of human resources at ministries for better implementation of gender mainstreaming (such as education and training, development of methods and instruments, strengthening of coordination and cooperation among governmental, local level and civil society). Ministries and governmental offices should report to the Office for Equal Opportunities on the achievement of activities foreseen by the programme two months before the end of the periodical plan and the Office for Equal Opportunities then prepares a report. These activities are not directly aimed at reducing the pay gap in the public sector, but it could be expected that improvements in the capabilities for gender mainstreaming form an important part of the framework in which the public sector could positively affect the gender pay gap.

3. Social partner initiatives to address the gender pay gap

The Social Agreements for 2003-2005 and 2006–2008 support gender mainstreaming/gender equality in work and employment. In the Social Agreement for 2006-2008 equal rights for men and women are mentioned under the headings of Employment and Pay policy while special headings are devoted to the Reconciliation of Professional and Family Obligations (foreseeing different measures and activities such as flexible working time, encouraging/facilitating return to work after parental leaves, motivate employers to create a suitable working environment, support of new forms of child and elderly care provisions, stimulation of active involvement of men in parental and care activities, promotion of women’s employment with subsidies for substitute employment (subsidies for employment of a person who is replacing the one who is taking maternal leave) in time of maternal/parental leaves) and to Equal opportunities and respecting diversities (foreseeing support of the relevant non-governmental organisations, developing measures for preventing, detecting and eliminating direct and indirect discrimination, supporting women entrepreneurs, supporting education and training of women, reducing segregation and inequality in salaries and implementing the legislation on equal opportunities).

In the Final evaluation report on the framework of actions on gender equality for Slovenia, a joint social partners’ document prepared by the Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (Zveza Svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije, ZSSS), Association of Employers of Slovenia (Zveza delodajalcev Slovenije, ZDS), Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije, GZS) and Chamber of Craft and small business of Slovenia (Obrtna zbornica Slovenije, OZS) social partners report on the main actions concerning gender roles, promotion of women in decision making and gender pay gap. The Report mentions the following main factors generating the gender pay gap:

  • the allowance for the years of service (part of wage that depends on the years of service) is in most cases directly connected to total years of service instead of years of tenure with the last employer. In accordance with Slovene legislation, women are entitled to retire earlier, thus women receive lower average pay due to lower average total years of service.
  • traditionally, female workers more often than male workers take “sick leave” when their children get ill. Since the allowance for the period of sick leave is lower than the wage, this results in statistically lower average pay.
  • due to general legal limitations, women are not allowed to work in certain working conditions in which additional allowances are paid.
  • there is a 30% gender pay gap in the yearly average of bonuses and allowances.
  • women often work in branches with lower wages in general.

The report states that social partners consistently respect the equal pay principle and that they tackle pay anomalies at the branch level by:

  • substituting the allowance for years of service with the allowance to years of tenure with the last employer,
  • by the special collective agreement arrangement according to which women in industry are allowed to work in conditions connected to extra pay.

3.1. In light of the current economic crisis, have the social partners, whether unilaterally or jointly, taken any steps to assess and monitor the impact of the current economic downturn on gender pay inequalities? If yes, please briefly illustrate them, including the results of such assessment. Have the social partners started any initiatives to prevent or address the possible widening of the gender pay gap because of the economic downturn?

According to the available data there were no special initiatives recently undertaken by social partners to assess and monitor the impact of the current economic downturn on gender pay inequalities.

3.2. Please indicate whether the gender pay gap has figured prominently on the trade union agenda since 2005. Have the trade unions initiated in this period any specific initiatives to address the gender pay gap? Please illustrate the most important of such initiatives.

The biggest trade union – the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS – Zveza Svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije) has had an active committee for equal opportunities since 2001. The EO Committee has been contributing to including equality topics/gender mainstreaming on the union agenda. Some activities with relevance for addressing the gender pay gap took place before 2005. In September 2003 ZSSS organised a preparatory conference for the integration of EO into collective bargaining. The conference covered three main themes: balancing family and work responsibilities, professional advancement of women and sexual harassment and dignity at the work place. Based on the work and conclusions of the conference, proposals of provisions on equal opportunities for branch collective bargaining were prepared and accepted by the presidency of ZSSS. They cover in more detail some aspects of working conditions and/or rights of workers. One of the provisions deals with the gender pay gap as it demands the inclusion of equal opportunities data and gender data in annual business reports. The reports should include the data on career development and professional training plans (gender difference and reasons for it), pay (and gender pay gap and reasons for it), measures on enabling balance of work and family responsibilities; job changes after longer leaves; data on cases of intimidation, violence and sexual harassment at work and on measures aimed at protection of workers’ personal dignity.

In April 2004 the Presidency of ZSSS accepted the Action Plan for Support and Creation of Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, which among other issues tackles the gender pay gap and its elimination. In 2004 the ZSSS addressed a letter to the SORS asking for regular collection and publication of gender disaggregated statistical data on wages and professional advancement.

At the initiative of the Office for Equal Opportunities that trade unions and employers should consider equal opportunities in the collective bargaining procedures, the ZSSS’s addressed a letter to all sectoral trade unions in May 2005 in which sectoral trade unions are invited to act in accordance with the mentioned initiative and to be especially sensitive with respect to potential reasons/factors of the gender pay gap. ZSSS concludes that as there are no stipulations of the wage setting system that determine gender pay gap, the reasons must be searched in more subtle factors such as discrimination of workers with family responsibilities and valuation or naming of jobs.

ZSSS: on International Women's Day (8 March), a new ZSSS award (“roža mogota”) for extraordinary achievement for equal opportunities has been awarded since 2006. The award has been presented to these extraordinary women:

  • In 2006 to Lidija Jerkič for courage and leadership that was crucial for the consolidation of the largest Slovenian sectoral trade union, SKEI (http://www.sindikat-skei.si/). As such, she became a role model for young women with the ambition to become a trade union leader.
  • In 2007 to Dr. Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, who is a member of IPCC, a Nobel Prize winner in 2006. (Framework of the action: Women engaged in technical or scientific occupations as “ambassadors” can inform and raise awareness of girls about opportunities of technical or scientific professions).
  • In 2008 to Verica Blagovič, who is a shop stewardess of the trade union SKEI in a large metal industry company, Gorenje, for the agreement between top management and the company trade union which states that pregnant workers with precarious work contracts are given a priority for obtaining long-term employment contracts.

The ZSSS also adopted a document at its 5th congress in December 2007 to monitor equal opportunities of women in trade union decision-making bodies.

ZSSS actively supported the EU campaign on Equal Pay for Equal Work in 2009 (see: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=sl&catId=681). In January 2009 ZSSS organised a workshop “Trade union has a women’s face: Labour market and womens’ wages”.

Following the suggestions of the ZSSS, the National Statistics Office has prepared more gender pay gap statistics (medians, bonuses, allowances, etc.).

3.3. Please indicate whether the gender pay gap has figured prominently on the employer associations agenda since 2005. Have the main employer associations initiated in this period any specific initiatives to address the gender pay gap? Please illustrate the most important of such initiatives.

Employer associations took part in some projects and activities together with trade unions in the last years that address some of the reasons for the gender pay gap. Above mentioned joint social partners report gives information on two such projects: Diversity management and Family Friendly Enterprise.

The ZDS (Association of Employers of Slovenia) cooperated together with the ZSSS (Free Trade Union Association of Slovenia), and ŠKUC (Student Cultural Art Centre) in the “Diversity Management” project (within the EU funded programme »PROGRESS«) that was carried out by the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs. One of the aims of the project was to create a conceptual framework, as well as practical managing tools for management for the diversity and equal opportunity driven policy as regards employment and the labour market, and to encourage the development of active approaches towards diversity. One of the main interests of the project was raising the issue of gender equality, gender roles and management of diversity. In order to pursue the aims of the project, several seminars and regional workshops were organized, a publication was issued, and a public campaign was carried out (http://www.raznolikost.org/publikacije/prirocnik-progress.pdf, http://www.raznolikost.org , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C35jurP3-0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eraznolikost%2Eorg%2Findex%2Ephp%2Fkampanja%2Ehtml&feature=player_embedded)

The ZDS and the ZSSS have actively taken part in the promotion of the certificate "Family Friendly Enterprise" (see http://www.certifikatdpp.si/english/)

The “Family Friendly Enterprise” certification represents a significant novelty in the Slovenian business environment. Sociological research conducted in 2006 by the Faculty of Social Sciences (University of Ljubljana) demonstrated that Slovenian managers and many employees do not regard balancing work and family as an issue that should be tackled in the workplace. Rather, it is treated as something that the employees need to manage by themselves. The aim of introducing the certificate “Family Friendly Enterprise” was to sensitize businesses to the negative business impact of discriminating against (potential) parents in the workplace and the labour market, to provide businesses with tools for implementation of such HR policies that enable better balancing of work and family for their employees and to publicly recognize those business showing a positive attitude to providing options of balancing work and family of their employees.

The certification methodology is based on the system “European work & family audit”, developed by the German organization “Berufundfamilie”. The Slovenian DP adopted the German methodology to the specifics of the Slovenian economic and legislative framework.

In 2007, the OZS (Chamber of Craft and small business of Slovenia) presented the annual award for the Entrepreneur of the Year to a female entrepreneur (Nataša Ratej) for the first time in 19 years.

According to the above mentioned joint social partners’ report on the framework of actions on gender equality, the parental right of use of annual leave during the school holidays is upgraded by social partners at the branch level. The legal right to use one day of annual leave on the day chosen by the worker is extended to three days in most sectoral collective agreements.

The report mentions some initiatives present at the company level that could have an impact on gender equality:

  • especially in the last four years, larger companies have introduced “in house” day-care centres in order to enable the return of female workers to work earlier and to provide better contact with children,
  • a trend of flexible hours is increasing in companies where the working process allows such a regime. Unfortunately, the trend is present only at the working posts where flexible hours do not interfere with the working process too much.

3.4. Please indicate whether multi-employer collective bargaining has contributed to address the gender pay gap since 2005. Has multi-employer collective bargaining introduced specific clauses or instruments to address the gender pay gap? Please illustrate the most important of such clauses or instruments.

This question does not apply to Slovenia.

3.5. Please indicate whether single-employer collective bargaining and social dialogue practices at company level have contributed to address the gender pay gap since 2005. Has single-employer collective bargaining introduced specific clauses or instruments to address the gender pay gap at company level? Please illustrate the most important of such clauses or instruments.

A single employer collective agreement in the metal industry company, Gorenje (that stipulates that pregnant workers with precarious work contracts have priority for long-term employment contracts) is an example of a bargaining procedure that took into account gender equality (and factors concerning gender pay gap).

As mentioned the ZSSS prepared training for collective negotiating on equal opportunities at sectoral and company level to increase the visibility of equal opportunities in companies (yearly wage mapping to detect elements that generate wage gap, keeping gender statistics on professional promotions, flexible working time for young families, etc.).

3.6. Has the issue of the gender pay gap been particularly important in certain sectors? If yes, please indicate the sectors involved (up to three), the main reasons of such relevance and its most significant expressions and achievements (up to three for each sector - unilateral actions by employers or unions, joint initiatives, collective bargaining).

No, there are no sectors in which some special actions have been undertaken concerning gender pay gap.

4. Good practices

4.1. Since 2005, have there been any major initiatives to identify, collect and disseminate good practices on equal pay or more generally on gender equality in employment?

The following two initiatives could have the biggest effect on addressing and resolving the problem of gender pay gap in Slovenia:

  • envisaged objectives and measures considering gender pay gap stated in the resolution on the national programme for equal opportunities of women and men by 2013, especially envisaged analysis of causes of gender pay differences and introduction of measures to eliminate them;
  • decision of the presidency of the biggest trade-union confederation to call member trade unions to introduce the gender pay gap problem to collective bargaining agenda.

5. Commentary

5.1. Please provide your own assessment and comments on the initiatives to address the gender pay gap covered by this comparative study, including any further information that you consider important to illustrate the state-of-play of pay equity in your country.

Further reduction of the gender pay gap will depend on resolution of still existing problems of the position of women at the labour market. Both horizontal (occupational and sector) and vertical gender segregation still exist in Slovenia. Horizontal segregation is connected with the culturally determined different valuation of traditionally male and female occupations and activities. Vertical segregation places women in positions of lower status and pay and with fewer promotion opportunities. In spite of the recent changes in direction of desegregation in the category of legislators, senior officials and managers, men still dominate the managerial positions (regardless of women’s higher education), attracting the highest status and the best pay. Pay differences are also connected with gender segregated unpaid work: women are overburdened with domestic and care responsibilities. Mentioned initiatives of social partners are well oriented and would certainly have some positive impact on the gender pay equity. This impact would be even stronger if social partners decide on regular monitoring of the effects of these initiatives.

References:

  • Final evaluation report on the framework of actions on gender equality for Slovenia. Joint document of ZSSS, ZDS, GZS, OZS; 1st September 2009)
  • Kanjuo Mrčela, A. (2006) Gender Pay Gap 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, A. (2009) National Expert Assessment of the Gender Perspective in the National Reform Programme for Employment for Slovenia- PART A. External report commissioned by and presented to the EU Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs, Unit G1 'Equality between women and men'.
  • Kozel, P. (2002). Razlike v plačah med moškimi in ženskami (Differences in wages of men and women). Ljubljana: FDV
  • Commission for Improvement of Women in science (2003) Komentar k podatkom o bruto plačah zaposlenih v javnih raziskovalnih zavodih za koledarska leta 2001, 2002 in 2003 (Commentary on data on gross earnings of employed persons in public research institutes in 2001, 2002, 2003) available at: http://www.mvzt.gov.si/fileadmin/mvzt.gov.si/pageuploads/pdf/znanost/place_JRZ_2001-2003.pdf
  • Seljak, J. (2003) Razlike v plačah in zaposlovanju med spoloma v dejavnosti javne uprave (Gender differences in Wages and employment in the Activities oF Public Administration). Uprava, 2003, vol. 1.no.1. pp. 106-123

Aleksandra Kanjuo-Mrcela, Organisations and Human Resources Research Centre

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