Bill on subsidised wages for laid-off, quarantined workers adopted
Ljubljana, 12 March - The government has confirmed a bill providing subsidies to employers for wages paid out to employees on temporary lay-offs and in certain cases of self-quarantine resulting from the spreading of the new coronavirus in Slovenia.
Announcing the adoption of the bill on Thursday, outgoing Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer said that it would be fast-tracked in the National Assembly.
The state will aid employers who are not be able to provide work to at least 30% of their employees due to a decline in turnover caused by the measures imposed to contain the spreading of the virus.
State subsidies will also be extended in cases when a worker is not able to perform their tasks due to quarantine imposed by the Health Ministry.
In both cases, employees will be eligible for 80% of pay. The state will subsidise 40% of this amount for workers on temporary lay-off, and the entire amount for quarantined workers.
The maximum period during which subsidies could be in force is three months for workers on temporary lay-off, and indefinitely for quarantined workers.
One of the conditions for subsidised wages is that the employer commits to preserving the jobs of the workers on temporary lay-off for at least six months after the lay-off starts.
Employers who are tax debtors, who have not regularly paid wages and social security contributions to employees, labour legislation violators and those who are undergoing insolvency proceedings are not eligible.
Under the current version of the bill, EUR 50 million has been earmarked for subsidised wages of workers on temporary lay-off. and an additional EUR 520,000 for quarantined workers.
The Labour Ministry noted that the emergency bill "contributes to preserving jobs in companies operating in the affected industries" and preserving worker rights.
Minister Klampfer added that the aim was also to "preserve employment relationships" and "alleviate the situation for employers".
"We see that certain consequences of the outbreak of the virus are showing in industries such as hospitality, tourism and certain manufacturing sectors," she added.
Klampfer noted that the Economic and Social Council, the country's main industrial relations forum, had been acquainted with the proposal on Wednesday and had the opportunity to provide its remarks.