SLOVENIA - WORK AND EMPLOYMENT

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.

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Punctuality

Slovenians are always on time for meetings and find it unprofessional when people arrive in late. They find it very irritating and consider that you are not taking the meeting seriously. So if you are going to be late, it is advisable to call before and apologise for your tardiness.

Diligence

Slovenians are said to have business etiquette similar to Germans and Austrians. They are hard workers and ready to work long hours. The working hours per week according to the EU, total 40 hours, at 8 hours a day. Every company advertises an 8 hours working day, but in reality most people work 10 hours a day. All state institutions keep to the letter of the law and do not allow their employees to work more than 8 hour days.

Education

The general level of education in Slovenia is quite high, with a literacy level of 99.7%. A high proportion of the population is represented by university graduates and 12% of all people aged between 25 and 64 have a higher education. Slovenia already exceeds the ratio of 30 students per 1,000 inhabitants, placing it among the more developed European countries with more than 11,000 students graduate annually from university.

University of Ljubljana

University of Ljubljana - source

Most business managers are well-educated; they have under-graduate and post-graduate degrees. The younger managers are now have the ability to travel to Western Europe, or to America for their Masters degree and for further professional practical experience.

Foreign Languages

Slovenians speak more than one language. For example, people living in the mountain region with Italy and Austria on the other side, also speak Italian and German. Most of the managers speak English as a second language asEnglish is the business language in Slovenia. In most cases, university educated people speak a second language compared to the rest of the population.

Business Meetings

During the first meeting, you should have your business card ready for introduction, the card should show your academic titles and position at work. To exchange business cards is customary in Slovenia and it is recommended that you have a sufficient quantity of business cards with you. Slovenians prefer a well laid out business card.

In general, the first meeting is informal and polite. They will listen to what is being offered and talk about what they have to bring to the table. If they think that cooperation is feasible, then another more formal meeting is scheduled for a later date.

It normally takes several meetings before an agreement is reached, since most Slovenian companies are very hierarchical and all the major decisions are made by the management. If the managing director is not attending the business meeting, then it automatically becomes just a forum to exchange ideas, and the proposal is then presented to the management, which will make a decision later. Decision-making lies with senior management and they rarely delegate the responsibility to someone else. The fastest growing type of enterprise in Slovenia is the family-owned company.

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