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Changing the law to speed up the recruitment of foreigners

Members of parliament have approved the bill on amendments and additions to the Employment, Self-employment and Work of Foreigners Act (amendment to the law).

The amendments to the Employment, Self-employment and Work of Foreigners Act are aimed at simplifying procedures, though this does not mean less legal protection for foreign workers. The aim of the Ministry of Labour is not only to ensure that there are enough workers, but also to ensure adequate working conditions and fair pay.

With the amendment coming into force, a foreigner, during the validity period of a single permit, will be allowed to change employers and jobs, or to be employed by several employers, solely on the basis of the consent of the Employment Service of Slovenia (ESS), i.e. without the need for an administrative unit ruling.

Foreigner nationals who are employed in the public sector will not be subject to the provisions of the amended law. There is a serious shortage of suitable staff in the public sector, especially in the health and social services sectors (health centres, homes for the elderly, day-care centres and social security training institutions, public institutions providing social services such as family care in the home, and public social security institutions that provide social welfare services). The procedures at the ESS are complex because of the need to determine the education, language skills and qualifications of foreign nationals. Therefore, the amendment does not apply to foreign nationals who will be employed in the public sector, which means that the ESS will not grant consent for employment in the public sector.

Asylum seekers who have the right to access the labour market under international protection laws will be able to exercise their right to free access to the Slovenian labour market after having had asylum seeker status for three months. The Law on Employment, Self-employment and Work of Foreigners currently states that they have free access to the labour market after nine months of asylum seeker status.

A new time limit has been introduced for entry into employment when a foreign national, during the validity of a single permit, changes employer or is employed by two or more employers on the basis of a new consent from the ESS, i.e. without the written approval of the administrative unit.