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The free movement of workers is one of the four fundamental rights of the EU internal market (in addition to the free movement of goods, capital and services). Similarly to other Member States of the European Union (EU), Slovenia is reducing administrative barriers to enable the citizens of other EU states to equally exercise their social rights and is at the same time setting out measures to regulate and protect its own labour market.

Working abroad

Citizens of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland have the right to employment in any of these countries under the same conditions as in their home country. They do not need a work permit, they can live in the country during their employment and after its termination and are entitled to equal treatment regarding employment, working conditions, as well as the same social and tax benefits as the citizens of the country concerned. Each of these countries has a special liaison office for providing information to interested individuals or businesses, facilitating the transnational provision of services.

Third-country nationals can generally be employed or self-employed or can work in Slovenia on the basis of a previously obtained single permit. The single permit combines and substitutes residence and work permits.

Slovenia concludes international agreements by which it defines the conditions for the employment, self-employment and work of foreigners, and adopts measures to protect its labour market, including limiting the existing conditions. The state regulates the situation on its own labour market by using the mechanisms of determining safety clauses or transitional periods with stricter employment conditions. Thus, for example, a transitional period applies to neighbouring Croatia. Croatian citizens residing in Slovenia for less than two years generally need a work permit for employment in Slovenia.

Social security while working abroad

Since the EU does not have a single social security system, every state maintains its own national system. However, the EU defines common regulations protecting the social rights of its citizens upon relocation to another country following the principles of applying the legislation of one country, equal treatment, aggregation of insurance periods, transferability of rights and calculation of benefits. The provisions offer practical answers to the questions of which country is competent and in what manner and to what extent it is competent, furthermore regulating the provision of particular social security rights regarding the payment of social security contributions, medical treatment, pensions, benefits for frontier workers.

Common EU regulations apply to citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who are or were insured by the system of one of these countries and to their family members.

To ensure a more effective protection of individuals moving across Europe, the EESSI information system is being established to help social security institutions in the EU achieve a faster and safer exchange of information in accordance with EU rules. The system enables a faster consideration of individual cases and accelerates the calculation and payment of social benefits.

Slovenia has concluded bilateral agreements on social-security harmonisation with those third countries with which it traditionally has a larger labour force exchange. These countries are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Canada, the US, Argentina, Australia, and the Republic of Korea.