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The free movement of workers is one of the four fundamental rights of the EU internal market, the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swiss Confederation, together with the free movement of goods, capital and services. Slovenia, like other EU Member States, is actively working to reduce red tape and facilitate equal exercise of social rights for citizens of other EU Member States, while setting out measures to regulate and secure its own labour market.

Employment of foreigners in Slovenia

Citizens of the EU, the EEA and the Swiss Confederation have the right to take up employment in another EU Member State, the EEA or the Swiss Confederation under the same conditions as nationals of these countries. They do not require a work permit for access to the labour market or for employment in Slovenia, but they must establish legal residence in Slovenia on the basis of their employment, in accordance with the provisions of the Act regulating the entry and residence of foreigners. Employed persons who are nationals of the EU, the EEA and the Swiss Confederation are entitled to equal treatment with citizens of the Republic of Slovenia as regards working conditions and social benefits. Each Member State must provide interested individuals or undertakings with all the information necessary to facilitate the cross-border exercise of the freedoms guaranteed by the Treaty on European Union.

Third-country nationals may generally be employed or self-employed, or may work in Slovenia based on a valid single permit issued with the consent of the Employment Service of Slovenia. This single permit combines and replaces the previous residence and work permits.

Slovenia concludes international agreements with third countries by which it defines the conditions for the employment, self-employment and work of foreigners, and adopts measures to protect its labour market, including restrictions on existing conditions.

Social security when working abroad

The European Union does not have a single social security system, meaning that each Member State has its own national system. The EU lays down common rules to ensure that EU citizens retain their social security rights when they move to another country for various purposes. The EU also follows the principle of applying a Member State’s legislation in accordance with the principle of lex loci laboris and aims at equal treatment, aggregation of insurance periods, portability of rights and calculation and payment of unemployment benefits. The rules provide practical answers as to which country is responsible for social security insurance and how social security rights are guaranteed: pension, health care, unemployment benefits and child benefits.

The common EU rules apply to citizens of the EU, the EEA and the Swiss Confederation who are or have been insured under the system of one of these countries, as well as to their family members.

In order to provide more effective protection for people moving around Europe, the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) is in place to enable social security institutions in the EU to process individual cases more securely and quickly, and to speed up the calculation and payment of social benefits.

Slovenia also concludes international social security agreements with third countries, laying down the conditions and procedures for exercising social security rights in the event of migration between the two contracting states. These countries are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Canada, the USA, Argentina, Australia, the Republic of Korea and Quebec.