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OPTIONS OF THE EMPLOYER AND THE EMPLOYEE IN THE EVENT OF NATURAL DISASTERS

With the recent natural disaster that hit Slovenia, many people are wondering what options the labor legislation offers and how to manage absences when workers either could not come to work or left early due to extraordinary circumstances.



What options do employees and employers have regarding absence from work?


- absence from work due to force majeure,

- absence from work due to special circumstances (major accident affecting the worker),

- waiting for work when the employer cannot provide work,

- use of annual leave and

- unpaid leave.

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Absence from work


An employee cannot perform work due to force majeure (Article 137 of the Labor Relations Act (ZDR-1))

In the case of recent events, when weather conditions affected the entire country, the sixth paragraph of Article 137 of the ZDR-1 is primarily used, which stipulates that an employee who cannot perform work due to force majeure is entitled to half of the payment, to which he would otherwise be entitled if he worked, but not less than 70% of the minimum wage.

Force majeure also includes natural disasters. If the employee is unable to perform work due to force majeure, the employee and the employer share the risk. The worker does not have to compensate for the missing hours. In case of force majeure, ZDR-1 stipulates that the employee is entitled to half of the payment to which he would otherwise be entitled if he were working, but not less than 70 percent of the minimum wage.

Waiting for work (Article 138 ZDR-1)


If the worker cannot be guaranteed work for business reasons, he can be sent to wait for work at home. It is a measure based on Article 138 of the ZDR-1, in which the employee has the right to compensation of wages in the amount of 80 percent of the base from the seventh paragraph of Article 137 of the ZDR-1.


An order to temporarily wait for work, which can last a maximum of 6 months in an individual calendar year, must be given in writing and can also be sent to the employee electronically to an email address provided and mandated by the employer. At the same time, it should also be emphasized that during the referral to waiting for work, the employee must be available to the employer if there is a need to return to work.


Use of annual leave (Article 163 ZDR-1) and collective leave


For the purpose of absence from work, the employee and the employer can agree on the use of annual leave. The circumstances that the employer must take into account when deciding on the time of use of annual leave are determined by Article 163 of the ZDR-1. These circumstances are the needs of the work process, opportunities for rest and recreation of the worker, and family obligations of the worker.


Absence due to personal circumstances (Article 165 ZDR-1)


In individual cases, the provision of Article 165 of the ZDR-1 can be applied, which stipulates the right to paid absence from work due to personal circumstances, among which the law specifically defines the case of "major accident affecting the worker". An employee has the right to a paid absence from work under this article up to a maximum of seven working days in a single calendar year, or at least one working day due to a serious accident.



Order of collective leave


In order to meet the needs of the work process, the employer can also determine collective leave. In order to realize the fundamental purpose of annual leave, it is essential that it does not limit or negate the employee's right to annual leave due to needs on his part (rest and recreation and family obligations).


The duty of the employer to notify the employees in writing about the annual working time schedule (which also includes collective leave, to the extent that it is planned) to both the employees and the trade unions at the employer is otherwise specified in the second paragraph of Article 148 of the ZDR-1.< /p>


Absence from work without the right to salary compensation, i.e. extraordinary unpaid leave


Unpaid absence (so-called unpaid leave, extraordinary leave) is the possibility of absence from work, which is in the interest of the employee, so the employer cannot order it unilaterally. General labor legislation (ZDR-1) does not regulate this form of absence. However, it is regulated by collective agreements, so in the case of an agreement for this form of absence from work, the regulation as determined by the collective agreement, which binds the employer, must be taken into account.


Work organization


Temporary change of the type and place of performance of work or the ordering of other work and work at home (Article 169 ZDR-1)


Article 169 of the Labor Relations Act (ZDR-1) regulates the change of work due to natural or other disasters. In cases of natural or other disasters, if such an accident is expected or in other exceptional circumstances, when the life and health of people or the property of the employer are at risk, the type and/or place of performance of work specified in the employment contract may be temporarily changed even without consent worker, but only as long as such circumstances last.

According to ZVZD-1, the employer is obliged to ensure safe and healthy working conditions, regardless of the job and the place where the employee works.


Additional work in cases of natural or other disasters


The employee is obliged to perform work over full or agreed shorter working hours in accordance with the employment contract or other work related to the elimination or prevention of consequences, in cases of natural or other disasters or when this disaster is directly expected. Such work may last as long as it is necessary to save human lives, protect human health or prevent material damage. (Article 145 ZDR - 1).

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