Mobile working regulations in Slovenia

1. Is there any legislation relating to working from home in your country?

Yes. Work from home is regulated in Article 68 to 72 of the Employment Relationships Act (ZDR-1).

2. How can working from home be implemented in a company, e.g. through collective bargaining agreements, unilateral decision, or employment contracts?

The general rule is that work from home must be implemented in the employment contract, whereas certain aspects of it may be addressed in a by-law.

In case that work from home is being introduced in relation to an existing employee, a new contract will be required since change of place of work represents a change in the crucial ingredient of an employment contract.

It is generally not possible to implement work from home by means of a unilateral decision of the employer. However, under certain circumstances this may also be done (see below under point 3).  

3. Can an employer force an employee to work from home?

As already mentioned, work from home requires a contract. Therefore, the employer cannot force the employee to work from home.

However, the ZDR-1 envisages an option of unilaterally changing the employee’s place of work in exceptional circumstances. Namely, Article 169 of the ZDR-1 stipulates that in cases of natural or other disasters if such an accident is anticipated, or in other exceptional circumstances where life and health of people or the assets of the employer are threatened (i.e. extraordinary circumstances), the type and/or place of work specified in the employment contract may temporarily change without the consent of the employee. But this is the case only for the duration of these circumstances. Therefore, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, provisions of this article may be applied to order the employee to work from home.

4. Can an employee force an employer to allow him to work remotely?

No, work from home is not considered an employee’s right.

5. Does an employer have to provide the employee with office equipment and supplies for remote working?

Provision of all necessary resources and material for work that the employee requires in order to fulfil obligations uninterruptedly to the employee is a general obligation of the employer under the ZDR-1. However, if the employee is using personal resources, the employer is obliged to cover the employee’s costs for usage of these resources (see below).

6. Does a company have to reimburse an employee for expenses while working from home?

Provision of all necessary resources and material for work that the employee requires in order to fulfil obligations uninterruptedly to the employee is a general obligation of the employer under the ZDR-1. However, if the employee is using personal resources, the employer is obliged to cover the employee’s costs for usage of these resources (see below).

7. Does an employer have to grant an employee a specific work-from-home allowance? If so, under what conditions can an employer not pay such an allowance?

No, the law does not provide for a specific allowance.

8. Is an employer responsible for ensuring proper working conditions from a health and safety perspective for employees who are working remotely?

Yes, an employee who is working from home has the right to the same protection as regular employees for work-related accidents and illness.

Since the employer is responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy work environment, the employer must engage an occupational health contractor who will make or update the company's safety statement with a risk assessment and provide an assessment of the employee's specific employment position and working environment.

9. Are there any other specific obligations for the employer?

The employer must notify the Labour inspectorate about work from home prior to its commencement. Note that this is only a notice: consent is not required.

Although the work is being carried out from home, there is no exception to the rule that the employer is obliged to maintain a daily record of working time for each employee.

10. Does an employee need to be insured to work from home?

All employees in an employment relationship are covered by work-related accident insurance, regardless of the place of work. No additional insurance is necessary. 

Yes, benefits arising from work-related accidents and illnesses apply if an accident occurs while the employee is working from home. However, to be considered a work accident, the event must take place while the employee is performing work-related services.

12. Is the employer permitted to charge employee claims for “working-from-home cost reimbursements” against his/her saved expenses (saved expenses could include the employee’s reduced costs for transportation, gasoline, lunches in restaurants and dry-cleaning charge)?

No.

13. Are there any other specific obligations on the employee?

N/A

14. Any other comments?

A change of legislation is anticipated.