The decision of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities extended the validity of the collective agreement for Slovenia's trade sector (hereinafter: the KPDTS), adopted in March, thus making it binding for all employers, whose core activity is classified in category "G - Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods" under the Standard Classification of Activities. The extended validity was established based on the proposers, i.e. the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia – the ZSSS.
If your core activity is classified in the G-category, you are legally bound, as of June, to implement the KPDTS. We therefore advise you to verify whether you have already properly implemented the main provisions of the KPDTS with respect to your employees:
- Annual leave: the KPDTS now stipulates to which year the criteria apply for increasing or decreasing annual leave. The statutory criteria must be taken into account in the current calendar year, while the criteria under the collective agreement in question should be applied to the following calendar year. Given that, the KPDTS also applies to annual leave that was determined for 2014, it is important to take note of the transitional provisions of the KPDTS. You as employers are therefore legally bound to verify whether the annual leave determined for an employee is more favourable under the previous or the currently applicable KPDTS. With respect to annual leave, the KPDTS permits the use of the previous KPDTS in cases where the annual leave determined for 2014 in accordance with the previous KPDTS was more favourable for an employee; otherwise, annual leave must be determined in accordance with the currently applicable KPDTS.
- Reimbursement of costs for the commute to and from work: In accordance with the currently applicable KPDTS, an employee's right to the reimbursement of costs for the commute to and from work is limited to the shortest regularly scheduled public transportation route. If there is no such route, the latter is limited to the shortest route by road from the employee’s place of residence stated in the employment contract to the workplace. Therefore, with respect to the reimbursement of travel costs, employees are only entitled to the minimum, the lowest possible cost of the public transportation or the shortest route by road. Of course you, as an employer, always have the option of reimbursing an employee for higher costs than those prescribed as the minimum under the law.
- Bonus for years of service: the KPDTS has introduced a single bonus for years of service of 0.5% for every completed year of service. Employees in an employment relationship prior to and after the KPDTS enters into force merely maintain their bonus for their total years of service as received in the past. However, attention needs to be given to new employees, who were hired after the new KPDTS entered into force. Those employees will be entitled to the following:
- a bonus for years of service totalling 0.5% for the total number of years of service, which is received for each completed year of service up to the effective date of the KPDTS, and
- a bonus of 0.5% of their basic salary for each completed year of service with the previous employer for the period from the enforcement of the KPDTS onwards.
With the above-specified decision on the extension of the validity of the KPDTS, the collective agreement now becomes mandatory and binding for all employers classified in the G-category of activities, not merely for members of the signatories of the aforementioned collective agreement. A more detailed insight into the changes brought about by the KPDTS can be gained from our previous article "Sprejeta nova kolektivna pogodba dejavnosti trgovine Slovenije" (New collective agreement adopted for Slovenia's trade sector ").