13. 8. 2015

A Single Permit for Residence and Work to be Available as of 1 September

On 1 September 2015, the recently adopted Employment, Self-employment and Work of Aliens Act (Zakon o zaposlovanju, samozaposlovanju in delu tujcev; ZZSDT) will come into effect. It will eliminate the last remaining obstacles to the implementation of the institute of a joint permit for residence and work. A single (joint) permit for residence and work was already envisaged over a year ago with the Amendment to the Aliens Act (Zakon o spremembah in dopolnitvah Zakona o tujcih; ZTuj-2A), but, until now, the legal and technical conditions for the issuance of such a permit had not been met.

As of such date, the work permit will be issued in a single procedure, together with the procedure for granting authorisation for temporary residence, before the Administrative Unit (except as regards applications for a seasonal work permit). Since a single permit simplifies both processes, it is expected that foreigners will be able to obtain the single permit for residence and work already within 30 days of filing a complete application (this is the estimated average duration of the procedure).

The role of the Employment Service of Slovenia in this reformed procedure will be reduced. Based on the provisions of the ZZSDT, it will no longer issue work permits, but instead provide consent to the single permit. The Act sets out the conditions for providing consent to the various forms of such permits, which differ depending on their purpose, e.g. consent to employment, consent to self-employment, consent to an EU Blue Card, consent for posted workers, consent for legal representatives, consent to seasonal work, consent to the qualification and training of foreigners, and consent to perform individual services.

Moreover, with the intention of preventing abuses, the new amendment to the law changes the conditions for gaining access to the Slovenian labour market. Also new are certain other developments that provide for the simplification and elimination of administrative procedures. Due to the abusive establishment of companies, in cases where these were established for the sole purpose of obtaining an employment permit for their owners without Slovene labour market controls (without reviewing if there are other eligible unemployed candidates in Slovenia), the employment of the shareholders of undertakings will now be subject to the same (thus stringent) conditions as the employment of legal representatives.

Whilst employers are no longer required to register a vacancy in the procedure for issuing a single permit, applicants will be able to verify the situation on the labour market (and thus evaluate the possibility of obtaining a permit) already before filing an application. The mechanism for reviewing whether an employer has paid taxes and social contributions, as well as other tax liabilities, has also been simplified. The new ZZSDT further permits the legal representative of companies who will not be employed in Slovenia and who will only occasionally come for management purposes (up to 14 continuous days and a maximum of 90 days per calendar year) to carry out work solely on the basis of the special registration of the work of such legal representatives. The conditions for obtaining a work permit by self-employed persons are less stringent.

Last but not least, the monetary fines for offenders have been substantially increased (even up to EUR 75,000). For the most serious infringements, inspectors can also prohibit the employment, self-employment, and work of foreigners for up to five years.

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