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IRIS 2010-5:1/38

Slovenia

Steps Toward Easing Freelancers' Life

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Denis Miklavcic

Union Conference of Freelance Workers in Culture and Media (SUKI)

In April 2009 the Slovenian Ministrstvo za kulturo (Ministry of Culture) set up a project group to solve the problems of the self-employed in the cultural sector. The group consists of representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Ministrstvo za delo, družino in socialne zadeve (Ministries of Finance, Labour, Family and Social Affairs), NGOs such as Asociacija, Odprta zbornica, Artservis and the Sindikalna konferenca samostojnih ustvarjalcev na področju kulture in informiranja (Union Conference of Freelance Workers in Culture and Media - SUKI).

The first achievement of the project group is the Uredba o samozaposlenih na področju kulture (Draft Decree on the self-employed in the cultural sector, prepared by the Ministry of Culture and revised by the project group who suggested some changes) that was proposed in January 2010. It sets up some special conditions for the first registration of a person after having completed the relevant education. The aim is to stimulate interest for special professions that are lacking in the cultural sector. The conditions on proper education/qualification are not checked again in case of a subsequent registration for the same profession.

Self-employed artists who have the right to a subsidy for social security contributions now have the possibility to calculate an average of their three-year income. In practice there was a problem to match these criteria on the annual income as it varies, especially in case of long-term projects, or awards that raise the artists’ income unexpectedly.

Senior self-employed artists now do not have to prove their right to a subsidy for social security contributions if they are above 50 years old, and it is 6 years before the fulfilment of the minimum conditions for retirement.

The procedure of registration of self-employed persons and the decision on their right to a subsidy for social security contributions are now merged. That means a considerably shorter procedural time, and helps save money for the self-employed who until now had to cover social protection contributions themselves during the procedure.

The project group is now focused on mid-term aims that should be achieved by the end of the year. There are open questions about the costs of being self-employed, calculating the yearly income, the right to sick leave, the payment of kindergarten costs, and some other matters.

The long term aims concern dealing with the legal status of self-employed artists/persons in the cultural sector that is now in the grey area between civil, labour and business legislation.

In Slovenia there are about 8,738 persons working in the film, audiovisual and art sector, 2,800 of those are freelance. So there are a considerable number of workers in the sector who are affected by the Decree.

References
Uredba o samozaposlenih na področju kulture SL
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12369
 
  Draft Decree on self-employed in the cultural sector