Natisni vsebino

Social Hardship Remains in Focus of Ombudsman's Work

26.02.2014 09:30
Category: work and news

Ljubljana, 25 February (STA) - A year since taking over as Human Rights Ombudsman, Vlasta Nussdorfer finds that economic and social hardship remains in the focus of her office's work. She listed abuse of socio-economic rights, worker rights and unemployment as the main issues at Tuesday's press conference.

Offering statistics as a proof of the hardship affecting ordinary people, Nussdorfer said the Ombudsman received a record number of calls last year at 10,875, after only 4,438 in 2011 and 8,701 the next year.

Her team recently recorded a rise in petitions over unemployment, also because of restricted terms for eligibility to be involved in public works schemes, and complaints against local branches of the Employment Service.

Deputy Ombudsman Kornelija Merzel cited employers' failure to pay salaries and social contributions as the most common labour law violation, while she also mentioned workplace mobbing and precarious jobs.

Merzel highlighted the long reaction time of supervisory mechanisms, arguing that inspections and other services should act fast.

To discuss the lengthy procession of complaints by the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, Nussdorfer is planning to hold another meeting with Minister Andreja Kopač Mrak shortly.

The ombudsman also plans to meet new Health Minister Alenka Trop Skaza in a bid to achieve a better responsiveness of the Health Ministry.

Nussdorfer is in general satisfied with the authorities' responsiveness to the ombudsman's appeals, but said problems occurred when coordination of several ministries was required or in case of some municipalities.

The ombudsman also follows the confusion surrounding the real estate tax and has drawn up a petition for the Constitutional Court to examine the part of the act related to the rights of tenants in denationalised flats, while considering a broader challenge.

Nussdorfer suggested the Mapping and Surveying Authority would not have enough time to correct the errors in the indicative tax assessment on time.

She also commented on the changes to the archives act, which she said followed the ombudsman's recommendations, and argued that a referendum on the motion was unnecessary.

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