Natisni vsebino

Press Conference Highlights

24.04.2013 15:56
Category: work and news


Vlasta Nussdorfer, the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia, held her first press conference at the headquarters of the institution that she heads on 24 April 2013. She already held two conferences outside the headquarters, in Ptuj and Velenje. The Ombudsman notes that the number of people in distress is huge and that similarly great are their expectations for solutions. Ms Nussdorfer presented the findings gathered in the first two months of her work, the efforts of all her staff at the Ombudsman’s office, and pointed out certain positive outcomes of the Ombudsman’s interventions along with potential new violations (in real estate – see below).

Listed below are some of the main points. Not all topics pointed out by the Ombudsman are summarised, but all of them are available in audio recordings.

Audio recording 1 – the Ombudsman presented her findings, achievements and efforts

Audio recording 2 – questions from the press

  1. Relationships with state authorities: The Ombudsman has already met with the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Anja Kopač Mrak. Scheduled for next week is a meeting of a narrow working group consisting of the ministry’s and the Ombudsman's staff members, who will discuss various topics: employment relationships, the family, children, scholarship, the young and the elderly, and homes for the elderly.
    The Ombudsman plans to meet with other ministers soon.
  2. International relations: Deputy Ombudsman Ivan Šelih became the president of the regional network of national prevention mechanisms in the area of the south-eastern Europe. It was established on 26 March 2013..
  3. Ombudsman calls on authorities and Government to reply to CPT (published on 19 February 2013).

 

OMBUDSMAN’S ACHIEVEMENTS:

1.    ZUJF – Information on the Ombudsman’s measures and results is available by clicking the ZUJF (Fiscal Balance Act) link. The Ombudsman expressed her concern about how the state would pay for the violation caused by the ZUJF and welcomed the efforts of Minister Kopač Mrak. She pointed out that premature adoption of acts is not acceptable, because the restitution of rights is too expensive.

2. Payment of allowances for periods of sick leave

The Ombudsman proposed several legislative amendments, which were adopted and implemented.

We welcome the following: According to the new Article 137 of the Employment Relationships Act (ZDR), the allowance for periods of sick leave may be paid by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (HIIS) directly to workers. Previously this was paid by employers, who could only claim the repayment from the HIIS after making the payment. Problems occurred when an employer was insolvent and could not pay the allowance and in turn could not request repayment from the HIIS. This meant that employees ended up by being injured parties.

3. At the meeting with Minister Kopač Mrak, the Ombudsman stressed the unjust calculation of child benefits and kindergarten rates with respect to income from the year preceding the last calendar year, as some persons remained without employment and income in the present period, so the calculation on the basis of the period when they still received income was not realistic and caused injustice. The Minister promised the Ombudsman that the competent Social Work Centres will make new calculations for those concerned and issue new decisions. (listen from 20:53)

4.    Penalty for driving with a licence issued in Germany

 

OMBUDSMAN’S EFFORTS:

  • Violation of rights of bona fide buyers in the real estate market?

(listen from 23:56)

The Ombudsman is resolving several cases of individuals who bought real estate (e.g. apartments) entered into the land register (LR) after which an inspection procedure established non-compliance of construction. In one such case, an inspector ordered demolition and imposed costs on the bona fide buyer of the apartment. The question is how this can be possible given that the floor ownership was entered in the LR.

In the concrete case, the entry was made on the basis of an act establishing floor ownership, a surveying and mapping authority decision and a study for the first entry of the building in the Buildings Cadastre (the latter is made by a land surveying and mapping firm or an architect). Further investigation will try to establish whether a mistake was made in the land register management by the surveying and mapping authority or firm or by an architect with a permit to provide surveying and mapping services, or whether it may even be an inconsistency in the system, which could be deduced from the growing number of initiatives.

  • Persons with special needs: A memorandum is being drafted (listen from 12:43) and planned to be adopted in May; its aim is to provide equal treatment of persons with Down syndrome and their better integration in education and healthcare. The Ombudsman assessed the situation at the Ljudevit Pivk school for children with special needs in Ptuj as catastrophic; she will prepare a project for the resolution of this issue and report on it in the future (listen from 13:39)
  • The Ombudsman will continue to meet with non-governmental organisations, including those from the field of the environment. The first of these meetings is planned for tomorrow, 25 April 2013, when the prosecution of offenders against the environment, space and natural resources will be discussed. The topic will be presented by the Ombudsman and Ms Helena Zobec Dolanc, district state prosecutor and councillor from the District State Prosecutor’s Office.

    The Ombudsman looks at the efficiency of law enforcement in different fields, including the field of offences against employment relationships and social security, in the specialisation of all involved in the process.
  • Access to water. We invited Janez Potočnik. We will talk about water as an inalienable right.
  • Lastly:
    • payment of wages to prisoners (listen from 24:40)
    • abolition of residence allowance (scholarships) – (listen from 24:54)
    • Home schooling (about 150 children in Slovenia who are schooled at home) – (listen from 25:00)
    • the issue of foster care and adoption will have to be raised - (listen from 26:24)

 


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