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Senior Labour Inspectors Committee Meeting (Brdo pri Kranju, 10-11 March 2008)


During Slovenia’s Presidency of the EU Council, the Labour Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia is organising a Meeting of the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC), dedicated to the ageing of the workforce. The plenary session will be held on 10 and 11 March 2008 at the Brdo Congress Centre.


All European countries are confronted with the problem of population ageing, and Slovenia is no exception. The trend became more markedly apparent in the twentieth century. Demographically, the population of Slovenia is no different from those of other developed EU countries. The decline in birth rates, which will exacerbate the population ageing process, is a trend causing some concern.


For the whole EU, in the period 1995-2004, the number of workers aged 55-64 increased by 16 %, while, in the same period, the number or workers in the 15-24 age group increased by only 2 %. The essential difference in the demographic structure of the labour force between Slovenia and the EU is that, in Slovenia, workers aged 15-24 represent 6.1 % of the total labour force as against 11 % in the EU as a whole.


Additional attention will be given to risk assessment, or methods to define the phenomenon of ageing of the labour force. A risk assessment is an important instrument whereby an employer defines workplace risks, and specifies measures and deadlines for eliminating such risks. The study by the Labour Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia, which will be presented at the meeting, shows that the vast majority of Slovenian employers are already experiencing problems associated with ageing of the workforce. It is encouraging that the majority of employers believe that work-culture changes are needed on the part of all employees. Experts from Slovenia and several other EU Member States – Austria, Finland and Germany – will present their experience in this field. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work from Bilbao and the Dublin Foundation will also present their positions.


We consider that discussion of this issue will help enable employers throughout the EU adopt a uniform approach to improving the health and safety of the elderly labour force.


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