Unpaid labour in Slovenian society: a case for mental health social work approach

Venkat Pulla, Romana Zidar

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

3 Downloads (Pure)


Paid employment was for a long time seen as way of preventing poverty. In the past three decades this notion has changed rapidly, in that precarious, atypical forms of employment and work, resulting in the trend of so called 'working poor' have been surfacing. This trend was first noticed in the United States in the seventies and now becoming a pervasive phenomenon throughout Europe. Thus full-time and decently paid employment is becoming a privilege, especially in Slovenia faced by the challenging market forces and simultaneous welfare reform. Paid labour is becoming valued commodity deserved and held only by the 'deserving'. An army of otherwise 'deserving', but nevertheless working poor, consisting also of people with university degrees, is additionally straining the traditionally 'undeserving' plainly poor and marginalised groups such as people with long-term mental health issues. Both the categories- the 'deserving' and the 'undeserving' are falling into a vicious circle: one lot are poorly paid and receives flexible forms of employment and the other lot is stigmatised as lazy and lacking in strong will and as such forced to work in 'workfare programmes' in exchange for social benefits. How does social work as a profession view this emerging trend and respond? Does the profession see any moral issues? The purpose of this paper is to bring awareness and a critical comment about the issues within the context of current neoliberal reforms welfare ethos that appears to promote the notion of 'deserving' and 'undeserving' service users and welfare recipients. The paper suggests a strengths appraisal to Slovenian society to improve gainful entry of the currently marginalised and vulnerable sections of the populations that are unable to claim beyond subsistence incomes which in turn clearly exacerbates their mental health issues and resigns them with long term poverty and long term welfare interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Work, Human Services
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherAllied Publishers Private Limited
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9788184248104
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventInternational Conference on Strengths Based Practices - Dhulikel Lodge Resort, Kathmandu, Nepal
Duration: 22 Nov 201224 Nov 2012
http://www.strengthsbasedpractice.com.au/nepal_conference.htm (conference info)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Strengths Based Practices
Internet address

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Unpaid labour in Slovenian society: a case for mental health social work approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Pulla, V., & Zidar, R. (2012). Unpaid labour in Slovenian society: a case for mental health social work approach. In Social Work, Human Services (pp. 75-92). Allied Publishers Private Limited.