Slovenia's first social insurance programs were established in 1922. The system provides old age, disability, survivor's pensions, sickness, work injury and unemployment benefits. The pensions system covers employed persons, members of cooperatives, craftsmen, artists, and farmers. Funds are provided by employee and employer contributions, with any unforeseen deficit covered by the government. The government funds the total cost for some groups of insured including veterans. The age of retirement is variable, depending upon the numbers of years worked. The Health Care and Health Insurance Act provides health care services and sickness benefits to employed persons, pensioners, and citizens with low incomes. A universal system of family allowances provides benefits to families with children with incomes below a specified monthly amount. There is a maternity grant available to all permanent residents in Slovakia to purchase clothing and other necessities for a newborn child.
Women and men have equal status under the law. Discrimination against women or minorities in housing, jobs, or other areas is illegal. Officially, both spouses are equal in marriage, and the constitution asserts the state's responsibility to protect the family. Women are well represented in business, academia, and government, although they still hold a disproportionate share of lower-paying jobs. On average, women earned 15% less than men. Violence against women is underreported, but awareness has been increasing. There have been improved efforts to assist victims. The constitution provides for special protection against economic, social, physical, or mental exploitation or abuse of children.
The constitution ensures minority participation in government by mandating that Italian and Hungarian minorities each receive at least one representative in the National Assembly. The Roma population continues to experience discrimination. Human rights are generally respected by the government and upheld by the legal and judicial systems.