The ESC was founded as the main consultative and coordinative institution for social dialogue in Slovenia. It was primarily set up to deal with issues related to the social agreement and wage policy, social policy, labour relations, employment and employment related topics, industrial relations (system of collective bargaining, etc), prices and taxes, the economic system and economic policy, legal security plus other areas that are relevant for social partners. As well as dealing with areas requiring tripartite agreement, the ESC can also examine other matters of an economic and social nature.
In addition to its advisory role, the ESC has a key role in negotiations for social agreements and, until some years ago, also wage policy agreements, which were adopted within the sphere of its activities. So far, four social agreements have been adopted through the ESC, the latest in October 2007. This agreement, obtained after eighteen months of negotiations, applied until 2009. After that period has elapsed the social partners were of the opinion that in the time of economic crisis a new social pact would be needed, but due to very different expectations of the three groups it has not been realized so far.
The ESC examines draft legislation covering the entire spectrum of economic and social relations between employers and employees. In this respect, the 1999 agreement reached between the social partners on the pension system reform and the 2002 Labour relations act are considered major achievements. In 2006 amendments to the Labour relationships act came under discussion between the social partners and the government and after long and tough negotiations consensus was achieved in June 2007. On the other hand the new proposal of pension reform in 2010 did not get support of the trade unions, even after long negotiations, while the new amendments to the labour relations act are still waiting to be discussed by the social partners.
The ESC also examines strategic development papers put forward by the government, such as Slovenia's development strategy and the economic and social reform package to enhance the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy. The ESC was also consulted on the reform programme for the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy and thereafter on the yearly reports on the implementation of the programme. In 2011 the ESC discussed the National reform program, connected to the Europe 2020 Strategy, and was acquainted with the Euro pact.
A practice has been developed that the Government consults the social partners already in the early stages of preparation of drafting of documents. This work is done mostly in the expert groups, which all the social partners consider very useful.
The ESC is also active regarding international cooperation with European Economic and Social Committee, other national economic and social councils, ILO, etc.