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The promotion of social dialogue in the country, especially in the period after 2010, contributed to a series of quality changes of labor legislation in the Republic of Macedonia, supported and proposed by SSM as a representative trade union and an active social partner in the country, said president of SSM Zivko Mitrevski, PhD., at the press conference, attended by the presidents of the trade unions affiliated in SSM.

SSM, as an active player in the European integration process in the country stood up for implementation of international conventions and directives into national legislation.
The program objectives of the SSM include active and close monitoring of the practical application of the labor legislation and each time there is certain inconsistency or ambiguity in the application of legal provisions in practice, SSM initiates proceedings to amend the legislation with the ultimate goal to provide legal and legislative basis for protection, promotion and realization of labor rights.

Amendments to the Labor Code which are made especially during the last two years represent progress in the realization of labor rights. In this sense, we list the following amendments to the Labor Law:

The amendments to the Labor Law in 2010 created a legal framework for mandatory information and consultation of the employees and trade union of all important processes of the employer. The employer is obliged to inform and consult trade union on the activities and measures taken to mitigate the consequences of dismissal for business reasons.

In 2011 CCM particularly advocated for amendment of the provisions of the Labor Law regarding determination of representativeness in terms of concluding collective agreements, defining of the composition of the representation commission in a tripartite manner involving all relevant social partners, establishing legal status of the trade union with the acts of the trade union, without undue state interference by adopting legal rules and restrictions. Also, SSM aims to reduce the amount of fines for unions in the penal provisions of the law for their compliance with state penalties.

The amendments to the Labor Law of 2013 provide protection against all kinds of discrimination based on pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

The prohibition of discrimination applies to:

  • Access to employment,
  • Working conditions,
  • Employment rights and
  • Prohibition of terminating the contract of employment during pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

Amendments to the Labor Law were primarily directed towards protecting the rights of workers and prevention of misuses of contractual cancellations. Another significant amendment is introduction of mandatory penalties for unregistered workers. If the employer is caught by surprise to have unregistered workers, the employer will be obliged to pay fines and to report the workers within eight days, otherwise, the premises of work will be closed.

The amendments made specification of the provisions governing the legal working status of:

  • Seasonal workers
  • Finalizing public employment advertisements,
  • Records of attendance at work,
  • Obligatory prior notification to the state labor inspector when introducing overtime and introducing work on a public holiday, etc.
  • In the period between 2010-2012, on the initiative of SSM and accepted by representative trade unions and other social partners, were ratified five ILO conventions:

C 94 on the regulation of social clauses in public procurements; Convention for work at home, Convention on private employment agencies, Convention on Maternity Protection, Convention on Promotional Framework for OHS.
In October 2012 an initiative was submitted for ratification of the following conventions:

  • C 154 on collective bargaining of 1981;
  • C 151 on Labor Relations (Public Service) of 1978 and the Recommendation 159 on Labor Relations (Public Service);
  • C 150 for the administration of labor of 1978.

Besides the inclusion of the conventions, SSM advocated for inclusion of directives as relevant international laws in Macedonian labor legislation. During the last period in the labor legislation were included 19 directives amongst which the Directive 91/533 on information and consultation (and 2002/14 on the protection of the right to information).

Since we have statistics for December 2012, during the next session of the Economic and Social Council we will require adjusting of the amount of the minimum wage, under Article 4 of the Law on minimum wage. According to Article 4, the minimum wage is 39.6% of the average gross wage in the country for the previous year, according to data released by the State Statistical Office.

ILO Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities - EU FRIEDRICH EBERT STIFTUNG Организацијa на работодавачи на Македонија etuc