According to the Law amending the Law on Labor Relations (Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia no. 120/218 on 29.06.2018), changes in the following segments have been made:

– the working hours of a young person under the age of 15;

– the deadline for applying to a public announcement;

– the content of the employment contract;

– duration of the probationary period;

– the procedure before notice due to personal reasons of the employee;

– the period to improve one’s performance after receiving warning;

– the notice period in case of a notice by the employee;  

– subjective and objective deadline in case of obsolescence when employment contract is cancelled at the fault of the employee;

– a period has been defined for employment of a new employee at a post where the previous employee had been dismissed due to business reasons;

– the severance amounts in case of cancelation of employment contract due to business reasons;

– the submission of a written statement on continuation of employment contract maximum to 67 years of age;

– the minimum amount of the salary for an employee – apprentice for the post the person is being trained;

– the payment of food allowance to workers at night shifts and provision of transport for such workers;

– in the part about the days considered as days of an annual leave, as well as in the part about the minimum number of days of the annual leave that should be used in the respective year.

So, the amendments to the Law on Labour Relations, prohibits engagement of a child under the age of 15 or a child that did not complete mandatory education, except for participation in activities that he/she can perform in accordance with the law, but no longer than 2 hours daily, or no longer than 12 hours weekly, and during school holidays no longer than six hours daily, or no longer than 30 hours weekly, in which case the child has to have a uninterrupted leave of two consecutive working weeks.

The deadline for applying to a public job announcement has been amended as well, by changing the period of 5 working days to 3 (three) working days, and amendment has been made to the duration of the probationary period by reducing the maximum duration from 6 (six) to 4 (four) months.

The amendments to the Law on Labour Relations change the title before Article 73 from the Law on Labour Relations, as well as Article 73 itself, and now the title and Article 73 read as follows:

Procedure before notice resulting from personal reasons of the employee

Article 73

Before the cancelation of the employment contract due to personal reasons of the employee, under the terms of Article 80 of this Law, the employer shall notify the employee in writing on the failure to fulfill duties and the possibility for dismissal in case the employee does not improve his/her performance.”;

and Article 80 defines the minimum period for performance improvement, which shall be no less than 15 days from the day of the receipt of the written warning from the employer, otherwise the employer shall have the right to cancel the employment contact of the employee due to employee’s personal reasons.

In terms of the notice period by the employee, Article 88 paragraph 1 has been amended and includes further explanations that the employee in the cases indicated in Article 100 paragraph 1 from the Law on Labour Relations, can terminate the employment contract, three days upon sending the written warning to the employer on his failure to fulfill the obligations. This option refers to the following obligations on the part of the employer:

1) the employer fails to provide work for more than three months and thus fails to pay the regulated salary;

2) is not allowed to perform work as a consequence of a decision by the competent inspection prohibiting the performance of the working process or prohibiting the application of working tools longer than 30 days and the employer fails to pay the legally determined salary;

3) the employer has been paying reduced salary for at least three months; 4) the employer fails to pay the salary for the performed work within the legally or contractually determined period three months in a row or in a period of six months;

5) the employer fails to provide occupational protection for the employee, although the employee has previously requested removal of the immediate and direct hazard to his life and health;

6) the employer insults and exercises violence against the employee or despite the complaints fails to prevent such behaviour by the other employees; 7) the employer fails to provide equal treatment in relation to the sex; and 8) the employer fails to undertake measures to prevent the employee to become a victim of sexual harassment.

The amendments on obsolescence of employee’s fault in case of termination of employment contract refer to the part on subjective and objective obsolescence period, by reducing the periods – the subjective period is reduced from 6 (six) to 3 (three) months from the day the facts that are the reason for the notice are discovered; and in terms of the objective period, it is reduced from 12 (twelve) months to six months from the day the facts that are the reason for the notice occurred.

What is important in the amendments to the law when it comes to the termination of the employment contracts due to business reason is the addition to the Article 96 of the following two new paragraphs (3) and (4), which read as follows:

“If the employer terminates the employment contract due to business reasons, he/she cannot employ another employee at the same post, with the same vocational education and occupation, in a period of two years after the termination of the working relation; and

If a need occurs for the performance of the same job before the expiration of the period in paragraph (3) of this Article, the employee whose employment contract was previously terminated shall have the advantage in concluding an employment contract”.

The amendments to the Law on Labor Relations increase the percentage of the minimum salary for the employee-apprentice, which instead of the current 40% of the principal salary for the respective post the person is trained for, the minimum salary shall be at least 70% of the principal salary for the respective post.

Moreover, this law amends Article 128 paragraph 5 in such a manner that prohibiting the employer to place an employee in a nightshift without providing him/her with transport to and from work, if there is no public transport available, and Article 138 paragraph 3 has been deleted, which regulated that a day of an annual leave shall be considered any workday which according to the working hours schedule at the employer’s for the respective employee is determined as workday; which means that when it comes to the definition which days will be considered as days of the annual leave of the employee, the only provision that regulates this matter is the following: “Holidays, Saturdays and Sundays and days off, sick leave, and other cases of justified absence from work shall not be included in the days of the annual leave”.

Another amendment related to the annual leave defines that the minimum part of the annual leave within the year the leave is granted for is two uninterrupted weeks, instead of the previously determined period of 12 uninterrupted days.

If you need any further information and advice regarding the published, please feel free to contact us here.

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