Irregular payments for approximately 40 thousand employees

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In Montenegro, according to rough estimates, between 30 and 40 thousand employees do not receive their paychecks regularly, it was stated in Trade Union Federation SSCG. This problem weighs heavily on the living standard of the citizens.

Although there are no official data, a large number of employed people does not receive their paychecks regularly, while some of them do not receive payment for extended periods of time.

“Those employed in the public sector are the only ones who receive payment on time, although they also face some delays dues to budgetary load”, Information Service of SSCG stated to MINA-Business.

This issue negatively influences the living standard of the employed. Although there are law regulations, primarily Labour Law and Law on Labour Inspection, as well as supervisions from Tax and Labour Inspections, there are no results in implementing basic rights of the employees, such as right to remuneration, that is to be paid out in money, according to the law regulations.

“We think that there needs to be more control from state institutions, more responsibility on the part of employers, and bigger sanctions for failing to respect laws”, they said in SSCG.

Employers must provide payments of salaries and other benefits to their employees, as well as social and other securities. The state, as the most responsible factor in the society, must use its mechanisms and instruments to provide respect and implementation of law regulations.

“When it comes to mechanisms of protections, employees can contact the law office of SSCG, as well as relevant state instances, especially Labour Inspection, Administrative Inspection (in the cases of public sector), Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labour Issues, and relevant courts”, they said in SSCG.

They explained that the Labour Inspection has the most jurisdiction in these cases. One of its tasks is to implement Labour Law and General Collective Contract OKU, as well as other legal acts.

“This instance is also charged with overseeing individual cases, based on reports of individual requests for inspection, control and acts in cases of anonymous reports. There is also Agency for Peaceful Resolution of Labour Issues. Employees need to submit a suggestion for starting the process and the agreement from the employer, in order to finish the procedure out of the courtroom”, they said in SSCG.

In the end, there is a court that acts on the principle of emergency in labour cases.

When asked what needs to be done in order for employees’ salaries to arrive regularly, SSCG pointed to the equal and dedicated implementation of the laws, saying that relevant state instances and institutions play a key role here.

“Also, SSCG insists on responsible behavior of all state institutions, so that they can be efficient in the cases of breaking laws and law regulations pertaining to the field of employment relations”, they added in SSCG.

When it comes to legal framework that defines social and economic rights of the employees, SSCG thinks that a satisfactory law regulation is in place, that could be improved with the engagement of all relevant institutions and subjects, in order to minimize any issues.

“We believe that the crux of this issue is a failure to uphold Labour Law, collective contracts and other acts that define rights and obligations of the employees. The issue also lies in the fact that there is no social dialogue on the matters that are key to employees, especially when it comes to system laws”, they said in SSCG.

Employers, as they said, try to avoid their obligations to employees and to state in different ways, and the consequence of this behaviour is decrease of funds, of pension and health insurance, which hits most at-risk categories of population.

“Large number of employers pays minimal wages to all employees, especially in wholesales, catering facilities and part-time positions. Often, the work contract that the employee is signing entails the minimal wage, while its neto amount is bigger, and in these cases Tax Administration can react according to laws”, they said in SSCG.

According to the data from Tax Administration, the minimal wage of 193 EUR in 2014 was received by 19,31 thousand employees, and until November of last year, that number was 14,38 thousand.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro