The country has ratified 44 ILO International Labour Standards (Conventions), including the eight fundamental Conventions.
As defined in the Labor Code, the employment contract is an agreement entered into between the employer and the employee that sets out their respective rights and obligations. The employment contracts may be either oral or written, and it may only be changed with the agreement of both parties. Any change to the written contract to the detriment of the employee should be concluded in writing. The following are the different types of employment contracts available:
• Definite term contract;
• Indefinite term contract;
• Collective contract;
• Part-time employment contract;
• Domestic employment contract;
• Probationary contract.
A written employment contract has to contain the following details:
• identity of the parties;
• place of work;
• a general description of work;
• date of commencement of work;
• in the case of a fixed-term contract, its duration;
• amount of paid leave;
• period of notice for terminating the contract;
• components of remuneration and its payment date;
• hours of the normal working week; and
• the collective agreement in force.
Termination of employment contract
According to Labor Code, employement contracts can be terminated only by the following rules:
• mutual consent;
• expiry of term (in case of definite term contracts);
• objective reasons beyond the control of parties (death, serious illness of the employee, etc.);
• unilaterally upon prior written notice of either the employee or the employer (provided that respective causes are present);
• disciplinary dismissal.
Organization of working time
The Labor Code defines working time as the period during which the employee is at the employer’s disposal. The code also ensures that every employee is entitled to:
• a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour period;
• a rest break, where the working day is longer than six hours;
• a minimum uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours for each week;
• normal weekly working time of 40 hours (50 hours if overtime is included);
• paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks.
Albanian legislation requires employers to meet a variety of social rules contributing to protection of employees at work. The Labor Code sets out employees’ rights in relation to non-discrimination (on the grounds of race, color, gender, age, religion or belief, political convictions, national or social origin, family connections, physical or mental disability, which prejudices the individual’s right to equal employment or treatment), gender equality in the workplace (employers must treat men and women equally, particularly as regards access to employment, working conditions, promotion and pay), health and safety at work (Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy working environment for workers), maternity leave (Albanian labor law provides protection for female employees during pregnancy time and maternity leave. The employer must guarantee facilities for them during the work hours, by providing special work conditions, work permit 35 days before giving birth and 42 days thereafter, protection against dismissal, ect. During pregnancy and maternity leave, female employees are protected by measures such as breaks during working hours, special working conditions, and complete ban on working, prohibition of night work), harassment, etc. Employers who breach these obligations face penalties.
The Labor Code lays down rules regarding the protection of safety and health of workers. These include general principles concerning the implementation of preventive measures to guard against accidents at work and occupational diseases, consultation, balanced participation and training of workers and their representatives.
Termination notice period
The employer and his employees must respect the date about the termination notice period. The notice on the termination of work or contract varies depending on the seniority of the employee. If the employee has been working no more than a month in a company, the termination notice period is one month, two for two to five years of work, and three months for more than five years of work. During the probation period each party may terminate the contract by notifying the other party at least five days in advance. Where employment relations are terminated due to factors not attributable to him or her, the employee is entitled to a seniority bonus, and a compensation for untaken leave and unpaid wages.
In case of accidents, employers are obliged to:
• Immediately notify the Inspectorate on all accidents at work and professional diseases;
• Provide the Inspectorate with all the necessary data related to the implementation of labor legislation;
• Report to the Inspectorate, on a yearly basis, on the number of employees and the address of activity.
In case of accidents or other issues at workplace, the Inspectoriate at first will issue a warning (if its necessary). If the problem is not solved after the warning, the Inspectoriate may impose a fine (Inspectoriate may impose a fine to the empoyer even without issuing a warning, depending on the case). The Inspectoriate also has the competence to order the suspension of work, if the workplace doesn’t meet the required standarts, provided by Albanian Labour Code.
Photo credits: Flickr / DonkeyHotey
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