The BPO sector in Albania currently employs a labor force of over 35,000 people. Despite the important role of this industry in the labor market, there’s a lack of accurate information about the sector. Recently, the findings of a report on the implementation of labor rights in the call center sector were published by Together for Life organization.
The report that is part of a project on improving working conditions in the call centers sector in Albania, offers valuable data about the internal and external environment of call centers operating in the country.
One of the most important findings of the survey confirms that 90 percent of the people interviewed say that their families generate income from their employment and indirectly state that there are no other sources of income to cover their monthly living expenses.
In terms of demographic data, the survey that was conducted in call centers in Tirana, Durres, Shkodra, and Vlora provides details on the qualification and employment trends among the workforce employed by this sector.
“At the time of this report, there were a total of 858 activities registered as Call Centers in Albania through years. Based on these data 68% of these activities registered at the National Registration Center are active, showing steady growth in the labor market,” the report highlights.
The data show that 79.5 percent of the interviewees that work in call centers range from 18-30 years old. This group age corresponds with the group ages that finish high school and university. This data shows a significant understanding also on the process of youth employment in Albania.
About 71 percent are still in university, hold a bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate degree. Over 42.6 percent of the employees in these Call Centers, have a Bachelor’s diploma, MSc, and Ph.D.
Over 93.8 percent have at least completed high school.
The report is important as it shows the lifespan of a job by young people who have not completed their studies yet. In these circumstances, this category of the employees’ rate employment in the Call Center as temporary,
Conclusions confirm that Call Center activities provide significant employment of the active workforce. 39.8% of the respondents state that the main reason for employment in this sector is the pay per unit of working time which is better than other job sites.
It is a satisfying job for students and young graduates due to the flexibility in choosing working hours.
Call centers offer favorable employment opportunities for both genders
Good working conditions don’t match with overall good health at work.
“For the majority of respondents, working conditions are very good. Health in the workplace is a very important part and disadvantages of working in the Call Center have emerged from this study, ranking stress, the problem with hearing and sight, the monotony of work, concentration problems, no use of headset at work, spine conditions,” the report says.
One of the most important parts of the report includes the recommendations that would help to improve working conditions and increase satisfaction among the call centers’ workforce.
The main recommendations include:
1. Strengthening the system and inspection mechanisms through state structures to respect the rights of employees in the Call Center sector. This can be done by increasing the professional capacity of labor inspectors, based on specifications and characteristics of the sector, in order to professionally monitor and control;
2. Developing initiatives and design encouraging policies that enable the functionality of the Health and Safety Council at Work. In our view, it would give a positive impact on the establishment of the Health and Safety Council at Work at the inter-sector level, aiming to unify its functionality in a large number of entities operating in this sector of the economy.
3. Creating conditions for promoting and encouraging the creation of the trade union movement in this sector, in order to represent the interests of employees, respect and benefit more rights through collective labor contract;
4. Growing awareness of the Call Center sector workers to labor rights, the concepts of decent work, and union freedom. It is also important that all the informative processes emphasize the rights and obligations that the parties included in the individual/collective agreement (employer-employee/trade union organization) have between them.
5. Based on the specifics of employment in the Call Center sector, a considerable number of employees, and the fact that it cannot be simply called temporary employment, there is a need for regulatory sub-legal acts regarding the duration of working time, holidays, and salary.