In Albania, all contracts of employment need to be in writing. However, if a contract is not in written form due to some special reason, the employer has seven days from the start of employment to ensure that a written contract is provided. If that is not done, an employer can be fined up to thirty times the value of the minimum monthly salary.
During the process of hiring and after employment, an Albanian employer may not discriminate amongst employees, should allow them the right to unions, protect them from corruption, and follow laws regarding the minimum age of employees.
Health and safety rules must be followed at work, pregnant women must be protected, employers must follow minimum wage rules, overtime limits, and laws on annual holidays and paid leave in order to ensure the protection of all those working in Albania.
Trade Union Recognition
In the Albanian Constitution, freedom of association is the right of every employee. The labor code oversees the rights of trade unions and professional organizations to ensure the protection of employers and employees. To gain legal personality, trade unions and professional organizations must file the act of incorporation and bylaws with the First Instance Court of Tirana. These need to be signed by at least twenty founding members, while professional organizations must receive signatures of at least five founding members. Unless the request has been rejected by the court, legal personality is acquired sixty days after filing the act of incorporation.
According to article 18 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, everyone is equal before the law. No one can be discriminated on the grounds of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, language, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or educational, economic, social status. No one can be discriminated against except for instances where there is a legal or objective reason for them not getting a job.
Article 104 of the Labor Code, pregnant women are not allowed to work 35 days before and 63 days after giving birth. In the case of a multiple birth, she is not allowed to work for 60 days before giving birth. Article 27 of the Social Security Law states that for a period of 365 days, pregnant women will receive a maternity leave payment from the social security contribution scheme. They will also receive this payment on the 35 to 60 days off from work that they take before and after giving birth.
Recent amendments to the Labor Code and Social Security Law have also incorporated rights for the male parent. According to article 96.3 of the Labor Code, a father who is a spouse or partner of a pregnant woman can take a paid leave of three days. If the father or adoptive male parent is insured, he is entitled to a period of 63 days off from work after the baby is born. However, this can only happen if the child’s mother does not fulfill the insurance requirement or wishes to go back to work during this time.
To read more about the labor code in Albania, click here.