International Newsletter

Montenegro: New Labor Law Expected in 2019 Aimed at Adopting EU Regulations

May 17, 2019
Montenegro

The Montenegrin labor Law dates back to 2008. A new labor Law is expected to be passed during 2019 aimed at harmonizing labor legislation with European Union regulations.

Key provisions of the new law are outlined below.

Employment contracts

The new law will improve the position of workers who have not been issued an employment contract, as they will be considered employed for an indefinite period and will qualify for employment protection rights. Moving forward, employers will need to issue employment contracts to new employees within three days from the commencement of work.

Overtime

The maximum duration of overtime work will be reduced from 10 to 8 hours per week.

Fixed-term employees

Employers will be obliged to extend the duration of fixed-term contracts while employees are on leave due to pregnancy, maternity, or parental, adoptive, or foster care. The new law also stipulates that the maximum duration of fixed-term employment contracts will be extended from 24 months to 36 months.

Severance to disabled employees

The amount of severance pay for people with disabilities will be reduced from 24 to 12 months’ pay (except in cases where the injury was caused by work).

Time barring of claims

A statute of limitation is also being introduced that will require that monetary claims arising from employment are brought within four years. Currently, there is no limitation period at all.

Sick leave

Many Montenegrin employers complain of sick leave abuse; in response, employees will be obligated to provide their employers with a medical certificate within three days of starting their sick leave.

Comment

The new Montenegrin labor law’s objective is mainly the protection of employees through the suppression of the so-called “grey economy.” It is quite complicated to harmonize the interest of both employees and employers, and introduction of this new law has been ongoing for an extensive two and a half years. We cannot exclude the possibility that new amendments to the existing draft will appear before the law is adopted.

Written by Milena Rončević Pejović in cooperation with Karanović & Partners and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins

© 2019 Karanović & Partners and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C.