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PAYMENT OF THE ANNUAL LEAVE ALLOWANCE- VACATION RECOURSE- PRESS RELEASE

The payment of the annual leave allowance established by General Collective Agreement for the private sector of the economy is mandatory for all workers and shall be completed by the end of the year.

The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia and the Organization of Employers, with the signing of the Agreement amending the GCA for the private sector of the economy in 2013 have arranged the right of vacation recourse for the employees in the private sector.

The vacation recourse is a right established through the dialogue between workers' representatives, in the present case the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia and representatives of the employers, The Employers’ Organization of RM, and given that it represent a right amicably settled with the signing of a collective agreement, it is expected that employers shall fully meet the arising obligations.

According to Article 35 of the GCA for the private sector the annual leave allowance is paid in the amount of at least 40% of the basis, provided that the employee worked at least 6 months in the calendar year for the same employer.

The basis for calculating the compensation of employees is the average monthly net salary per employee in the Republic of Macedonia paid in the last three months.

With the branch collective agreement or employer’s collective agreement, the employer may determine an annual leave allowance that exceeds the amount determined by the collective agreement.

The annual leave allowance is paid once a year. The amount is being determined according to the base which is valid on the day of the decision on payment.

The Agreement on amending the GCA for the private sector of the economy (Official Gazette No.119/ 2015) stipulates that the employers that confront operational difficulties, assessing the economic and financial situation of the employer, after prior mandatory consultation with the branch union, with an agreement signed by the employer and the representative trade union organization can determine the annual leave allowance to be in a lesser amount than the amount specified in this collective agreement.

For the employers who do not have union, this agreement shall be signed with the elected workers’ representatives.

The findings indicate that this right has an impact on the health and productivity of workers in the working process, and last year was realized by most of the workers, so we do expect to be similar case this year as well.

We inform the workers who shall not receive an annual leave allowance that they may ask for an intervention by the State Labor Inspectorate, or initiate court proceedings to protect their rights.

The legal department of CCM in Skopje and the regional trade union offices throughout the country provide free legal assistance and protection of the union members.

In case when irresponsible employers do not pay recourse for vacation or require workers to pay back the recourse, we remind that the Criminal Code provides provisions for prison sentences of up to 1 year. This obligation shall further contribute to the protection and realization of this constitutional and legal workers’ right (Law on amendments to the Criminal Code, Official Gazette of Rm No.226/ 2015).

As a result of the strengthened sanction policy and the amendments to the Criminal Code, CCM expects that such phenomena of nonpayment or manipulations shall be eliminated in compliance with Article 166, the new paragraph 2, which states:

"(2) Any person who shall ask the worker to return or receive a certain amount of salary or other remuneration paid by the employer shall be punished with imprisonment of three months to one year.

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