Novelties of the New Montenegrin General Collective Agreement

On 26 December 2022 General Collective Agreement (the “New GCA”) was signed by its signatories – The government of Montenegro, Representative trade union organizations and Representative association of employers. Adopted New GCA expands employees’ rights and establishes grounds for further activities which would guarantee more rights for employees.

The New GCA shall enter into force on the day of its publishing in the Official Gazette of Montenegro, which is awaited.

The New GCA broadens and specifies the field of its application and aligns with the Labour law.  New GCA prescribed a limitation on overtime work of 250 hours per year, which was only a possibility under Article 64 paragraph 8 of the Labour law but required a collective agreement for the implementation of this provision.

The New GCA now differently defines paid leave when it is used for taking a professional exam which is in connection with the job performed at the employer and when is not. Bigger impact on employees’ right and position would be the obligation on the employer to pay the salary to the employee’s account by the fifteenth of the month for the previous month, pursuant to the Article 8 of the New GCA.

The New GCA also determines the calculation value of the coefficient for weekly average number of working hours in the amount that was previously determined in 2010 by the Agreement on the determination of the calculation value of the coefficient and the starting part of salaries in gross amounts. However, signatories oblige to reconsider and agree on the calculation value of the coefficient in the following year, due to the defined economic and social factors (inflation rate, increase of general salaries in the country, costs of living, economic growth etc.).

Additional changes and novelties were made by an increase of job complexity coefficients, increase of the basic salary based on working on Sundays, increase of salary on the basis of divided working hours (dvokratni rad) and increase of salary for every hour spent on standby.

Further the New GCA clarifies the obligation of the Agency for temporary assignment of employees to provide funds for membership in the union of the employer for each assigned employee.

Branch Collective agreements shall be aligned with the New GCA within one year period, while the deadline for alignment of Collective Agreements with the employer is six months from the date when Branch Collective agreements are aligned with the New GCA.

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