Legislation

Initiated in 2014, amending of the Labor Law is still in process. The current law does not have specific provisions on CSOs. As a result, civil society sector is subjected to same requirements as other sectors. Provisions on maternity leave, which are obligatory for all employers, are burdensome for CSOs. Due to prevalence of project funding in the civil society sector, only a few CSOs have sufficient funds to cover their part of payment of maternity leave. Another challenge identified by CSOs is the project – based contracting for their staff, that does not necessarily cover all potential benefits for employees guaranteed by the law, in particular those related to the duration of employment. The draft law has passed the first reading in June 2019. Again, the draft law lacks specific provisions on employment in CSOs. Main changes include provisions that prohibit discrimination of any form against employees, and measures against pregnancy discrimination. The draft law has shortened duration of the fixed term contract from ten to three years, whereas a fixed term contract might be extended no more than twice within a period of three years. An exception is the project based work. This exception has positive association with the dominance of project funding in CSOs, still KCSF’s comments on the draft policy demand further detailing the exception on the basis of civil society funding characteristics. While the labor law is in the amending process, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, has initiated a separate process to draft another law, that on maternity and parental leave. Its drafting is characterized by civil society suggesting that government covers 70% of the salary during the first 6 months of maternity leave.

0 – 20 Fully disabling environment20 – 40 Disabling environment
40 – 60 Partially enabling environment60 – 80 Enabling environment
80 – 100 Fully enabling environment

On the other hand, the draft law presented says otherwise; the first three months of the paid leave are to be paid by the employer that covers 70% of the base salary, while the next 6 months are covered by the government covering 50% of the base salary. The draft law provides the opportunity to extend maternity leave for three extra months without payment. Since both laws complement each other, civil society representatives have demanded their simultaneous proceeding. Yet, since the law on maternity and parental leave entails heavy financial costs to the Government, its introduction to the Parliament it is postponed.

Practice

Majority of CSOs have stated to have no information over Government’s programs for employment (57%), whereas 7% of respondents stated that there are no incentive programs for employment in CSOs. Seven percent of organizations that knew about existence of such programs think that they are not interesting enough. Twenty-three percent of CSOs have not benefited from state’s incentives because they have not hired employees during last year. Only five organizations stated to have benefited from such programs. Kosovo Pension Savings Trust is the body that collects information over the number of employees in civil society sector, full time and part time employees, and total of contributions payed by civil society sector. 

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