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Labor law plagues Albanian companies, problems with employee qualification and licenses

Labor law plagues Albanian companies, problems with employee qualification and

Compliance with labor laws is an ongoing issue in public companies in Albania, according to a recent report by the Audit Department of Public Companies and Foreign Investments published this week.

Throughout 2022, the Department of Audit of Public Companies and Foreign Investments has conducted 26 audits, of which 18 were conducted in joint stock companies, six in projects with foreign financing and two for the implementation of recommendations in previous audits, writes EURACTIV .

"Lack of analysis of regulatory, economic and financial issues by joint stock companies; Problems in the field of personnel recruitment such as appointments, dismissals, suspensions, resignations, changes in positions and salary changes without giving the relevant explanations, or a differentiated and unfounded salary system; Ineffective spending of funds as a result of the illegal termination of labor relations" , the report states.

Another issue identified was procurement procedures. The audit found cases of illegal management of public funds, unfair disqualifications of economic operators, criteria not according to budget items, problems with license categories and the number of employees.

"Problems in procurement procedures and the implementation of works related to the favoring of economic operators, technical specifications that do not guarantee the required quality, the selection of the evaluation method contrary to the established principles, as well as unfair benefits of funds as a result of the liquidation of unfinished works/services" , the report states.

In the audits of the Department from January to December 2022, 807 recommendations were addressed to the audited institutions, of which 467 organizational measures, 136 disciplinary measures, 35 administrative measures, 74 compensation measures and 95 measures for economic management, efficiency and effectiveness of funds public.

But it is not only with public companies that there are issues related to labor laws. According to the 2022 Global Rights Index for workers' rights, Albania is categorized as a regular rights violator, along with Bulgaria, Mexico, Liberia and Great Britain.

This is defined when governments and companies regularly interfere with collective labor rights or fail to guarantee essential aspects of them, and there are gaps in the laws that enable frequent violations.

According to the International Labor Organization, Albania has made progress over the last two decades, but there are still some labor market challenges.

"The main problems regarding working conditions and social protection are numerous accidents at work, low wage levels and insufficient coverage of the social security system," they emphasize.

While concrete statistics are hard to come by, it is estimated that up to a third of the population is informally employed or has irregular wages or work contracts.

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