Working time: ‘Any period during which the worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activities or duties, in accordance with national laws and/or practice’ (Directive 2003/88/EC). This section briefly summarises regulation and issues regarding working time, overtime, part-time work as well as working time flexibility in Kosovo.
Working time regulation
According to Article 20 of the Law on Labour, the statutory working week in Kosovo is 40 hours. Full time working hours for employees under 18 years of age may not exceed 30 hours per week.
For work performed during extended working hours, national holidays and night shifts, employees are entitled to allowances in compliance with the Law on Labour, as well as with their collective contract and employment contract. Employees are entitled to the following allowances for such work, calculated as a percentage of their basic salary:
- additional shifts: 20% per hour
- night shifts: 30% per hour
- extended working hours: 30% per hour
- national holidays: 50% per hour
- weekends: 50% per hour
Other forms of compensation, such as compensation for accrued overtime and/or in the form of additional leave, may be stipulated in the employee’s contract or in the internal policies of the company.
In extraordinary cases, an employer is legally permitted to request that an employee work extended working hours for a maximum of eight hours per week if necessary, for example due to a temporary increase in the volume of work. Extended working hours may only last as long as necessary and work in excess of the stipulated limit may only be performed in case of urgency, for example to prevent accidents or in the event of force majeure. In addition to compulsory overtime, employees may perform paid, voluntary overtime in agreement with their employer. Extended working hours are prohibited for employees under 18 years of age.
An employee working on reduced or part-time hours may not undertake overtime that brings their working hours above the statutory full time limit. The employer is obliged to keep a full record of overtime performed and to produce it to the Labour Inspectorate upon request. The Labour Inspectorate shall prohibit overtime if it is seen to have a harmful impact on the health of an employee or their ability to carry out their work.
Part-time work is regulated by Article 21 of the Law on Labour, which defines part-time working hours as ‘shorter working hours than the full-time working hours’. Employment relationships involving part-time working hours may cover a definite or indefinite period. An employee working part-time is entitled to all the rights deriving from the employment relationship on the same basis as a full-time employee and in proportion to the number of hours worked.
Persons employed part time
According to the Labour Force Survey in Kosovo, the percentage of people employed part time was 5.3% in 2015, 6% in 2016 and 5.9% in 2017.
There are no available statistics or other data on involuntary part-time work.
According to the Law on Labour, working hours between 22:00 and 06:00 are considered as night shifts. If work is organised in shifts, it is necessary for the employer to organise shifts so as to prevent any employee from working a full week of consecutive night shifts without a day’s break. Night shifts are prohibited for workers who are under 18 years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding. Only with their consent may night shifts be performed by single parents and women with children younger than 3 years or with permanent disabilities. Should an assessment by a competent health body find the health of an employee working on night shifts to have deteriorated as a result of the labour performed, then the employer is obliged to find an appropriate daytime job for the respective employee.
The Law on Labour states that an employer must define an employee’s division of working hours during the week. Working weeks may be organised differently in cases when an employer has to organise shift work or night work, or when the nature of work requires it. The employer is obliged to inform the employee of the division of – and any modification to – their working hours at least seven days before they begin work.
Employees are entitled to an allowance of 50% of their basic salary per hour for weekend work.
Rest and breaks
Employees working full-time hours are entitled to a break of at least 30 minutes during the day. This break may not be taken at the beginning or end of their working hours. Employees who work between four and six hours a day are entitled to a daily break of 15 minutes. Employees under the age of 18 who work at least 4 hours and 30 minutes are entitled to a daily break of 30 minutes. Break times are considered as work.
Employees are entitled to a day of rest between two consecutive days of work, lasting for at least 12 continuous hours, or 11 hours for those employed in seasonal work.
Employees are also entitled to a weekly rest of at least 24 continuous hours, or at least 36 continuous hours if the employee is under 18 years of age. If an employee has to work on their day of rest then an additional day off must be given to the employee in the following week.
Working time flexibility
The Law on Gender Equality in Kosovo addresses working time flexibility by obliging employers to take all necessary measures to enable women and men to work hours that fit with both their professional and family obligations. Work schedules must be organised in accordance with the professional needs of the employer and the family needs of the employee, so that workers ‘can return to their previous posts after maternity leave, parental leave, abortion leave, sick leave or after the time spent out of the place of work due to family emergencies or professional training’ (Section 13.9).