Montenegro: Industrial relations profile

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Social partners,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 02 June 2015

Vera Šćepanović
Central European University

In late 2011, Montenegro’s Labour Code was amended to improve its alignment with the EU acquis. The most significant change was the introduction of limits on the cumulative duration of fixed-term contracts, now capped at 24 months. In addition, the two representative national trade unions and the government signed the Agreement on wage policy in the public sector, for the period 2012–2015. In recent years there have also been protracted negotiations over the new national-level General Collective Agreement. Early 2012 was marked by major protests, the largest in Montenegro’s recent history, triggered by sharp increases in electricity and fuel prices. Unemployment is still high at almost 20%, youth unemployment is also rising (43% in 2012) and the number of employees on atypical contracts has continued to grow.

Facts and figures

Area: 13,812 square kilometres

Population: 703,208

Language: Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Capital: Podgorica

Currency: Euro

Economic background

GDP per capita (2012)

(in purchasing power standards, index:EU27=100)


Real GDP growth (% change on previous year) (2012)


Inflation rate (2012)


Average monthly labour costs, in € (2012)


Average labour productivity, € (2012)


Gross annual earnings, in € (2012)


Gender pay gap (2011)


Employment rate (15–64 years) (2012)


Female employment rate (15–64 years) (2012)


Unemployment rate (15–64 years) (2012)


Monthly minimum wage (2013)

€193 (net)

* Estimates of labour costs not available; the figure represents the average gross wage as the closest proxy.** Annual figures. Own calculations based on Monstat figures (gross value added/number of persons employed). Change from 2011: -4.57%

Source: Monstat and Eurostat

Industrial relations characteristics, pay and working time

Trade union density (%)(trade union members as percentage of all employees in dependent employment)


Employer organisation density (%) (percentage of employees employed by companies that are members of an employer organisation)


Collective bargaining coverage (%) (percentage of employees covered by collective agreements)

General collective agreement 100%

branch approximately 75%

Number of working days lost through industrial action per 1,000 employees


Collectively agreed pay increase (%)


Actual pay increase (%) (annual average 2012–2013)


-1.6% (nominal)/-3.8% (real)

Collectively agreed weekly working hours


Actual weekly working hours


* The lower figure is calculated based on the signatures submitted to the representativeness commission of the national Social Council. The higher figure refers to self-reported membership.

Source: Monstat and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare


Economic context

Economic performance in Montenegro has been very uneven in the past few years. After a sharp contraction of almost 6% in GDP growth in 2009, the economy grew by an average of 3% in 2010 and 2011, only to relapse into recession in 2012, with a growth rate of -2.5%. In 2013, the economy started showing positive trends with the average growth in the first three quarters reaching 3.1% compared to the previous year.

Montenegro owes most of its economic problems to the ongoing restructuring of the country’s metal and mining complex. The aluminium processing plant in Podgorica (Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica, KAP), which has been accumulating losses since its sale to the Cyprus-based Central European Aluminium Company (CEAC) in 2005, was declared bankrupt in September 2013 following the collapse of its largest customer, the Nikšić bauxite mines (Rudnici Boksita Nikšić, RBN) which also entered bankruptcy proceedings in late 2013. Even in their ailing state, the two still accounted for more than 35% of Montenegrin exports in 2012, and their crisis is bound to have long-lasting repercussions, not least on the state of public finances. For KAP alone, the government’s liability amounts to some €230 million in loan guarantees –equivalent to 7% of the country’s GDP – not considering other expenses, such as the €45 million owed to the state electricity distributor, arrears in wages and social security contributions, and severance payments for the workforce. On the upside, tourism continues to expand, as does electricity production, which constituted the main driver of growth in the second half of 2013. Unfortunately this sector is also highly volatile, due to Montenegro’s reliance on hydropower, which is sensitive to changes in the weather.

Given the precarious state of the budget, the government’s efforts to handle the crisis largely took the form of austerity measures to prevent further increases in debt and deficit. In 2012, the government signed an agreement with trade unions which ties the wage growth in the public sector to changes in GDP and the public deficit until 2015. Pensions in 2013 and 2014 remained frozen at 2012 levels, despite cumulative inflation of about 7% in this period. Additionally, a host of smaller consumption taxes was introduced to shore up the budget, including a tax on SIM cards, electricity meters and cable TV, as well as increases in excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, coffee and soft drinks. In 2013, the government also raised VAT from 17% to 19% and introduced a temporary tax surcharge on incomes exceeding €720 a month, raising the tax burden from 9% to 15%. Partly as a consequence of this, despite economic recovery real wages declined again for the third consecutive year, by an average of 3.8%.

Labour market

After dropping to under 46% in 2011, the employment rate rebounded somewhat to 47% in 2012 and 49.2% in the third quarter of 2013, but it remains far below the European average. The unemployment rate reached 20% in 2010, and averaged a similarly high 19.6% throughout most of 2013, although with a slight downward tendency. In addition to the difficult economic situation, regional disparities and skills mismatches have created deep pockets of structural unemployment. Long-term unemployment is pervasive, accounting for about 79% of all unemployment.

Youth unemployment is also growing, and reached 43% in 2012. To help the transition into the labour market of the highly skilled, the Law on vocational training of university graduates was passed in 2012, which provides publicly funded internship placements to young graduates without work experience. The government allocated €10 million for this project in 2013, funding a total of 4,112 traineeships.

The number of employees on atypical contracts has continued to grow. In the course of 2012, only 8.5% of jobs advertised through the National Employment Service offered indefinite contracts: 59.6% were for fixed-term contracts, and the remainder included paid and unpaid traineeships, short-term and seasonal work, and service contracts. By the third quarter of 2013, the share of fixed-term contracts in total employment had reached 28%. This trend is likely to be reversed in the future, however, as new provisions of the Labour Code came into force on 22 December 2013, stipulating that all temporary contracts that had reached a cumulative duration of two years by that date must be converted into permanent contracts. Employers warned that the costs of the new regulation would be prohibitive in the current economic situation, and that unless the implementation of the law is postponed the result would be a surge in redundancies or a shift to the grey economy. At the moment, it is too early to say whether these warnings were justified.

Legal and administrative context

In late 2011, the Labour Code was amended to improve its alignment with the EU acquis. The most significant change concerned the introduction of limits on the cumulative duration of fixed-term contracts, which are now capped at 24 months. At the same time, the law created a new option for temporary employment via temporary work agencies (staff leasing) which was not previously regulated. The provisions for firing of permanent staff were also slightly relaxed, adding failure to fulfil work tasks adequately over a period of 30 days to the list of legitimate reasons for firing. Another addition to the law is the concept of workplace harassment (mobbing), which is further regulated by a separate Law on Workplace Harassment which was passed in 2012.

After protracted disputes with the trade unions in 2011, the parliament finally passed amendments to the Law on Pensions and Social Insurance, raising the limit for the old-age pension from 65 to 67 years for men and from 60 to 67 years for women. However, due to the principle of gradual implementation the law will not fully come into force before 2025 for men and 2041 for women. In 2013, the Law on Pensions and Social Insurance was further amended to facilitate early retirement of workers from the ailing aluminium industry.

Further amendments to the Labour Code, as well as amendments to the Law on Strikes and the Law on Social Council, are currently being prepared.

In July 2012, Montenegro unified all inspection services under a single authority of Directorate for Inspection Affairs. According to the European Commission 2013 progress report for Montenegro, the training of labour inspectors is progressing well, but the labour inspection unit remains severely understaffed. The Commission’s 2014 progress report found that the capacity of the Directorate for Inspection Affairs, including the labour inspectorate, remains weak, and that the Department for Labour Inspection is not sufficiently mobile.

Industrial relations context

In 2011, the two representative national trade unions and the government signed the Agreement on wage policy in the public sector, which covers the period 2012–2015 and applies to about 45,000 public servants and employees. The agreement stipulates that the share of public sector wages in GDP should be reduced to 11% by 2015 (from around 12% in 2011), partly through wage moderation and partly through reduction in employment. In this period, wages can only be increased if GDP growth exceeds 3.5% in a given year, or if inflation is above 2% and the budget is in balance. By contrast, negative GDP growth or a budget deficit in excess of 2% will lead to wage reductions. The unions also agreed to refrain from strikes and industrial action over this period.

Early 2012 was marked by major protests, the largest in Montenegro’s recent history. The protests began in January 2012 under the leadership of the Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (USSCG), and were triggered by sharp increases in the price of electricity and fuel (about 7% each). The former was considered especially galling, as electricity prices in Montenegro are set by a regulatory authority and not by the market, and the price hike was associated with concessions offered to the Italian company A2A which had recently taken over parts of the Montenegrin electricity company EPCG. The union’s protests thus quickly garnered the support of Montenegro’s chief corruption watchdog, MANS, and were also joined by the Student Union which brought its own grievances concerning the availability of student housing, lack of financial support and the state of higher education generally in Montenegro. As the range of demands broadened, the protests soon took on a more political tone, culminating in demands for the resignation of the prime minister. Despite the pressure, however, the government stood its ground, offering only minimum concessions such as subsidies for electricity bills to the poorest consumers, and the promise to build two new student dorms. After seven rounds of demonstrations, which brought thousands of protesters to the streets of Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, the bout of discontent eventually died down and the last protest was held in June 2012. The second round of electricity price increases, in August 2012, prompted no comparable reaction. Early elections, which were organised on the government’s own initiative in October 2012, returned the same coalition to power.

In recent years there have also been protracted negotiations over the new national-level General Collective Agreement (GCA). The previous GCA was signed in late 2010 for a period of one year, but USSCG withdrew its signature, protesting that most of the text had been agreed without its participation, before its representativeness was formally confirmed by the Social Council. Nevertheless, USSCG agreed to sign the extension of the agreement in December 2011 for another six months, to give the social partners time to negotiate a new GCA which would be harmonised with the recent amendments to the Labour Code. The negotiations proved difficult, however, mostly because of disagreements concerning the structure of pay coefficients for seniority (years of work experience). The 2010 GCA was extended once more for a period of three months and finally expired in October 2012. In early 2013, the social partners reached a compromise on a new GCA, but the text was rejected by the assembly of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro (SSCG).

The conflict arose over the distribution of employers’ contributions for sport, recreation and the prevention of occupational diseases, which until now have been paid into SSCG’s Fund for recreation and prevention of occupational diseases, and distributed via its associated social enterprise, Rekra. The new agreement stipulated that these contributions should instead be paid into the fund of the company or branch union to which the employees belong, and transferred at their discretion to the confederation level. SSCG opposed this solution, claiming that in this way the funds will be too dispersed and subject to mismanagement, while USSCG accused SSCG of trying to keep control over money for its own purposes (at 0.2% of the gross wage bill, the fund amounts to a sizeable €1.3 million per year). Following a change in the leadership of SSCG, the unions finally reached an agreement in February 2014, allowing both confederations a share of the funds. The Montenegrin Employers’ Federation (UPCG) agreed to accept this finalised version of the document, and it was signed on 20 March 2014. However, UPCG agreed only on condition that the duration of the GCA should be limited to 24 months and that the social partners should immediately begin negotiations on further changes to the labour law.

Main actors

Public authorities

Public authorities in Montenegro are quite active in industrial relations at the national level, primarily through their participation in the Social Council. The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs in Montenegro is also the president of the Social Council, and signs general collective agreements alongside the employers and the trade unions. Moreover, with close to 15% of all employees working for various levels of public administration and another 27% in state-run enterprises and services, the government is also the largest employer in the country. About half of all branch collective agreements that have been signed since the new Labour Code came into force in 2008 were in the public sector.

In addition to these forms of formal involvement, public authorities can often appear as the primary target of union demands even in private sector disputes. This is especially the case with companies that have recently undergone privatisation, where the government is considered to have residual responsibilities towards the firm to ensure that the privatisation goes well, and is regularly appealed to by the workers to uphold the terms of the privatisation agreement, enforce certain regulations, or provide financial assistance to firms in difficulty.

Trade unions

Since 2008 there have been two national trade union confederations in Montenegro: the Confederation of Trade Unions of Montenegro (SSCG) and the Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro (USSCG). SSCG is the older confederation, which inherited its structure and membership from the socialist era, and still represents about 47,000 members. USSCG was established in 2008, following a split within SSCG over the union policy and internal management issues, and by 2012 it already had around 22,000 members.

It is unclear to what extent these figures represent the actual trade union density in the country. Following the adoption of the Law on Trade Union Representativeness in 2010, both confederations were asked to submit proof of membership of at least 16,300 employees – the equivalent of 10% of all employees in the Montenegrin economy. USSCG submitted around 17,000 signatures and SSCG around 27,000, resulting in a union density of 26% of all employees, compared to 41% based on self-reported figures. The former, however, is a very conservative estimate, and it also excludes independent trade unions, which are relatively common in large enterprises.

Due to unclear membership figures, it is also difficult to establish with any certainty the trends in trade union density. USSCG has certainly gained popularity due to its role in the 2012 social protests, and has continued to attract new members. Most recently, it succeeded in forming a new branch federation of employees in the media sector, whose representativeness was confirmed in December 2013. SSCG, however, has suffered internal turmoil in recent years, with accusations levelled at the former secretary general for corruption and mismanagement of the union. Throughout 2011 and 2012, SSCG’s administration staged a series of protests against the senior management and even filed criminal charges against them. With elections for the new secretary general scheduled for late 2013, a number of member unions threatened to exit SSCG if the leadership was not changed. Finally in November 2013, the 15th congress of SSCG elected a new secretary general, formerly the head of the Police Union, who promised extensive reforms of the union structures.

Employers’ organisations

The Montenegrin Employers’ Federation (UPCG) is the only representative employer association in Montenegro. Its members employ about 65% of the workforce and account for over 80% of GDP. UPCG became the representative association of private sector employers in 2005, replacing the Chamber of Commerce as the key player in social dialogue on the employers’ side. Since then, it has been an active participant in social dialogue at sectoral and national levels. UPCG is a member of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and BusinessEurope.

Industrial relations characteristics

Collective bargaining

Levels of collective bargaining

National level (Intersectoral)

Sectoral level

Company level

Principal or dominant level




Important but not dominant level




Existing level




The dominant level of collective bargaining in Montenegro is the national one, where the agreements between social partners are concluded relatively regularly, and cover the largest segment of the workforce. The GCA has the force of law and applies to all employers and employees in Montenegro, regardless of their membership of unions or employer associations. However, for the same reason the GCA provisions typically do not go much beyond those stipulated by the Labour Code, and are mainly concerned with setting minimum pay coefficients for seniority, overtime, shift and weekend work, and so on.

At branch level, the situation varies greatly from one sector to another. There are nominally 17 collective agreements currently in force in Montenegro, which cover about 50% of the workforce. However, eight of these agreements were signed in 2004, by the Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce, which has since lost its legal prerogative to negotiate and sign collective agreements. Many of their provisions have since been made void by the subsequent revisions of higher-level acts such as the Labour Code and the GCA. As the legal status of these agreements is uncertain, it is practically impossible to estimate the extent of bargaining coverage in the country.

In the public sector, collective agreements are regularly signed for some branches, such as health, education, culture and community services. Others, such as the judiciary and police, are typically covered by lower-level agreements (individual courts and municipal police units), although in 2011 the unions in judiciary organised a strike demanding a national-level agreement. In the private sector, UPCG signed the first branch agreement with the unions in 2009 (banking and finance), which was followed by a collective agreement on tourism in 2011 and construction and energy in 2012.

Until recently, UPCG had a very weakly developed sectoral structure, and three of these agreements were signed by its general secretariat on behalf of employers in the branch. In 2011, however, UPCG established two branch committees (agriculture and construction) to strengthen its activities at sectoral level, and if this trend continues the state of sectoral collective bargaining in Montenegro is likely to improve. On the union side, there are representative branch organisations for energy, metalworking and telecommunications, agriculture and food production, tourism, transport and construction, as well as a multi-industry union for the workers in the textile, apparel and chemical branches. One significant exception is the retail trade, which employs close to a quarter of the Montenegrin workforce, but where small and microenterprises predominate, which is why no union has so far been able to reach the 15% threshold for sectoral representation.

Information on company-level bargaining is quite limited, as there is no legal requirement to register or publish such documents. The only available estimate comes from a recent online survey commissioned by UPCG in cooperation with the Slovenian Employers’ Association as part of a larger regional project. About 28% of employers who responded to the survey reported that their firm had a company-level agreement, but the frequency was much higher among medium and large companies – 75% (Skupina Fabrika, 2012). The validity of these findings is highly questionable, however, in view of the extremely low response rate (8%).

There are no legal mechanisms for partial derogations or opt-outs from the existing collective agreements. Nonetheless, infringements and informal suspensions of labour rights appear to be quite common. In the course of 2012 and 2013, labour inspectors found some form of infringement of employment regulations in 75% of establishments they visited during regular check-ups.

Industrial disputes

There are no official statistics on the frequency of strikes in Montenegro, or the days lost due to industrial action. Industrial conflict generally takes place in companies which are in a difficult financial position, or where the privatisation process has gone awry, and usually follows long periods of wage and contributions arrears or conflicts over severance and retirement packages. In 2013, the protests which garnered most media attention were those surrounding the bankruptcy of KAP and RBN, when the workers closed the factory gates to block exports until they received the money owed to them by the employer. In the case of KAP, this led on two occasions to police intervention to disperse the workers and allow products to leave the factory.

While the frequency of industrial action, as far as can be gauged from press reports, was at a somewhat lower level in 2012 and 2013 than in the previous two years, the number of cases before the Agency for peaceful resolution of labour disputes (Agencija za mirno rješavanje radnih sporova) rose exponentially. In 2012, the Agency processed 1,328 disputes, almost three times more than the year before, and their number more than doubled again in 2013, to 4,500 cases. Although the Agency can also mediate in the case of collective disputes, the majority of cases brought before it have concerned individual grievances.

Tripartite concertation

Montenegro’s main tripartite body at the national level is the Social Council, which consists of 33 members – 11 from the government, 11 from the employers UPCG and 11 from the two representative trade unions (7 from SSCG and 6 from USSCG). The Council is chaired by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and meets every two or three months.

The Social Council is an advisory body, but in the past few years it has become increasingly active in helping to initiate and draft various pieces of legislation related to the world of work. The Council coordinates collective bargaining at national level, offers opinions on appointments to labour-related institutions (such as the National Employment Service and the Agency for peaceful resolution of labour disputes), proposes changes in the minimum wage, and advises the government on a wide range of policies in social and economic domains.

The Council can also solicit studies and opinions from external experts, but it lacks its own administrative base and is thus dependent on the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare for basic organisational resources.

Workplace representation

The primary channel for employee representation at the establishment level in Montenegro is the representative trade union (that is, a union whose membership includes at least 20% of all employees at the establishment). Such unions have the exclusive right to call strikes and participate in collective bargaining, as well as the right to information and consultation and development and administration of health safety procedures. According to the relevant provisions of the Labour Code and the Law on Health and Safety at Work, if there is no union at the company level, some of these rights (information and consultation and coordination of health and safety and training provisions) can be exercised by ‘employee representatives’, although none of these acts specifies the status, rights and duties or the procedures for appointment of these representatives. Montenegrin legislation does not recognise the institution of works councils.

Main issues in collective bargaining or industrial relations

Minimum wage

The 2010 collective agreement introduced the ‘minimum wage’, replacing the earlier concept of the ‘minimum price of work’. The change was incorporated into the Labour Code in December 2011. According to the law, the minimum wage is to be set twice a year by the tripartite Social Council, and then approved by the government, and cannot be less than 30% of the average wage in the previous semester. The agreed minimum wage remained at the legal minimum of 30% until June 2013, by which time it had fallen below the poverty line due to the divergence in price and wage trends. In March 2013, the Social Council agreed to increase the minimum wage to €193 per month, corresponding to 40% of the net average wage in Montenegro.

Pay developments

Average real wages in Montenegro declined for three years in a row in the period 2011–2013, despite the fact that in both 2011 and 2013 the economy actually grew. In 2011, the average real wage fell by 2%, in 2012 by 3.3% and in 2013 by another 3.8%. In addition to the economic difficulties in the private sector, especially among small and medium enterprises, the wage contraction can be traced to administrative measures such as wage freezes in the public sector, and the significant increases in the cost of living caused by the rise in electricity and fuel prices, as well as the newly introduced consumption taxes.

In 2012, the sharpest decline in real wages was in administrative and support services (-12%), while mining, industry and communal services recorded increases of 2%–6%. Wages in real estate services soared by 22% in 2012 but quickly fell back by 17.8% in the following year. In 2013, real wages contracted by more than 10% in five sectors (real estate, energy, industry, agriculture and transport), and the only growth was recorded in construction (14%).

The gender pay gap, after falling precipitously from 18.3% in 2006 to 13.8% in 2008, registered only a very modest decline thereafter, reaching 13.2% in 2011. As there is very little difference in the sectoral distribution or educational achievement of men and women in Montenegro, the remaining pay gap is best explained by the glass ceiling effect: although women make up more than 50% of all professionals and technicians in the country, they only account for 27% of employment in the categories of legislators, managers and senior officials.

Working time

The statutory weekly working time is 40 hours. According to Monstat (2012a), in 2012 the actual number of hours worked was slightly higher, 42.6 hours on average, especially in services (43.3 hours a week).

The Labour Code allows for flexible working hours and working time accounts (within a reference period of one year), but these are typically agreed between the employer and employee through individual work contracts and have so far not been a prominent issue in collective bargaining. Conversely, overtime, shift work and weekend work are important issues in collective bargaining, as they constitute a source of additional income for workers. The latest GCA thus stipulates an increase of 40% for overtime and night work, and 150% for work during public and religious holidays.

Other issues in collective agreements

Employee’s rights/fundamental rights

Montenegro has ratified the eight core International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions on labour rights, as well as the revised European Social Charter. Its labour legislation specifies a wide range of basic workers’ rights, including prohibition of forced and child labour, the right to freedom of association, organisation and collective bargaining, equal treatment, health and safety at work, and prohibition of all forms of direct or indirect discrimination at work.

The minimum working age is 15 years, but any person under 18 can only enter a work contract with written permission from a parent or guardian and with a document from the relevant medical authority certifying that the work in question will not negatively affect the minor’s health.

The Labour Code stipulates the following reasons for individual dismissal: failure to deliver satisfactory work results over a period of 30 days; failure to comply with the provisions of the law, collective agreement or work contract; displaying behaviour which undermines satisfactory work performance, as prescribed by the law, collective agreement or a valid employer regulation; abuse of sick leave; refusing to be transferred to another job or work site with the same employer, as long as the latter is less than 60 kilometres away from the employee’s place of residence and the employer covers the costs of transport. The standard notice period is 30 days, following 5 days for the required warning procedure. Alternatively, an employee can be dismissed if he or she refuses to accept a change in salary, or because of external economic changes outside the employee’s control (business difficulties, technical changes in work organisation). But in these cases the employer is obliged to provide a severance payment of at least one third of the employee’s net salary for every year of work at the employer (or one third of the net average salary in Montenegro, whichever is higher), but not less than three average net wages.

The right to parental leave is shared between both parents at their own discretion, with the exception of a period of 73 days before and after birth (minimum 28 days before and 45 days after birth) during which the mother is obliged to take leave from work. The total duration of parental leave is 365 days, in the course of which the parent is entitled to the full value of the salary he or she would be earning while at work. After the expiry of parental leave, the employer is obliged to return the employee to the same position, or another position with equivalent salary.

According to the 2012 Law on amendments to the Law on Health Insurance, an employee on sick leave is entitled to 70% of his or her usual salary, or to 100% in case of blood, tissue or organ donation, on account of pregnancy, in order to contain an epidemic or if the absence is caused by occupational illness or accident at work. The amount of compensation, however, cannot exceed the amount of the average wage in Montenegro for the last 12 months. For the first 60 days of absence for health reasons the costs are covered by the employer, and thereafter by the national Health Fund. In addition to the necessary training for health and safety reasons, the employers are also obliged to offer training to employees in cases of changes in the organisation of work or introduction of new methods or technologies.

Until 2012, the enforcement of labour regulations and health and safety at work were monitored by two separate units of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare: the Labour Inspection and the Health and Safety at Work Inspection. As of 2012, they were merged as a unit for labour inspection under the unified Directorate for Inspection Affairs. The unit has 34 inspectors, or about one inspector per 5,000 employees. There are no specialised labour courts in Montenegro, and although labour disputes have a priority status, in light of the general inefficiency and accumulated backlog in Montenegrin courts (as well as the cost of procedures) it is small wonder that the Agency for peaceful resolution of labour disputes has become increasingly popular, despite the fact that its decisions are not legally binding. From October 2010, when it was established, until the end of 2013 the Agency successfully mediated in close to 7,000 cases.

Bibliography and links

Directorate for Inspection Affairs (2012), Izvještaj o radu uprave za inspekcijske poslove za 2012 godinu (1.4 MB PDF) [Report on the work of the Directorate for Inspection Affairs for 2012], Podgorica.

European Commission (2013), ‘Montenegro 2013 Progress Report (698 KB PDF)’, Commission staff working document, SWD(2013) 411 final, Brussels.

European Commission (2014), ‘Montenegro 2014 Progress Report (1 MB PDF)’, Commission staff working document, SWD(2014) 301 final, Brussels.  Ministry of Finance of Montenegro (2012), Jesenja analiza makroekonomskih kretanja i strukturnih reformi – 2012 [Autumn analysis of macroeconomic trends and structural reforms – 2012], Podgorica.

Ministry of Finance of Montenegro (2013), Jesenja analiza makroekonomskih kretanja i strukturnih reformi – 2013 [Autumn analysis of macroeconomic trends and structural reforms – 2013], Podgorica.

Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro (2012), Izvještaj o radu i stanju u upravnim oblastima iz nadležnosti Ministarstva rada i socijalnog staranja za 2012 godinu (3.8 MB PDF) [Report on the work and situation in administrative areas belonging to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for 2012], Podgorica.

Skupina Fabrika (2012), Istraživanje o stanju socijalnog dijaloga na nivou preduzeća (1.1 MB PDF) [Research on the state of social dialogue at company level], Research conducted on behalf of a consortium of regional employers’ associations as part of the project WIM (Workers’ involvement for better and sustainable business management), co-financed by the European Commission. 

Statistical Office of Montenegro (Monstat) (2012a), Statistical Yearbook 2012, Podgorica.

Statistical Office of Montenegro (Monstat) (2012b), Women and men in Montenegro 2012, Podgorica.

Web links

Sporazum o politici zarada zaposlenih koji se finansiraju iz budžeta Crne Gore (1 MB PDF) (Agreement on the wage policy in the public sector), 2011

Zakon o Socijalnom Savjetu (97 KB MS WORD) (Law on the Social Council), Službeni list CG br. 16/2007 i 20/2011

Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama Zakona zdravstvenom osiguranju (Amendments to the Law on health insurance), Službeni list CG br. 14/2012

Zakon o radu (219 KB PDF) (Labour Law), Službeni list Crne Gore br. 49/08, 26/09 88/09 26/10 and 59/11


Vera Šćepanović, Central European University




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