Union of Free Trade Unions: New measures are an opportunity to resolve the employment status of employees

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health adopted new epidemiological measures, and in the part related to intercity traffic, prescribed the obligation of passengers to submit a decision on employment or an employment contract, in addition to the employer’s confirmation, when moving between municipalities or after 9 pm.

Illustration, Photo: Savo Prelević

The Union of Free Trade Unions (USSCG) believes that the new measure regarding movement during the ban on intercity traffic may be an opportunity to resolve the employment status of some employees in order to realize the constitutionally guaranteed right to work, salary and compulsory social insurance.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health adopted new epidemiological measures, and in the part related to intercity traffic, prescribed the obligation of passengers to submit a decision on employment or an employment contract when moving between municipalities or after 9 pm, in addition to the employer’s confirmation.

USSCG Deputy Secretary General Ivana Mihajlović said that the trade union association welcomes the latest measure, if in practice the abuse of issuing and using certificates that allow employees to travel outside the place of work, ie outside the place of residence, is recognized.

Mihajlović believes that such a measure will most directly affect employers who operate in the domain of the gray economy and who hire workers “on the black market”.

“So, such irresponsible employers will be at a loss since they will not be able to hire those workers with whom, contrary to the law, they did not conclude an employment contract and did not report them to compulsory insurance,” Mihajlović told the MINA agency.

She stressed that workers who do not have a resolved employment status in regular conditions, especially in a crisis like the one in which the state is now, are in a very unenviable position, bearing in mind that they are forced to accept any work engagement, even work “on black ”, cannot exercise basic rights from work and on the basis of work, do not enjoy rights on the basis of protection and health at work, cannot borrow on credit, to exercise the right to a pension.

“Indirectly, perhaps just such a measure, may be an opportunity to resolve the employment status of at least one part of our fellow citizens in order to realize the constitutionally guaranteed right to work, salary, compulsory social insurance and the right to protection and health at work,” said Mihajlovic. .

Hiring workers in such a complex epidemiological situation, as she pointed out, represents an additional risk, especially in terms of protection and health at work.

“In case of illness or injury while performing work tasks, this category of workers would have absolutely no protection from the system, and especially not from the employer,” said Mihajlović.

According to her, USSCG has been continuously fighting against this negative phenomenon since its inception and advocates for the legalization of the gray economy and the introduction into legal employment of over 40,000 workers who, according to numerous surveys, work illegally in Montenegro.

Mihajlovic said that they believe that, from the day the epidemic was declared in Montenegro until today, the number of citizens employed “on the black market” has drastically increased.

She said that Montenegro is facing a very complex and worrying epidemiological situation in which each individual must make a personal contribution in the fight against the pandemic, all with the aim of overcoming the health and economic crisis in which he finds himself.

As she stated, USSCG, joining the appeal of the Ministry of Health, called on all its members and citizens of Montenegro not to abuse certificates for travel outside the place of work, ie outside the place of residence.

“At the same time, we emphasized that only through joint struggle, solidarity and empathy, can we defeat the ‘invisible enemy’, save many lives, help health workers, the Montenegrin economy and preserve jobs so that we can return to normal life and work as soon as possible.” , concluded Mihajlović.