Corner Press release

Workers using their right to a leave due to pregnancy and childbirth are entitled to the allowance for annual vacation 24 April 2018

At a meeting held on 06.03.2018, the Commission for Interpretation of the General Collective Agreement for the Private Sector in the area of commerce ruled that the women who have used their right to a leave due to pregnancy and childbirth (that is, maternity and/or parental leave), and have been employed with the same employer for six months within a calendar year shall be entitled to the payment of an annual holiday allowance, also known as K-15. At the meeting, the members of the Commission emphasized that the interpretation of the Commission on the application of recourse and the clarification of the interpretation from 2015 should be in force, according to which women who use their right to leave due to pregnancy and childbirth are entitled to the payment of allowance for annual vacation.


At the same time, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy sent a request to the State Labor Inspectorate to inform the inspectors for the purpose of uniform application of this provision of the collective agreement.

In accordance with the Commission's interpretation, the General Collective Agreement for the private sector in the area of commerce is compulsory for all the employers and employees working in the private sector in the area of commerce, including the workers who have exercised their right to a leave due to pregnancy and childbirth. The right to reimbursement of work-related expenses, such as the right to recourse for an annual holiday in the amount of at least 40% of the base salary, is effective provided that the employee was employed with the same employer for at least 6 months within the calendar year. More precisely, the employer is obliged to foresee this financial obligation in the annual financial plan in a timely manner and enter it as an expenditure for every upcoming year.


In January 2018, the Helsinki Committee reacted to the wrongful implementation of the provisions of the collective agreement referring to the payment of the annual holiday allowance for employees who used maternity leave, which in the Republic of Macedonia are mainly women. After this reaction of the Helsinki Committee, the President of the Organization of Employers, Angel Dimitrov, also released a reaction which contained a wrongful and discriminatory interpretation of the provisions of the collective agreement regarding the payment of compensation for annual vacation, stating that prerequisite for using the right to financial compensation for annual vacation, was "for the workers to have been actively coming to work for 6 months", although the collective agreement does not stipulate this. Following such a statement, the Helsinki Committee once again demanded right and uniform application of the collective agreement, condemning the wrong and discriminatory interpretation of the provisions of the collective agreement by the President of the Employers' Organization.

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights welcomes this decision of the Commission, but urges for increased gender sensitivity in the interpretation of the general collective agreement. Bearing in mind that over the past 6 years, 211 men have used the right to leave due to parenthood and the increasing trend of use of this right by men, we consider that all female and male workers who have used their right to leave due to pregnancy and childbirth (that is, maternity and/or parental leave), and are employed with the same employer for six months within the calendar year, are entitled to the right to payment of recourse for annual vacation. We appeal to all employers in the private sector to comply with this decision and to pay the annual leave allowance for all female and male workers who have used their leave due to pregnancy and childbirth and have been employed with the same employer for six months within the calendar year. At the same time, we appeal to the State Labor Inspectorate to apply this interpretation of the General Collective Agreement for the Private Sector in the area of the economy when performing inspection oversight for the payment of compensation for annual vacation by employers.

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