Black economy, a problem for the economy of Kosovo

Black economy, a problem for the economy of Kosovo

Pristina, 3 May 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Black or informal economy continues to remain a serious problem for the economy of Kosovo. Around 100 thousand people who work in the private sector have no work contract and they work on minimum wage.

These data were made public by representatives of the Kosovo Independent Unions. According to this organization, this is a violation of the rights of workers.

The head of this organization, Jusuf Azemi says that a large number of private companies do not respect laws relating to labor and collective contracts.

Besides the fact that workers do not have a contract, according to him, businesses do not even pay contributions for their workers and in many cases, workers are only paid 120 euros a month.

According to official figures, Kosovo has around 300 thousand people employed in both sectors. The private sector employs around 220 thousand people, while the public sector employs around 81 thousand people.

“According to Kosovo Pension Fund, in 2014 there are around 200 thousand people employed in both sectors, which pay for their contributions. This means that there are around 120 thousand workers who do not appear in the system”, Azemi says.

But government officials have presented different figures. Officials of the Work Inspectorate have said that in 2015, they have identified around 1,860 workers without contract.

Representatives of private businesses also say that there are workers without a contract, but not as much as 100 thousand.

Agim Shahini, head of the Kosovo Business Alliance, says that based on the research that has been made, 73% of businesses have declared their workers and pay contributions for them.

Meanwhile, according to him, 23% of companies have declared that they do not have contracts with their employees.

Based on the Work Code, companies that breach this law can be fined up to 35 thousand euros. /