“The amount of work expands to fill the time available for its completion” wrote C. Parkinson for The Economist in 1955.
Despite that it was a satirical byword on the unnecessary bureaucracies at the workplace, employers might consider the application of Parkinson’s Law during the employment relationship. In any other case, they should fully-respect the Albanian Labor Code to be fair to their employees and to avoid exposure to liabilities. (More on Parkinson’s law you can read here.)
Contextually, employers should respect the duration of the employment as agreed in the employment agreement. The Albanian legislator requires for the employment agreement to be concluded for an indefinite period. However, the agreement’s duration for a fixed term is allowed upon being justified with objective reasons related to its temporary nature of the task of the employee.
In spite of the law envisaging the possibility of fixing the term of the employment contract, the employer should never forget the purpose of the Albanian legislator: Which is to protect the employee’s interest as the weakest party.
The same approach was held by the Supreme Court in its Unifying Decision No.19 dated 15.11.2007 ruling that:
“The employee should be granted more protection since it is the weakest party in the conditions of the market’s economy.”
Upon this reasoning, the Labor Code stipulates different conditions for the termination of work for the:
- Contracts with a fixed term, and
- Contracts with an unlimited term.
The Termination of Fixed-Term Employment
The employer should comply with these legal requirements for the termination of an employment contract with a fixed term before the end of the agreed term.
- Notifies the employee in writing at least 72 hours before the meeting
- Sets up a meeting where he/ she reasons the decision to terminate the employment
- The employee should be granted the opportunity to express his/ her opinion
- The final decision should be notified in writing within the period of 48 hours up to 1 week after the meeting
- The employer should state in the decision the cause for the early termination which typically can relate to the company’s expectations and requirements and employee’s non- compliance with them.
The Termination of Unlimited Term Employment
As for the termination of an employment contract with an unfixed duration, the law requires the employer to comply with these provisions:
- When the employment relationship has lasted up to 6 months, the employee should be notified 2 weeks in advance
- When the employment relationship has lasted from 6 months to 2 years, the employee should be notified 1 month in advance
- When the employment relationship has lasted from 2 to five years, the employee should be notified 2 months in advance
- When the employment relationship has lasted more than 5 years, the employee should be notified 3 months in advance
Ending an employment relationship can cause legal and economic consequences. In particular for the employee who loses a stable source of income. Therefore, he/ she should be offered the opportunity to search for another job in the period in between the notification and the termination of the contract.
The employee can file a claim against the employer if he/ she thinks that the termination of their employment relationship was without a reasonable cause or if the termination procedure was not adhered to. And, if the competent Court confirms such a case, the employer can be liable to pay the employee a compensation of the amount up to the total of one year’s salary. This amount is added to the salary he/ she must receive during the term of the notice.
In terms of compensation, the Supreme Court emphasized in the same decision mentioned above that:
“The court is not allowed to impose a compensation that exceeds the criteria set by law. However, within these limits we must predetermine a reasonable amount of compensation and not as it usually happens in practice that the courts set the maximum compensation of one year’s salary.”
Keeping in mind all the legal provisions and the case law, compliance with the legal requirements on employment remains an issue for both the employer and the employee.
Therefore, Legit invites all legal enthusiasts wanting to expand their knowledge on the Albanian labor law to subscribe and soon receive our full Guide on Employment.