Press release: Improve the work of inspection control instead of endangering the rights of mother and child

Adoption of the provisions of the Bill Law on Social and Child Protection which regulate the amount of funds for reimbursement to the employer i.e. to employee on maternity or parental leave, would endanger the policy of increasing the birth rate, the right to family planning, social security and the rights of the mother and child as well as the (professional) status of women who earn a salary greater than the average salary in the country.

IA supports the initiative of civil society and the opposition’s efforts to amend the provisions of the Bill Law on Social and Child Protection, which, among other things, regulates the amount of funds for reimbursement to the employer. We believe that by limiting the amount of these funds to the amount that cannot exceed the rate of the average salary in the country for the last year, will not be achieved the intended effects of savings in the state budget. This is obvious if we take into account the number of citizens of Montenegro who earns a salary over the average. Instead of cutting the public expenditure, the Government will actually encourage discrimination and increase unemployment among women with a higher income, and endanger family planning.

Employers will be encouraged to modify collective agreements and reduce wages of employees on maternity or parental leave or fire them. Women who have a contract for a fixed period of time or that work less than a three months for the employer will be particularly affected, as in this case reimbursement to employer is not predicted. It is realistic to expect that employers will neither be able to nor willing to bear this burden.

We believe that the numerous abuses of the right to reimbursement for maternity or parental leave gaps in the work of competent inspection authorities. Debt to the state, which has emerged as a result of abuse, should not be compensated by those who earn over-average wages. The reimbursement funds are paid off from the Fund for health insurance i.e. from the wages of the Montenegrin citizens which are, among other things, intended also for this purpose.

Instead of encouraging births and supporting women and parents, the adoption of these provisions will threaten them. Previous scandals and abuses warns that labor inspection is not doing its job or at least that it hasn’t been doing it properly. Instead of punishing mothers and children, state should improve the performance of inspection bodies to prevent future abuse of the right to a reimbursement to employer for maternity or parental leave.

Dragana Radović
Policy Analyst

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