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Montenegro to Introduce Seven-Hour Workday

Montenegro's Minister of Labour announces plans to implement a seven-hour workday by year-end, alongside reforms aimed at improving social benefits and addressing fund issues

Naida Nišić, Montenegro’s Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, announced the upcoming implementation of a seven-hour workday in the country by the end of the year. Speaking on the “Link” program of Radio Crna Gora, Minister Nišić emphasized that social benefits would become fairer in the future, with no plans to abolish them or the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund (PIO). However, she hinted at an impending reform of the fund.

Responding to queries about the timeline for the seven-hour workday, Minister Nišić confirmed, “What Prime Minister Milojko Sajić announced during the election campaign will come to fruition this year.”

She stressed that there would be no abolishment of the PIO Fund. “No one has ever mentioned abolishing the PIO Fund, nor will it happen,” Nišić asserted, noting that all decisions under her ministry’s purview would be made in consultation with the Social Council.

Naida Nišić, Montenegro’s Minister of Labour and Social Welfare

Nišić also mentioned ongoing efforts within her ministry to analyze proportional pension issues. “We already have 34 ratified and signed Agreements on Mandatory Insurance with various countries from the region and Europe. The major hurdle is that we haven’t signed an agreement with Albania and aligned with Bosnia and Herzegovina,” she explained.

The minister highlighted the injustices faced by pensioners who worked in different countries, citing analyses showing that around 3,500 pensioners from former Yugoslav states receive pensions lower than the average when combined.

While ruling out the abolition of the PIO Fund, Nišić hinted at an imminent reform. “We should not speculate on the month when changes will be adopted,” she cautioned.

She reassured that no social benefits would be eliminated and emphasized future improvements in fairness. “We are here to improve the standard of living for our citizens, not to undermine it in any way,” Nišić affirmed.

Nišić also discussed legislative amendments targeting significant savings, citing instances of manipulation in laws. “Rare and serious illnesses were not included in the regulations, and people sometimes received benefits for care they did not yet require,” she pointed out.

Furthermore, Nišić highlighted the misuse of disability benefits, anticipating savings worth millions of euros through corrective measures. She also noted a substantial shift of women from child-rearing benefits to pensions.

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