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Montenegro is a southeastern European country that lies on the Adriatic coast of the Balkan region. The official language is Montenegrin. Historically, the economy has centered around service-based industries, but is now exploring options for expansion and diversification.

Employment contracts in Montenegro are either indefinite or for a fixed-term. Fixed-term contracts, whether a single contract or renewals, may not be longer than 36 months in most cases. A fixed-term contract may be made for a term longer than 36 months in situations where the employee will temporarily replace a permanent employee, perform seasonal work or work on a designated project until the project’s completion. Fixed-term contracts may be written to terminate when certain work is completed, when a specified event happens, or after a set amount of time.

Employment contracts in Montenegro must be in writing. If there is to be a probation period, it must be specified in writing in the contract. The probation period may not exceed six months. Many terms of employment are established by a collective bargaining agreement, including the general collective bargaining agreement which covers all employees in Montenegro.

The workweek in Montenegro is 40 hours but is often shorter under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. The workweek may be reduced to as few as 36 hours for employees who work in a hazardous environment.

Overtime is permitted when there is an urgent need. Whenever possible, the employer must issue a written notification explaining why the overtime is necessary, identifying the employees who will work overtime and stating when the overtime work will begin. The employer must inform the government labor inspectorate if it has employees who perform night work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Employees must receive a medical examination before being assigned to night work and must be examined periodically while they are working at night, with the employer paying all costs associated with the examinations. The rate of pay for overtime, night work and work on Sundays and holidays is set by contract or collective agreement.

Sick leave in Montenegro is not limited to a number of days. Employees must produce a medical certificate no later than the third day of illness, and if there is a separate report documenting a temporary inability to work, the employee must provide the report to the employer within five days of its issuance. If the employer suspects the employee’s sick leave is not legitimate, the employer may request a review of the employee’s case by the appropriate authorities in accordance with the applicable health insurance regulations. A contract or collective agreement may establish a right to paid leave for an employee to care for a sick member of their immediate family.

An expectant mother receives 98 days of maternity leave in Montenegro. She can take 28 days before the expected date of birth and 70 days after it. She must provide her employer one month of written notice before beginning maternity leave. Prior to her maternity leave, the expectant mother must be given one day off per month to receive pre-natal examinations. She must notify her employer at least three days before these appointments and, if requested, provide proof of having undergone the examination. She must be assigned different work if a doctor certifies that her usual work endangers her health or her baby. If she cannot be reassigned to any other work, she must be allowed to be absent from work while being paid at least her usual salary.

Bonuses in Montenegro are paid at the discretion of the employer.

Employees receive at least 20 days of paid annual leave in Montenegro.

In Montenegro, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Labor Day

  • Independence Day

  • Statehood Day

Montenegro has universal health insurance.

Employers may only terminate employees in Montenegro for business reasons, poor performance or breaches of discipline. If an employer dismisses an employee because of the employee’s performance or conduct, the employer must first provide the employee a written warning. The employee must be allowed a minimum of five working days to respond. If, after reviewing the employee’s response, the employer decides to proceed with termination, the employee must be given a written notice explaining why the employee is being terminated and the employee’s legal remedy. The notice should be delivered to the employee in person if at all possible.

In some situations, the employer may terminate the employee immediately, without first issuing a warning. The employer may do this in situations in which the employee gave the employer inaccurate information when applying for their job, has abused the right to sick leave, has failed to return to work following an unpaid leave or has engaged in extreme misconduct after which the employer cannot reasonably be expected to continue the employment relationship (such as unexcused absences, insulting or being violent towards other employees or improperly disclosing confidential information). An employee who wishes to quit must provide 30 days of written notice.

  • Local Laws & Regulations

    We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

  • Partner with atlas logo

    Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Montenegro can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.

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