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North Macedonia

This content is for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this content. It is not legal advice and shall not be relied on as such.

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ден (MKD)

Work Hours


North Macedonia is a landlocked country in southeastern Europe, bordering Greece, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Albania. It was part of Yugoslavia for most of the 20th century and became an independent country in 1991. North Macedonia called itself simply “Macedonia” until 2018, when it changed its name to resolve a longstanding dispute with Greece, which insisted that a region in Greece deserved the name Macedonia. North Macedonia sought entry into the EU in 2005 but still is not a member. Food, beverage, and tobacco processing are important industries in North Macedonia. It also produces iron, steel and other metallurgical products and textiles.

Employment contracts in North Macedonia must be in writing. A copy must be kept in the employer’s registered office, and another copy given to the employee immediately after the contract is signed. The employment contract must be either indefinite or for a fixed term, which may not be longer than five years. The fixed-term contract will become an indefinite contract if the employee continues in the job when the contract expires.

While many terms of employment are set by collective agreement in North Macedonia, each employee’s contract should state:

  • the identities of both the employer and the employee,

  • the date the employee will begin work,

  • the employee’s job title and description,

  • the employer’s obligation to inform the employee of any special risks associated with the job and special qualifications, knowledge, or medical supervision for it to be done safely,

  • the workplace,

  • the contract’s term if it is for a fixed term,

  • whether the employment is full-time or part-time,

  • working hours,

  • salary and allowances,

  • annual leave allowance,

  • the employee’s working conditions, and

  • any other rights or obligations created by law or a collective agreement.

The employment contract may establish a probation period of up to four months. Both the length of the probation period and the employee’s salary during the probation period should be specified.

The standard work week in North Macedonia is 40 hours over five days. An employer may require an employee to work overtime when there is an urgent need. Overtime is capped at eight hours per week, up to 190 hours a year. The rate for overtime hours is normally set by a collective agreement and is generally not less than 135% of the employee’s standard hourly rate. In addition, employers must pay a bonus if an employee works more than 150 hours of overtime in one year while not being absent on more than 21 days. The bonus amount is one month’s average salary, based on the average salary in North Macedonia, not the employee’s usual monthly salary. Employees are also entitled to a premium for work performed on weekends and holidays. This amount is also normally set by collective agreements and is generally 150% of the employee’s standard hourly rate.

Employees receive unlimited sick leave in North Macedonia with the employer paying for the first 30 days of illness. The rate of sick pay is normally determined by collective agreement. Under the agreement applicable to the private sector, the employer pays 70% of the average North Macedonian salary for the first seven days, 80% for days 8-15, and 90% for days 16-30. If the employee’s illness lasts more than 30 days, they may receive a social security payment. The employee should provide a medical certificate, and further examinations may be required in the event of a long-term illness.

Female employees receive nine months of paid maternity leave in North Macedonia. The expectant mother must present a medical certificate of her pregnancy before beginning her leave and must notify her employer of when she plans to begin and end her maternity leave. This notice must be provided a minimum of 30 days before she begins the leave. The earliest she may return to work is 45 days after the birth of her child.

The father of a baby is entitled to up to seven days of paid leave for the birth. In addition, if the mother does not use part of the maternity leave to which she is entitled, the father may use that time.

Employees in North Macedonia are entitled to a monthly minimum wage. Bonuses are common in North Macedonia.

Employees receive at least 20 days of paid annual leave in North Macedonia. Employees receive one additional day of annual leave for each five years of service with an employer, up to a maximum of 26 days for employees with 30 or more years of service.

In North Macedonia, the public holidays are:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Orthodox Christmas Day

  • Orthodox Easter Monday

  • Labor Day

  • Ramadan Bajram (Eid al-Fitr)

  • Saints Cyril and Methodius Day

  • Republic Day

  • Independence Day

  • Day of the Macedonian Uprising

  • Day of the North Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle

  • St. Clement of Ohrid Day

North Macedonia has universal healthcare.

When terminating an employee in North Macedonia, the employer must provide one month of written notice, and the notice must state the reason for the termination and advise the employee of their legal recourse and right to unemployment insurance. Employees performing seasonal work may be terminated with seven days of written notice, and employees in a probation period may be terminated with three working days of notice. The employer and employee may agree on a payment in lieu of a notice period. In addition, an employer may dismiss an employee without notice if the employee is absent from work for more than three days without permission, abuses the right to sick leave, violates a health or safety regulation regarding fire or dangerous substances, is intoxicated at work or possesses alcohol or narcotics at work, steals from the employer, damages the employer’s property, or wrongfully discloses secret information.

An employee who wishes to quit must provide one month of written notice to the employer. No reason or additional information is required. The employment contract or a collective agreement may establish a longer notice period, but not longer than three months.

Employees may be entitled to between one and seven months of salary as severance.

  • 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.

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