Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

Labour Code requires that workers should not be paid lower than the minimum wage set by the Council of Ministers. Minimum wage is determined on the basis of economic factors, the requirements of economic development and reduction of unemployment, production growth; and the needs of the employees and their families, given the level of general living of the employees in the country, the income earned from Social Security and the living standards of different social groups.

The Council of Ministers may impose a fee lower than the national minimum wage for cases of apprenticeship in the education system and vocational training in the dual form.

The tripartite National Labour Council is also consulted in preparation and implementation of labour legislation including minimum wages. Under the Council, specialized temporary tripartite commission can also be created. There exists a special permanent commission on wages. Following the commission’s recommendation regarding minimum wage on a national level, the Minister of Labour makes a proposal to the Council of Ministers.

The State Labour Inspectorate is responsible for securing implementation of all labour legislation including minimum wages. In the event of violation of labour legislation, a labour inspector imposes a fine amounting to 30 times the minimum wage.

The minimum wage in Albania was 22,000 Albanian Leks (ALL) as agreed upon by the existing Council of Ministers’ Decree No. 77, date 28.01.2015. Recently, a new Council of Ministers’ Decree No. 399 date 03.05.2017 established a new higher minimum wage level at 24,000 ALL. This new minimum wage level was proposed by the minister of Wellbeing and Youth, the minister of Finances, and the Council of Ministers. The minimum wage for employees covers 174 working hours per month during normal working time. Minimum wage per hour is 138 new ALL and other permanent compensations should be added upon the minimum wage.

Source: §111, 200 and 202 of the Labour Code No. 7961/1995, last amended by Law No. 136/2015; §6 & 13 of the Labor Inspection and State Labor Inspectorate Act 2006; Council of Ministers’ Decree, No. 399, date 03.05.2017 “For the imposition of minimum wage at the national level”; Council of Ministers’ Decree, No. 77, date 28.01.2015 “For the imposition of minimum wage at the national level”

Regular Pay

Salary means basic pay and allowances of permanent character. The compensation that the employee receives for the expenses occurring because of his/her professional activity is not considered basic element of the wage.

Salary is paid under the provisions of the collective agreement or individual contract, or if this is not the case, the employer is obliged to pay basic wage for that particular kind of job.

The wage may be calculated on the basis of time, in accordance with the performed job (unit-related wage, duty-related wage, or commission-related wage); the wage may also be calculated in the function of the enterprise accomplishments (sharing the profit or income turnover). The payment for the job, which is not based on the time criteria, must be calculated in such a way that allows a worker to earn at least the same wage as a worker working on time basis.

Wages are paid monthly to the employee hired on monthly basis and fortnightly when the wage is calculated by the hour, days or weeks except when otherwise provided for in a written agreement.

The wage must be paid in Albanian currency, unless otherwise defined by the agreement between the parties. It can be paid through banking cheques, postal cheques, or payment orders, when this kind of payment is necessary due to special circumstances, or when it is envisaged by the collective contract or by an arbitrage decision. When this kind of payment is not envisaged or set, the consent of the concerned employee is drawn. The employer is held financially liable to the employee in the cases where the bank fails to pay the employee his/her due amount within 30 days, starting from the day of depositing the sum on behalf of the employee.

Payment in kind must be agreed in writing between the parties and within the limit set by the Decision of the Council of Ministers. Payment in kind has to do only with accommodation and food that is consumed during the break at the enterprise by the employee. The amount of the salary to be granted in kind should not exceed 20% of the monthly salary.

For each wage, the employer provides the employee with the calculation including the total sum of the salary, the calculation bases if it is changeable, as well as all the deductions from it.

The employer is authorized to deduct from the employee’s salary the income tax, the contributions of social and health insurance, which are defined by law, rules, collective or individual contracts. The employer, only through a written authorization given by the employee, may subtract trade union dues from the wage. This authorization may be invalidated at any time.

Source: §109, 110, 116-119 of the Labour Code No. 7961/1995, last amended by Law No. 136/2015