5.1.6 Labour laws
Relations between employers and employees are regulated by the Code of Labour, first approved in 1995 and amended in 1996 and 2004. The Law reflects the Constitutional principles, as well as basic principles of international conventions on labour, trade unions, prevention of discrimination etc. The Code is widely considered as a fair and effective Law.
The Decision of Council of Ministers on the Minimum Salary at National Level from 26 April 2006 provided the increase of such salary till to 18%. It was considered not compatible for a more flexible employment especially at the private cultural media institutions. The system of salaries for those working in the public sector is unified and regulated by the Law and several decisions of the Council of the Ministers. At the same time since 1995 existed the Employment Promotion Act No 7995 20/09/1995 which is aimed to foster the employment of vulnerable groups. However, Albania has not yet adopted a culture sector approach to further stimulate job opportunities and make proper use of its growing labour force. As regards labour rights, Albanian legislation gives workers right to form trade unions. Since 1993 the Ministry of Justice approved the Autonomous Trade Union of the Artist, Writers and the Culture's Workers headed by Mr. Minella Kureta. But generally the employer's organisations are very weak due to the legacy of the trade unions movement in the country which is not so strong. On the other hand the main body for social dialogue is the National Council of Labour where the government, trade unions and employees are represented and it constitutes the proper authorities to set the criteria on the standardised collective bargaining agreements used when negotiating contracts only with state run cultural media institutions. In the meantime, Albania has established a state mediation network covering twelve districts to help solve collective labour disputes but there is not yet created a National Social and Economic Council. Albania's denial of the right to strike to some state employees is not in line with the European Social Charter but the artists are not included amongst these sectors. Meanwhile in Albania legislation there aren't yet specific provisions concerning the involvement of volunteers.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".