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Montenegro aims to implement seven-hour workday by year’s end, assures social welfare reforms

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Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Naida Nišić, has announced that Montenegro aims to implement a seven-hour workday by the year’s end. As reported by RTCG, she emphasized that social benefits will undergo reforms to ensure fairness, with no plans for their abolition, including the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund (PIO), although its reform is imminent.

Responding to inquiries about the seven-hour workday, Minister Nišić stated during Radio Crne Gore’s “Link” program, “The plan articulated by Prime Minister Milojko Sajić during the electoral campaign will come to fruition this year.”

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She underscored that there is no intention to dismantle the PIO Fund. “There has been no discourse on the abolition of the PIO Fund, nor is it on the agenda,” Nišić affirmed, adding that decisions within the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare’s purview will be made in consultation with the Social Council.

Nišić noted ongoing efforts within the ministry to analyze issues related to proportional pensions. “We have already ratified and signed 34 Agreements on Compulsory Insurance with various countries in the region and Europe. The primary obstacle is the absence of agreements with Albania and alignment with Bosnia and Herzegovina. These are crucial for continuous data exchange. The agreement with Albania is poised for parliamentary approval shortly, with the draft synchronized with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Details will be presented to the government this week, following which the government will authorize me to sign this significant agreement,” the minister explained.

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Nišić highlighted that analyses reveal significant injustices faced by pensioners who worked across different countries. “Approximately 3,500 pensioners from former Yugoslav states receive pensions that, when aggregated, fall below the average,” she disclosed.

Additionally, she assured that no social benefits would be discontinued, pledging their future fairness. “Our objective is to enhance the living standards of citizens, not undermine them,” she affirmed.

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