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Who is responsible for “gig” workers

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Although work in the “gig” economy, i.e. the hiring of workers through digital platforms to perform short-term jobs, is increasingly present in Montenegro, the Government has not yet dealt with the regulation of these workers’ rights, nor is it known which ministry is in charge.

News asked the Ministries of Economy, Labor and Internal Affairs if they had started regulating this type of industry, but they all said that it was not their responsibility.

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This problem of unregulated labor rights was recently pointed out to Vijesti by the Union of Free Trade Unions (USSCG).

They explained that persons hired through the platforms are considered “self-employed” and not employees, which primarily avoids the application of labor and social legislation such as the establishment of an employment relationship, payment of contributions, sick leave, pregnancy, maternity and parental leave, the right to union organizing, limited working hours, protection and health at work.

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In addition, they assessed that terminologically, and from all other aspects, platform workers still remain unknown to the entire Montenegrin system, that the lack of official statistics related to the presence of these categories on the Montenegrin labor market is a particularly aggravating circumstance.

Also, it was announced that we witnessed that quite a number of citizens work as platform workers as delivery workers, for example Glovo.

The News first asked the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism if they were engaged in determining the number of workers who work through platforms, in the so-called “gig” economy, and if they have started regulating this type of industry.

The questions were not answered, but it was unofficially said that they are not responsible for them, that is, they are for the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, from which it was again unofficially said that it is not a question for them, but for the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP).

– The Law on Foreigners regulates the conditions for the entry, exit, movement, residence and work of foreigners in Montenegro. The same law stipulates that a foreigner can work in Montenegro on the basis of a permit for temporary residence and work or a certificate of employment registration and only in jobs for which he was issued a permit for temporary residence and work or a certificate of employment registration and only with an employer who employs him – said the MUP.

According to the above, as they said, the Law on Foreigners does not recognize the category of foreigners who work in Montenegro through platforms in the so-called “gig” economy.

– The MUP does not keep official records on this category of foreigners, so we cannot give an estimate of how many people in Montenegro work as platform workers, especially considering the fact that Montenegrin citizens also work as platform workers – the MUP explained.

When asked whether the Ministry has begun to regulate this type of industry and whether any specific steps have been initiated, they noted that the regulation of this area is not within the competence of the Ministry of Interior, in accordance with the Decree on the Organization and Mode of Operation of the State Administration, and that obtaining data requires address the competent authorities – the ministries of economic development and tourism and labor and social welfare, local media writes.

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