On November 17th, in Skopje, a meeting was held dedicated to the conformity of national legal and institutional frameworks with the International Labour Standards (ILS). This meeting supported the national tripartite discussions and decision-making, aiming at aligning labor and industrial relations legislation and practice to the international labor standards and the EU acquis (laws, institutions, best practices).
This meeting was focused on the different forms of employment contracts, their regulation, and their incidence on the European level. It will offer the opportunity to touch upon the necessity for decent work in the platform economy and will continue the discussion on different forms of employment contracts and the ideas for their regulation in the Macedonian legislation.
The organizers of the event were the International Labor Organization (ILO), the RECONOMY program, and the Association for Social and Labor Law.
The director of the Impact Foundation, which is the implementer of the RECONOMY program, Elena Ivanova, presented data to the attendees from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the International Labor Organization, as well as the academic staff from the Association for Social and Labor Law, on the situation with freelancers working on digital platforms from the country to point out that the conditions can and should be improved in the interest of creating digital jobs.
The latest data, dating from 2021, speaks of the great growth of these digital jobs, where N. Macedonia participates with 20% of the total active profiles of freelancers from the Western Balkans. At the same time, even though Macedonian freelancers are capable of working, competitive and successful on the world market (global digital platforms), they are also significant contributors to the economic development of the country, yet they cannot exercise their rights to social benefits which, for the time being, derives only from a regulated employment relationship.
Mr. Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares, an expert and analyst of work contracts on platforms, pointed out that there are appropriate contracts in Italy, Spain, and Greece that regulate these relations between the worker and the platform, such as labor relations, collective agreements, and have at least minimum protection for the worker, who in some cases it is also considered economically dependent (on the platform).
In addition, the possibility of freelancers being able to exercise some of their rights through other competent institutions by the mandate of their legislation will be examined.