The Internship Law (“Official Gazette of the Republic of North Macedonia” number 98/19 and 103/21) introduced a novelty in the labor law legislation of the Republic of North Macedonia, i.e. a clear and precise system was established for the employment of interns, ways of securing them, duration of the employment relationship, amount of compensation that must be paid to them, as well as all other details regarding the engagement of the specific category of Employees.
Our Law Firm offers appropriate legal assistance to legal entities in the Republic of North Macedonia that have the need of hiring interns in the course of their business operations. In the following text, we will present the most important details regarding the hiring of interns.
First of all, as a precondition for the employment of interns in accordance with the applicable labor law legislation, it is necessary for the Company – Employer to publish an advertisement for an intern in the Employment Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia, whereby at least 3 (three) working days must pass from the publication of the advertisement to the registration and employment of a specific person as an intern.
The need for an intern, apart from being published in the Employment Agency, can also be published on the website of the Company, on LinkedIn or on another medium, whereby such announcement should contain information about the terms of the internship, as well as the expected goals for hiring the intern, the tasks and the process of the internship.
An intern can be any person who:
An intern can also be a person who has not reached 18 (eighteen) years of age, but in this case one of his/her parents will need to sign the Internship Agreement.
The intern can be hired by the Company for a period of maximum 6 (six) months.
The compensation of the intern hired full-time must be from 42% to 74% of the minimum net salary in the Republic of North Macedonia for internship work up to three months, while in the amount of the minimum net salary in the Republic of North Macedonia for internship work over three months, counted from the fourth to the sixth month.
If the intern is hired on a part-time basis, the compensation for the internship will be calculated in proportion to the time spent on the internship.
The intern has the right to a leave in a duration of 2 (two) days/month if he/she works on full time basis (40 hours/week), i.e. 1 (one) day/month if he/she works part-time.
The Law provides for a maximum number of interns that can be hired by the Company depending on how many permanent employees the Company has.
So for example, a Company that has from 1 (one) to 5 (five) employees can hire 1 (one) intern, while a Company that has from 151 (one hundred and fifty one) to 250 (two hundred and fifty) employees can hire up to 15 interns.
If you need additional information and details about the employment of interns in the Republic of North Macedonia and according to the labor law legislation of the country, feel free to contact our Law Firm, which has employed specialists who deal with labor law and who can offer you answers and appropriate solutions within the legal framework of the applicable labor law legislation.
Ljupka Naumoska Gjorgjievska
In the last decade Investors are increasingly applying the above mention non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities. Approximately 72% of global investors in 2022 said they use ESG principles in their investment approach and decision making.
Meanwhile, Business and law firms in North Macedonia are having trouble to understand the meaning of the ESG principles, and how it benefits in their everyday business activities. Also, ESG principles may not always fit into one specific category. However, climate change is a good example. As a result, we usually think of it as an environmental issue, but it has far-reaching implications that include social and governance risks. In the same manner, changing weather patterns can disrupt supply chains, while company boards can support or oppose requests from shareholders for transparent climate-related disclosures.
|climate change||employee health and safety||executive pay|
|greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions||supply chain risk||bribery and corruption|
|biodiversity||cybersecurity and data privacy||board diversity and structure|
Moreover, Traditionally, a manager chooses to invest in companies based largely on their financial metrics and reports. In the same way, they might look at things like earnings, profit margins and debt levels. However in recent years, there has been a growing focus on looking beyond the balance sheet. Therefore, when you integrate material ESG principles into the investment decision-making process, you can assess many other kinds of risks a company faces. For example, investors may ask:
|Environmental: How does a company’s business impact the environment?||Social: How does the company interact with its employees, customers and communities?||Governance: How does the company govern itself? Is it free from bribery and corruption?|
On the other hand, ESG risk refers to a risk a company may face due to weak ESG practices. Here are some examples of strong versus weak ESG practices:
|Company Focus||Strong ESG||Weak ESG|
|Employees||Engagement, strong culture, innovation||Lack of training, unsafe conditions, high turnover rate|
|Customers||Responsiveness, availability, dispute resolution||No returns policy, poor labelling, over-charging|
North Macedonia business are recently starting to implement and noticing the ESG principles as important factor for growth of their business. In that line the Macedonian Stock Exchange, has recently adopt a ESG REPORTING GUIDE FOR LISTED COMPANIES, which helps the listed companies on Macedonian Stock Exchange, to adopt, understand and implement the ESG principles.
Taking into consideration the growing development of ESG principles, which will be determined factor for investors in future, Tosic & Jevtic law firm, as one of the leading law firms in the corporate sector, joint their forces with ESGPRO, UK based company, one of the leading companies in implementation of ESG sustainability reporting in UK, to help and assist the Macedonian business to implement the ESG factors.
We believe that in the next 5 years, ESG principles, will become one of key factors for foreign investors which will determine if they will be investing in Macedonian companies or their A&M.
Also, we as a law firm believe that if Macedonian companies want to export their products to western countries and companies, especially within the EU, UK, Canada or USA, their ESG or sustainability report will be one of the key factors that the foreign partners will require and ask.
Additionaly, if Macedonian companies, want to be part of the global trade, expend their export, cooperate with foreign companies, or attract foreign capital, investors of buyers, it will be inevitable to adopt and implement the ESG principles and standards. In the end the ESG principles, stand for better environment, better inclusion, better protection of the employees, and better customer satisfaction, then business that implement these factors, will show of with better financial results and profit.
Our law firm and our partners from ESG PRO are ready to take you to the next principles step and make your business more attractive and profitable.
Ivica Jevtic - Managing partner at Tosic & Jevtic law firm
The Annual leave, as a legal institute of Employment law, is a right that affects EVERYONE, regardless of the industry, regardless of education, and regardless of job position.
The right to Paid Annual leave is a FUNDAMENTAL LABOR RIGHT, which the ILO elaborates significantly in its foundations and regulates in particular in the Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised) 1970 (No.132). Moreover, the EU also elevates this right to the position of FUNDAMENTAL with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as a right that should ensure Fair and just working conditions.
Every Employee enjoys this right arising from the employment relationship and every Employer is obliged to provide the same to every Employee. But if we look at it from the position of a lawyer, an interesting dilemma opens up: which right is a „greater„ right… the right of the Employee to use annual leave whenever he wants or the right of the Employee to approve the annual leave when the work process allows it?
The aforementioned ILO Convention determines an optimal period for paid annual leave – three weeks’ paid leave each year but also defines the right to a proportional part of the annual leave, where it determines that those Employees who have been employed with an employer for less than one year, but longer than six months, are to have a right to a proportional period of paid leave.
This determination and definition of annual leave is also present in the Macedonian employment law, or more precisely in the Macedonian Law on Labor Relations.
Namely, the Legislator in our Employment law determines the minimum number of days of annual leave to be 20 working days, while the maximum – is 26 working days, which in principle is equal to the determination of the ILO regarding the duration of the minimum with Paid Annual leave. In addition, the Convention specifies that it should be possible for an employee to take two weeks of annual leave in one block without interruption, which is also an obligation for Macedonian Employers.
Although there is a legal institute – proportional part of annual leave, it is general and it penetrates through working laws, however, details about its application remain in the “gray zone”. Hence, both Employees and Employers often seek legal advice on when and how to apply the days indicated as a proportional part of the vacation. For now, the strict application of this part of the employment law remains, that this legal institute is used only in the period before the right to a full annual vacation is acquired. That period is defined in Macedonian legislation as a six-month period from the establishment of the employment relationship with that Employer.
Also, The Convention also provides that the timing of the leave period should in principle be determined by the Employer, in consultation with the Employee or his or her representatives, which as a legal solution is also accepted in our labor law in article 138 of the Law on labor relations. So, the Employer BUT taking into account the needs of the work process above all, as well as the opportunities for rest and recreation of the Employee is obliged to provide this right as an absolute, mandatory, and unconditional right of the Employee.
Given that our country is aiming for the EU, we would like to point out that the EU has set minimum standards for working hours and rest, breaks, annual leave, and night work. In addition, those standards provide that derogations from some of the working time obligations are possible if allowed by national law. Such standards that refer to specific aspects of working time, among other things, and generally for Annual Leave, are covered by a separate Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 4, 2003.
In this Directive, it is stated that each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that every Employee is entitled to paid annual leave of at least four weeks in accordance with the conditions for entitlement to, and granting of, such leave laid down by national legislation and /or the practice. Hence, we can conclude that this standard, considering that it reflects the lower limit or the minimum of the duration of the vacation time is above the minimum provided by our Labor Law. So considering the above stated, it is obvious that the Employees in the EU in terms of this right that is within the working law puts the Employee in a better situation. The standard set by the EU in relation to annual leave is that the minimum period of paid annual leave cannot be replaced by an allowance instead, except where the employment relationship is terminated.
So, we can conclude that the conditions for the entitlement and granting of annual leave are subject to national regulation, but those could not be under the minimum legal standards which are accepted as fundamental.
We, as a law firm, are in line with the legal position that the entitlement of every Employee to paid annual leave must be regarded as a particularly important principle of Community social law from which there can be no derogations.
Moreover, the CJEU ruled that so-called ‘rolled-up holiday pay’ – the practice of incorporating the payment of annual leave into a worker’s hourly or daily wage without the worker receiving additional payment – is contrary to the mentioned Directive, as the practice does not guarantee that the minimum four-week leave will actually be taken, so this position of the CJEU, for us, is absolutely acceptable and we, as a law firm, support it in total.
But, definitely, this right should be in accordance with the needs of the work process above all, as well as the opportunities for rest and recreation of the Employee.
Ana Tosic Chubrinovski – Managing Partner
North Macedonia as successor of Yugoslavia is member of almost all the international conventions regarding the protection of intellectual property rights, which guarantees safety and reliability in this matter. The laws applying in North Macedonia regarding intellectual property are completely harmonized with the international conventions and agreements regulating this matter.
North Macedonia is member of the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property since 1921, member of the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since 1967, member of the Agreement on Trade-related aspects of intellectual property (TRIPS agreement) since 2003, member of the Madrid agreement concerning the international registration of marks since 1921, member to the Nice agreement concerning the international classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration od marks since 1966, member to the Vienna agreement establishing an international classification of the figurative elements of marks since 2010.
In this article, we will present the procedure of trademark registration in North Macedonia which is conducted in accordance with the intellectual property law that is applied in North Macedonia.
The answer to this question depends on several factors. However, if you wish for local protection of an individual trademark and protection to up to three classes of goods and services the administrative costs are as follows:
The process of protection of a trademark lasts for approximately 9 months. The reason for this is that the trademark application is published in the Official gazette of the State office of intellectual property of North Macedonia and any party having an opposition to such registration may file an objection within a term of 3 months from the date of publication. What is also worth mentioning here is that the Paris convention for the protection of intellectual property determines that any person who has duly filed an application for a trademark in one of the countries of the Union, or his successor in title, shall enjoy for the purpose of filing in the other countries, a right of priority during the period of six months. This period shall start from the date of filling the first application and the day of filing shall not be included in the period.
However, you should be aware that protection is granted from the moment of filling the application for trademark registration in the State Office of intellectual property. Therefore, the duration of the administrative procedure does not affect the right itself.
North Macedonia and the State office of intellectual property obey to the international conventions and agreements concerning the protection of intellectual property rights. As members of almost all international conventions and agreements regulating this matter, you can be sure that your intellectual property right will be protected and recognized as such in almost all countries in the world, if the protection is sought there afterwards.
The administrative costs for the protection of a trademark are one of the lowest in the region which makes North Macedonia attractive for seeking protection of your intellectual property rights.
Our Law Firm has experienced lawyers that may guide and assist you in the protection of your intellectual property in North Macedonia.
Ivana Jevtic Nikolova