The conference was inaugurated by Mr Spiro Ksera, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. In his speech Mr Ksera welcomed the work of the conference because wages “constitute a very important element of the economic development and the employment relationships, and at the same time a significant source of income for the Albanian population”. He expressed the commitment of the Albanian Government to continue to increase wages as an ongoing priority aiming to improve the lives of its citizens. According to Mr Ksera “Wage growth will continue in the coming years, while the minimum wage is projected to grow annually at rates higher than the annual inflation index”.
National experts summarized wage trends, the role of legislation and institutions in wage fixing, minimum wage and low payments, wage disparity, collective bargaining and social dialogue on wages, wage statistics, connection between wages and social insurance. The conference ended with a round table discussing the way forward.
The participants unanimously agreed and adopted the following recommendations:
- Clearly defined wage-fixing processes should be established at national, sectoral and enterprise levels.
- Responsibilities of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, in cooperation with employers’ and workers’ representatives within the existing National Labour Council and the Tripartite Wage Committee should be defined on wage policy.
- Institutional capacity of developing and implementing wage policies should be further strengthened.
- The role of tripartite partners in minimum wage fixing should be more clearly defined and implemented in the existing tripartite institutions.
- Bipartite wage negotiations between employers’ and workers’ representatives should be promoted.
- A better and more regular collection, analysis and dissemination of wage statistics is necessary.
- The persistence of a significant gender pay gap also requires specific initiatives to improve the situation. All wage policies as well as education, health, childcare, and social protection policies should focus on reducing the gender wage gap.
- Wage policies should be prominent on the policy making agenda.
- Application of national and international standards ratified by Albania should be intensified.