The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Amicable settlement of labor disputes finally works

The new mechanism for amicable settlement of labor disputes recently established in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia provides faster, more efficient and free of charge extrajudicial resolution of collective and individual labor disputes. It is good not only for workers and employers, but also for the country as a whole through favoring social peace in the workplace and thus economic growth.

Press release | 25 October 2016
This was one of the key findings of a two-day international conference entitled Amicable Settlement of Labor Disputes, organized in Ohrid on 18 and 19 October 2016, by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The conference gathered experts and representatives of relevant institutions from the country, the region and the European Union.

Participants discussed how mechanisms for settlement of labor disputes function in Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and other countries. A practical guide for professional conciliators and arbitrators was also presented, which will help them to develop practical skills and knowledge to more effectively manage the process of dispute resolution between employees and employers.
The publication of this Guide, as well as other activities leading to the establishment of this new mechanism have been supported by a project called “Promoting social dialogue”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the ILO.

“Great strides have been made in Macedonia in the implementation of the new mechanism guaranteeing that the amicable settlement of labor disputes works effectively in practice. Results from the first extrajudicially resolved labor disputes are encouraging and present an additional incentive for all parties to further promote it,” stated Natasha Mechkaroska Simjanoska, Project Coordinator.
A special part of the conference was the first meeting of the newly-formed Association of labor disputes conciliators and arbitrators where they reviewed the progress made in this field as well as challenges and ways to further improve it.

“Experiences from the first few labor disputes solved with the help of licensed conciliators and arbiters showed that this new mechanism is more efficient and more viable than the classic judicial processes. The mechanism is based on clear principles, such as neutrality, confidentiality, impartiality, equality and equity, and I believe that the confidence in it will permanently increase together with the number of settled cases”, said Lazar Jovevski, licensed conciliator and Vice President of the Association.

Labor disputes may arise from collective agreements or individual disputes related to dismissal or failure of payment of wages. Their settlement is regulated by a special law that entered into force in early 2015 in the country. The main purpose of this law is to ensure that employees and employers find a mutually acceptable solution to their disputes through appropriate voluntary extrajudicial proceedings with the help of licensed conciliators or arbitrators. According to the law, the overall costs of these procedures are covered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. The Ministry receives applications and administrates the process using an electronic system for case management, including the registration of licensed conciliators and arbitrators.

More information about the mechanism for settlement of labor disputes is available on the website