The Union Charter Demands that Payment of Honoraria Contributions be Postponed

Deeply concerned about the effects that the introduction of the obligation for payment of contributions for compulsory social insurance will have on the financial situation and the rights of people that work under no contracts or under temporary service contracts, including other workers, the signatories to the Charter for Solidarity of Trade Unions and Organizations for Protection of Workers` Rights (the Trade Union of Workers of Administration, Judiciary and Citizens Associations, the Trade Union of the Macedonian Diplomatic Service, the Left-Wing Movement “Solidarnost” and the Social Right Movement “Lenka”) call upon the Government of the Republic of Macedonia:

1) to postpone the implementation of the law amendments which prescribe payment of honoraria contributions for compulsory social insurance in order to give the public an opportunity to say what they think about the consequences of the implementation of those amendments and to try and find the best legal solution;

2) to eliminate, through more intensive inspections of the Labor Inspectorate, all cases of concealed employment, i.e. employment under no contract or under a temporary service contract which do not obligate employers to pay contributions for compulsory social insurance for their employees;

We, the signatories to the Charter for Solidarity of Trade Unions and Organizations for Protection of Workers` Rights, are not in principle opposed to payment of contributions for compulsory social insurance for people who are stuck for years in a situation where they are not entitled to pension and health insurance despite the fact that they work. On the contrary, we fully understand the importance of payment of contributions for pension and health insurance, both for the workers and the functioning of the pension and health insurance funds.

However, we are not convinced that the law changes that will enter into force on 1 January 2015 will solve the problem with the right to pension and health insurance of people engaged in concealed employment, i.e. people employed under no contract or under a temporary service contract. In fact, we believe that they will have a counter effect and will create conditions for additional deterioration of workers` rights.

The law changes that will enter into force on 1 January 2005 will open the Pandora box, as they will encourage employers to enter into temporary service contracts instead of permanent employment contracts not only with newly employed workers, but also with the already existing staff. In that way, they will meet their financial obligations to the state (payment of contributions from salaries and personal income tax), but they will make savings to the detriment of workers by not being obligated to pay  contributions for holidays, sick leave, mandatory annual medical exams, remuneration packages for laid off workers, etc. Also, they will not be legally obligated to respect workers` rights in accordance with the Law on Labor Relations and other laws which regulate the right to employment. We especially want to underline the these law amendments will not only affect the financial situation and the rights of those working for honoraria instead of salaries, but also those who are employed under the provisions of the Law on Labor Relations. This is one more reason for concern, but also a reason for those currently employed under the provisions of the Law on Labor Relations to show solidarity with their colleagues who are a direct target of the consequences of the law amendments after 1 January 2015.

Last but not least, we express our firm opposition to the exemption of selected and named people from payment of honoraria contribution. The selected and named in every democracy should be in service of the citizens, rather than holders of additional privileges. Under the Constitutions of the Republic of Macedonia, all, including the selected and named, are equal before the Constitution and the laws. And they must not be exempt from anything that has an effect on the financial situation and the rights of the citizens!!!

 

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