(15 May 2023) EPSU has joined ITUC and others in expressing concerns over changes to labour legislation in North-Macedonia. The government is using a fast-track procedure without due consultation with social partners over the proposed reforms. We expressed our support for the Working Time Directive. It needs to be properly transposed and enforced across Europe. This is crucial for workers who deliver vital emergency and other public services. It is therefore of major of concern to us that the labour reform proposals would allow employers to circumvent working time regulations and lead to working time of 60 hours a week.
Excessive working hours pose a serious threat to health and safety and ensuring the delivery of safe and good quality public services. The proposals fly in the face of international labour standards. We stressed that as a Candidate Country, North Macedonia should be ensuring it complies with the EU’s social acquis. We have asked the Government of North Macedonia to withdraw its initiative. We expect it engage fully with the social partners on any planned revision of labour legislation.