Labor shortage on the Montenegrin coast

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In order to alleviate the chronic problem of the lack of labor on the Montenegrin coast during the summer tourist season, representatives of the Government, employers and trade unions are working to introduce the category “permanent seasonal worker”, which, according to its proponents, would motivate the unemployed to retrain and have a secure permanent job, seasonal employment.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare said that they are ready to include this category of employees in the amendments to the Labor Law, which will certainly not happen before the start of the upcoming summer tourist season.

A working group consisting of representatives of the ministry, relevant departments and representatives of social partners (unions and employers), works on amendments to the Labor Law. The deadline for its adoption is the third quarter of 2024. In what form the issue of permanent seasonal employees will be regulated, it is too early to say, because the regulations are passed with the consent of all parties – the Government and social partners – stated from the department headed by Admir Adrović, adding that the amendments will be subject to a public hearing.

The Chamber of Commerce (PKCG), which initiated the introduction of this category of workers, announced that the lack of workforce in seasonal jobs is one of the significant business barriers in tourism, and that the current supply, especially of domestic professionals, is not satisfactory.

That is why it is necessary to enable employers to provide suitable workforce for their needs in the shortest possible time and with simple procedures. This can be achieved, among other things, by better promotion of the possibility of seasonal employment and through competent institutions to manage this process and arrange the business environment and mechanisms in which employers will have an additional interest in hiring domestic workers, as well as systematically make seasonal work more attractive to domestic workers.

This organization points out that the introduction of the “permanent seasonal worker” category would alleviate this problem, because unemployed people would be motivated to retrain and have secure permanent seasonal employment and income throughout the year in accordance with the positive experiences of the European Union countries.

The system ensures financial support and payment of contributions to workers – seasonally and in the period when they are not working. These are persons who have continuously worked for at least six months with the same employer and who will work with the same employer for at least one more season (at least six months) – the PKCG explained.

PKCG emphasized that the comprehensive reform they are proposing would contribute to the simplification and shortening of employee registration procedures, which would lead to an increase in the number of formally engaged seasonal workers, and thus to an increase in budget revenues based on paid taxes and contributions. The labor law, as they explain, needs to be changed in the part of performing occasional jobs, which would enable more flexible engagement of the domestic workforce.

In addition, they see the conclusion of contracts on practical work during the season with the eventual possibility of obtaining ECTS credits as a systemic solution related to the engagement of students.

According to the information we have from the competent institutions, work is underway on the regulations that would define these areas, namely: amendments to the Labor Law and the Law on Foreigners. Also, new regulations are being drafted: the law on mediation and the law on student affairs. With the good cooperation of the institutions, we are on time to create the conditions and motivate the local population to tie their professional engagement to work in tourism by the next summer season, through an adapted legislative framework – PKCG said.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) Restaurateurs of Montenegro recently formed a Viber group in which job vacancies and applications for seasonal jobs on the coast are published almost daily.


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