Labour & Immigration Albania


Elda Llambi - LPA Law Firm Albania

What are the rules relating to trade union recognition?

Freedom of association is guaranteed by the Albanian Constitution (Art. 50).
The ALC sets out the relevant provisions regarding the establishment and rights of the independent trade unions and professional organisations (whether of employees or employers), focused on protection of the economic, professional and social rights and interests of their members.
The trade union acquires legal personality 60 days after the filing of bylaws with the First Instance Court of Tirana (i.e. Art. 178). The employers’ professional organisations should have at least five founding members, while those of employees must have at least 20 founding members (Art. 177.1).

What rights do trade unions have?

The trade unions are entitled to represent their members in negotiations with the employers on concluding collective bargaining agreements, as well as in negotiations regarding the change of terms and conditions of the existing collective employment contracts.
The trade unions are further entitled to protect the interests of their members before the courts, in order to oblige the employer to observe the provisions of the employment law, collective employment contract or individual employment contracts.
They may be organised in organisations of a larger level such as federations (composed of at least two trade unions) and confederations (composed of at least two federations), and may become members of international professional organisations.
Furthermore, subject to Article 197/1 of the ALC, the strikes may be organised only by trade unions.

Are there any rules governing a trade union's right to take industrial action?

The trade union’s right to strike is also guaranteed by virtue of the constitutional law and specifically regulated by the ALC.
Subject to Articles 197 – 197/1 of the ALC only trade unions have the right to strike. In practice, such industrial action is used as ultima ratio by trade unions to enforce the solving of their economic and social requirements.
According to Article 197/3 of the ALC the strike is lawful if it is organised by a legally founded trade union and it aims either the conclusion of a collective employment contract or (if it already exists) the fulfilment of those requirements deriving from the employment relationship, not set forth in the collective contract.
Additionally, the ALC confers protection to striking employees during the strike period (including, without limitation, the prohibition not to dismiss or replace the participants in the strike with new employees, etc.) – Art. 197/2.
Civil officers are not entitled to strike (Art. 19 (f) of the Law on the Status of Civil Officers).

Are employers required to set up works councils? If so, what are the main rights and responsibilities of such bodies? How are works council representatives chosen/appointed?

The ALC is silent in relation to the requirements of work councils’ establishment, as other jurisdictions do (i.e., German Betriebsrat).
However, subject to Article 21 of law no. 9901, dated 14.04.2008 “On Entrepreneurs and Commercial Companies”, as amended, the Employees’ Council may appoint employees’ representatives at board level of the joint stock company, if agreed between it and the company’s legal representative. Nevertheless, there are no further provisions dealing with such an issue.
On the other hand, law no. 10237, dated 18.02.2010 “On Safety and Health at Work” provides for the existence of the Council of Safety and Health at Work, which represents the employees solely in relation to health and security issues at the workplace.

In what circumstances will a works council have co-determination rights, so that an employer is unable to proceed until it has obtained works council agreement to proposals?

This is not applicable.

How do the rights of trade unions and works councils interact?

This is not applicable.


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Hoxholli, O. 2013, "Labour & Immigration Albania". In: Labour & Immigration Albania, Albania Tirana Times, Albania Tirana.

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