Conclusions/Follow-up Action/Recommendation : During a Board meeting on February 24, CERM (Confederation of Employers of the Republic of Macedonia) and DECP signed a Partnership Agreement
As introduction to the signature, DECP's Director, Mr. de Leij, expressed his happiness to be in Macedonia and to sign a partnership agreement with an independent employers’ organisation willing to improve the business environment in his country with the support of colleagues from abroad.
Among the matters discussed during the AGM was the problems employers encounter with newly introduced measures by the Ministry of Finance where monthly “pay-checks” first have to be presented to the ministry before payment can take place. This measure is severely delaying the monthly payments of salaries.
As a possible solution, the idea arose of CERM setting-up a service with the aim to assist their members in complying with the new procedures in order to avoid that employers have to return several times to the ministry. Mr. Mile Boskov (Director General of CERM) agreed to look into this matter.
The board-meeting was concluded by a cocktail during which informal contacts could be developed.
In the afternoon, the DECP-delegation had a meeting at the Dutch Embassy with Mrs. Filippini, ambassador, and Mr. Ivanovski, Economy and Trade Officer.
It was an opportunity to present DECP, its organization and its objectives to the ambassador, followed by a presentation of the new Partnership Agreement.
In the following discussion, the ambassador gave information about the direct support provided by the Embassy to the government of Macedonia, as for example the new Revenue Office of the ministry of Finance, and to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The DECP delegation could explain the difficulties for registration new employers’ organizations in Macedonia and the present problems with payment of wages due to the new “paychecks-regulation” by the ministry of finance. It’s also obvious that the social dialogue is still not functioning properly in Macedonia, that the government is not ready to take into consideration proposals coming from the social partners.
The Ambassador recommend us to inform the EU-Delegation about the above mentioned problems. She declared to be ready to organize an informal contact with the minister of finance, the EU-Ambassador, Mr. Boshkov and some other important stakeholders, as e.g. the Trade Unions, about the present problems with the “paychecks”.
In conclusion, we promised to keep the Embassy well informed about the progress in DECP's cooperation with CERM.
It was a useful and fruitful visit to Skopje, well prepared by Mr. Boshkov and the staff of CERM: specially the open discussion during the board meeting was interesting.
The meeting with the Ambassador and her assistant was also very useful: we share same analysis about the problems and the difficulties to overcome to solve these problems.
In the next days, contacts will be organised with Mr. Boshkov in order to see how our proposals for solving the above mentioned problems can be put in practice.