The maternity leave provisions have been instilled in international labor legislation as a result of advocacy initiatives of the International Labor Organization (ILO), with the purpose to improve the position of women in the labor market and ensure necessary protection of mothers. Depending on the country, such provisions differ on different aspects such as the length of leave offered, the level of pay, and the structure of payment.
Immediately after the 1999 war and while being under the interim administration of UNMIK, Kosovo had enacted the first Law on Labor which regulated maternity leave, only to follow with a new Law approved by the Assembly of Kosovo in 2011. The new provisions on maternity leave set forth by this law set the maternity leave at a maximum of twelve (12) months. Out of this amount, the law obliges employers to compensate workers for 70% of their basic wage for the first 6 months; the next three months are covered by the government at a rate of 50% of the average wage in Kosovo. The three last months are offered as unpaid leave for those employees wishing to make use of them.
This research paper aims to analyze the effects that the maternity leave provisions have had in the development of the private sector in Kosovo vis-à-vis the position of women in the labor market. Data gathered from business associations indicates that the current provisions are discriminatory towards private sector employers, by placing the largest financial burden on them. Nonetheless, primary research conducted within this project suggests that employers do not mind compensating workers, as soon as their costs are matched with payments from the government. As regards the position of women in the labor market, representatives of women’s organizations have claimed that the law is indeed discriminatory towards women, as it incentivizes employers to avoid hiring women as they are associated with higher costs. Aspects of implementation of the Law on Labor and hiring prospects for women with potential pregnancies were also analyzed within the primary research conducted – all of which indicate that unemployment levels and employability of women remain very low compared to men. In the end, this paper offers recommendations intended to address the issues at hand.
Krasniqi, Nida, "Provisions of Maternity Leave in the Republic of Kosovo: Impact on Private Sector and Employment" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from