Hire in Montenegro
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Montenegro.
The Capital of Montenegro
Time Zone in Montenegro
GMT + 2
Important Facts About the Country of Montenegro
Introduction to Montenegro
Montenegro is a country located in Southeastern Europe with a land area of 13,812 square kilometers. Its capital city is Podgorica, which covers 10.4% of the total territory, and about 31% of the country’s population resides there. Cetinje, the former royal capital, is home to various national institutions, including the official residence of the President of Montenegro. The country has achieved an upper-middle-income status and primarily relies on the service sector for its economy.
What to Know about Montenegro's Geography
Montenegro shares its borders with several neighboring countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Croatia. The country also has a coastline of 293.5 kilometers along the Adriatic Sea to the west.
Climate in Montenegro
Montenegro’s climate varies depending on its location. The coastal areas have a typical Mediterranean climate, while the inland areas have a more continental climate resulting in colder winters, particularly at higher altitudes. The country receives significant amounts of precipitation, particularly in hilly and mountainous regions that overlook the sea and along the coastal strip.
The Culture of Montenegro
Montenegro has a rich and unique culture, which is an amalgamation of various influences. These influences include Orthodox, Ottoman (Turk), Slavic, Central European and seafaring Adriatic cultures, with notable contributions from Italy such as the Republic of Venice. The country is home to several culturally and historically significant sites, including heritage sites from the pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque periods. The coastal region of Montenegro is especially renowned for its religious monuments, which serve as a testament to the country’s diverse and rich cultural heritage.
Religions Observed in Montenegro
Montenegro’s location at the crossroads of various religions has played a significant role in shaping its unique cultural and religious landscape. Despite their differences, Montenegro’s Muslim and Christian populations have learned to coexist, resulting in a distinctive cultural blend. Orthodox Christianity is the most widespread religion in Montenegro, with over 70% of the population identifying as adherents. Muslims represent the largest minority religion in the country, comprising approximately 20% of the total population.
Languages Spoken in Montenegro
The official language of Montenegro is Montenegrin, which is widely used by the majority of the population. However, Serbian, Bosnian and Albanian are also commonly spoken in the country, especially in areas where these ethnicities are dominant.
Montenegrin Human Resources at a Glance
Employment Law Protections in Montenegro
The primary legislation regulating employment relationships in Montenegro is the Labor Act 2020. Other essential laws and regulations include:
- Safety at Work Law
- Law on Pension and Disability Insurance
- Law on Health Insurance
- Law on Health Care
- Law on Prohibition of Harassment at Work
- Law on Foreigners of Montenegro
- The general collective agreement of Montenegro
Employment Contracts in Montenegro
An employment contract must be concluded in writing or otherwise, it will be considered employment for an indefinite period. Wet signatures are mandatory and e-signatures are not permitted. Montenegrin is mandatory but bilingual documents are acceptable.
A contract of employment must contain the following details:
- Name and headquarter of the employer
- First and last name of the employee, place of residence
- Citizens’ central register number of the employee, or working permit number in case of a foreign citizen
- Type and degree of professional qualification of the employee, or the level of education and occupation
- Type and description of jobs to be performed by the employee
- Place of work, the duration of the employment relationship (fixed-term or indefinite)
- Date of commencement of work
- Working hours
- Amount of the basic salary
- Time frame for the payment of salary and other benefits to which the employee is entitled
- Daily and weekly breaks, annual leave, public holidays, and other leave from work
- Notice period for the termination of the employment agreement
- Terms for a collective agreement that applies to the employer
Fixed Term Contacts for Montenegrin Employees
To hire an employee on a fixed-term basis in Montenegro, the contract must fulfill one of the following:
- Have a pre-determined deadline
- Be designated for a specific task or project
- Be linked to a specific event
The maximum duration for such contracts is 36 months, which includes the time the employee spends with the employer through a staff leasing agency. If an employee continues working with the employer after 36 months, the contract becomes indefinite.
Montenegro's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period
The maximum length of the probation period in Montenegro is six months. This cannot be extended unless the employee is a crew member of deep-sea merchant marine vessels. In this case, the probation period may be extended until the ship returns to the main harbor.
Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Montenegro
Employees in Montenegro typically work for eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Within a four-month period, the average total work time, including overtime, should not exceed 48 hours per week, with a maximum total work time of 50 hours per week. The Labor Act allows for overtime work up to 250 hours annually, which can be specified in collective bargaining agreements.
Montenegrin Laws Regarding Overtime
Employers in Montenegro are allowed to require their employees to work overtime in case of unexpected situations like unanticipated increase in workload, force majeure or other unexpected circumstances. They must inform their employees in writing before the overtime work begins. Additionally, employers are required to inform the Labor Inspectorate prior to the introduction of overtime. There are no specific regulations governing overtime rates.
Timesheets & Record Keeping
There is no statutory requirement for employers to keep attendance and retain records. However, this practice is recommended.
An employment relationship in Montenegro can be terminated in the following ways in Montenegro:
- By force of law
- By agreement between the employer and employee (in writing and notarized)
- By the employer terminating the employment agreement with a minimum 30-day notice period, or by the employee terminating the employment agreement with a minimum 30-day notice period, unless otherwise agreed by the parties (notice must be in writing and notarized)
The employer cannot declare an employee redundant if the employee is on any leave related to pregnancy, childbirth or childcare.
Montenegro's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods
If an employee wishes to resign, they must provide written notice to their employer at least 30 days before the termination date. In cases where there is mutual agreement between the employer and employee, there is no specific notice period required. The employment relationship will end on the date agreed upon by both parties.
Redundancy/Severance Pay in Montenegro
Severance pay is provided in the event of retirement or in circumstances specified in Article 172 of the Labor Law. If employment is terminated by mutual agreement, severance pay is not mandatory. The amount of severance pay is calculated based on one-third of the employee’s average gross wages for the previous six months for each year of service, or one-third of the employee’s average monthly salary without taxes and contributions in Montenegro (whichever is higher). Severance compensation must not be less than three times the average monthly wages without taxes and contributions in the previous six months or three times the average monthly salary without taxes and contributions in Montenegro (whichever is greater).
Post-Termination Restraints/Restrictive Covenants
The employment agreement can list specific jobs that the employee cannot perform on their own or on behalf of another party without the employer’s permission. The employer and employee may also agree to a non-compete agreement after the employment has ended, with the employee receiving financial compensation for up to two years.
Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Montenegro
Personal Income Tax in Montenegro
Employment income in Montenegro is taxed at the following progressive rates:
|Monthly Income (EUR)||Tax Rate %|
|Up to 700||0|
|701 – 1,000||9|
In addition to the personal income tax (PIT), a local surtax is also required to be paid by taxpayers to the municipality where they reside. The surtax rate is 13% in all municipalities except for Podgorica and Cetinje, where it is 15%. The surtax base is the same as the personal income tax assessed.
Social Security in Montenegro
Employers and employees must both contribute to the social security schemes of Montenegro as follows:
|Scheme||Employer Contribution (%)||Employee Contribution (%)|
|Pension and Disability Insurance||5.5||15|
|Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce||0.27||N/A|
If an employer doesn’t employ a certain number of people with disabilities, they are required to pay a special contribution. The amount of the contribution depends on how many employees the employer has.
*The above rates serve as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.
Important Information for Montenegrin Employees
According to the Labor Act, an employee’s salary must be paid to their bank account by the 10th day of the month for the previous month worked. If an employer fails to pay the full salary or compensation on time, they must provide a salary statement. This legal document must be provided before the end of the month.
The employer must provide a payslip to the employee upon salary payment.
Regular jobs in Montenegro must provide a minimum of 20 working days of yearly leave, while jobs with severe circumstances where full-time work hours are reduced from 40 to 36 hours per week must provide a minimum of 30 working days of yearly leave. Workers with a six-day workweek are entitled to at least 24 working days of annual leave.
It’s important to note that the right to annual leave cannot be replaced with monetary compensation unless employment is terminated.
An employee may take paid time off work due to temporary incapacity caused by illness, workplace injury or other conditions covered by health insurance laws. The length of the absence is agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreement or employment contract.
During the first 60 days of the absence, the employer is responsible for paying the salary compensation. This amount is later refunded by the social security fund. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 100% of their average wages for the last three months, depending on the reason for the absence. The maximum compensation applies to work-related accidents or diseases, pregnancy, treatment of an underlying disease as well as voluntary blood, tissue and organ donation.
Maternity & Parental Leave
A pregnant female employee is entitled to 98 days of maternity leave, starting 28 days before the projected date of delivery and ending 70 days after childbirth. She must inform her employer in writing one month prior to taking maternity leave.
During the pregnancy, the employee is entitled to one day of absence each month for prenatal medical checkups, and she must give three days’ written notice to her employer before the appointment. Additionally, there is a two-hour break each day for breastfeeding.
In the event of multiple births, both parents may use the 70-day period following childbirth simultaneously.
After the maternity leave, there is parental leave for 365 days following childbirth. The parental leave may be split into equal parts for both parents (but not taken simultaneously). If one parent has already started the parental leave, they can transfer the remaining time to the other parent after using 30 days of leave. The first parent loses their right to parental leave time after transferring the remaining leave to the other parent.
Montenegro observes 12 public holidays. If employees are required to work on a public holiday, the employer must give three days’ notice to the affected employees. If applicable, the trade union must also receive notice.
Benefits to the Employee in Montenegro
Montenegrin Statutory Benefits
Employees in Montenegro are entitled to various benefits, such as public holidays, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, unpaid leave and other benefits as mandated by the relevant laws.
Employers are also required to provide mandatory insurance coverage for employees, which includes workplace accidents, occupational and work-related sickness. Medical examinations must be provided for employees who work in high-risk or unusual environments.
Apart from the legally mandated benefits, customary market benefits for employees in Montenegro may include supplementary benefits such as the provision of company mobile phones, cars, computers, performance-based bonuses, private insurance, gifts for New Year and Christmas, paid memberships at sports and fitness clubs, coupons for supermarket purchases and more.
Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Montenegro
Montenegro offers four types of visas: Airport Transit Visa (A), Transit Visa (B), Short Stay Visa (C) and Long Stay Visa (D).
A Long Stay Visa, also known as a D Visa, is intended for foreign nationals who plan to stay in Montenegro for more than 90 days but not longer than 180 days. This type of visa is granted to those who visit Montenegro for business, those serving in diplomatic or consular missions or those working in offices of international organizations. A D visa provides entry to Montenegro once, twice or multiple times.
A Short-stay Visa allows foreign nationals to enter Montenegro for specific purposes, such as tourism, business or visiting friends or family. The duration of stay for this type of visa is typically up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Temporary Stay and Work Permit
A temporary residence permit may be granted to a foreigner who intends to stay in Montenegro for more than 90 days, for the following reasons:
- family reunification
- participation in international student exchange programs or other youth programs
- specialization, professional training or practical training of foreigners
- scientific research work
- humanitarian reasons
- use and disposal of the right to immovable property owned in Montenegro
- performing religious services
- performing voluntary work within the framework of the European Voluntary Service
- residence of stateless persons
- other cases (in accordance with the law and international agreements)
A permit for temporary residence and work, depending on the purpose, can be issued for:
- employment of a foreigner
- seasonal employment of a foreigner
- the work of the referred worker
If a foreigner is married to a citizen of Montenegro, he or she will receive a residence permit and has the right to work in Montenegro.
Public Holidays Recognized by Montenegro in 2023
|1.||New Year’s Day||01.Jan.2023|
|2.||Day after New Year’s Day||02.Jan.2023|
|3.||Orthodox Christmas Eve||06.Jan.2023|
|5.||Orthodox Good Friday||14.Apr.2023|
|6.||Orthodox Easter Day||16.Apr.2023|
|7.||Orthodox Easter Monday||17.Apr.2023|
|9.||Labor Day (2nd day)||02.May.2023|
|11.||Independence Day Holiday||24.May.2023|
|12.||Sovereignty Day of Montenegro||13.Jul.2023|
|13.||Sovereignty Day of Montenegro Holiday||14.Jul.2023|
|14.||Montenegrin cultural holiday, Njegošev Day||13.Nov.2023|