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Hidden gems: Hiring remote workers in Kosovo

June 17, 2024

Kosovo may be the youngest country in Europe, but this beautiful region has a long history dating back thousands of years.

Since declaring its independence in 2008, Kosovo has been working hard to develop its economy and establish itself on the world stage. Its population is young, with an average age of 32, which is considered one of the youngest in Europe. There is also a growing tech scene, helping to make the country an up-and-coming region for global hiring.

Let’s explore what makes Kosovo an appealing choice for hiring remote workers.

Advantages of Hiring in Kosovo

Kosovo is an area that’s full of untapped potential. Labor costs are low, and it’s well-positioned in Eastern Europe’s Balkan region — bordering Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.

Kosovo has a young, well-trained population thanks to an education system that emphasizes STEM. Young residents are proficient in English and well-aligned with Western work ethics and approaches.

Here’s a quick, high-level overview of Kosovo:

  • Languages: Albanian, ‎Serbian
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Capital City: Pristina
  • Population: 1.8 Million
  • Cost of Living Rank: 132nd

Strong Tech Ecosystem

Kosovo is working hard to develop its tech sector. The relatively young population is forward-thinking, well-educated, and eager to create a dynamic scene for entrepreneurs in their home country. As a result, an array of affordable tech hubs, coworking spaces, and incubators are helping locals build their careers in tech, including founding startups.

Hiring Compliantly in Kosovo

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are mandatory for all businesses. There are two main types: open-ended and finite. Open-ended contracts are intended for standard employment in which a company employs someone until one party ends the working relationship. With a finite contract, employees are hired to work for a set period of time.

Regardless of the type, contracts must stipulate the terms and conditions of employment, including:

  • Salary
  • Hours worked
  • Benefits
  • Job responsibilities, including a comprehensive job description

Working Hours & Pay

Kosovo has a standard 40-hour work week. As of 2024, the minimum wage is EUR 264 per month. Businesses must pay overtime for any work performed outside of regular hours, which ranges from 120% to 150% of the employee’s regular salary, depending on factors such as the type of work performed and when the work is taking place.

Employees in Kosovo are paid on a monthly basis.

Taxes

Both employers and employees pay into the pension fund in Kosovo. The overall contribution is 10% and is split 50/50 between the employer and the employee. There’s an option to make additional contributions up to 30%, which is also split 50/50 between the employer and employee.

Probation Period

Probation periods can last up to six months in Kosovo.

Termination Process & Severance Pay

To terminate an indefinite contract, there needs to be just cause. Compliant reasons include:

  • Resignation
  • Mutual agreement
  • Economic reasons
  • Misconduct
  • Inability to complete work
  • Performance

If a termination is deemed to be without cause, the employee can refuse it, and additional payments will be required.

Employers must give employees a minimum notice to terminate an indefinite employment contract, which varies depending on how long the employee has been employed with the company. This breaks down as follows:

  • 0-2 years: 30 days’ notice
  • 2-10 years: 45 days’ notice
  • 10+ years: 60 days’ notice

If an employer doesn’t plan to renew a fixed-term contract, it must give 30 days’ notice to the employee.

There is no statutory requirement for severance pay in Kosovo.

Paid Leave Laws in Kosovo

In Kosovo, employees have a right to paid time off for national holidays, vacation, sick leave, and parental leave.

Vacation and Holiday

There are a variety of paid national and religious holidays in Kosovo. They include, but are not limited to:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Orthodox Christmas
  • Independence Day
  • Constitution Day
  • Labor Day
  • Eid-al-Fitr

Additionally, employees are entitled to up to four weeks, or 20 business days, of vacation time.

Sick Leave

Employees may take up to 20 days of paid sick leave each year. The employer covers 100% of the employee’s salary during this time.

Parental Leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to take up to 270 days (i.e., nine months) of paid maternity leave in Kosovo, including at least 45 days off before the birth. The employer covers 70% of the employee’s salary for the first six months of leave, and the government pays 50% for the remaining three months. New mothers may take an additional three months of leave if they choose, but this is unpaid.

Fathers are entitled to two days of paid paternity leave after the birth of a child and two weeks of unpaid leave at any point before the child turns three years old.

Why Digital Nomads Love Kosovo

There is no official digital nomad visa for Kosovo, but residents of many countries can visit for stays of up to 90 days without a visa.

Kosovo’s cost of living is low compared to many other European countries, internet speeds are fast, and the capital city, Pristina, is home to several popular cafes and coworking spaces. When combined with a growing community of tech workers, it’s easy to see why the country is a popular choice for remote work.

Confidently Hire in Kosovo with Remofirst

When hiring a global workforce, working with an Employer of Record like Remofirst can help ensure compliance throughout the employment process. We help companies just like yours hire in more than 180 countries, including Kosovo. Contact us today to book a demo and learn how we can help you grow internationally.