The ‘gray’ area between employment and self-employment: legal approaches to formalizing informal work and reducing precariousness in the context of Macedonian labour law

  • Aleksandar Ristovski
Keywords: grey area, employment relationship, self-employment, disguised employment relationship, casual work.


The term ‘gray area’ is commonly used in literature to describe the space that is created between ‘dependent’ work (employment) on the one hand, and ‘autonomous’ work (self-employment) on the other, and it usually refers to the following types of work: bogus self-employment or disguised employment relationship; intermediate, i.e. objectively ambiguous forms of work (e.g. dependent self-employment); certain forms of work that involve multiple parties (e.g. contracting-out or labour dispatch) and casual work.

            North Macedonia is on the verge of adopting a new Labour Relations Law. In that regard, dilemmas that are becoming increasingly relevant are: ‘what is the course taken by the Macedonian labour law system concerning the global debate on redefining the boundaries of the traditional binary system and expanding the protective framework of labour legislation’? ‘what types of non-standard forms of work that occupy the gray area between employment and self-employment can be recognized in the Macedonian legislation and practice’? ‘whether and what regulatory measures should be taken to address the disguised and objectively ambiguous forms of work and what are the prospects for introducing new non-standard forms of work intended to formalize informal employment and reduce precariousness’?  Having in mind the previous dilemmas, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the current situation, but also to address the trends and perspectives of Macedonian labour legislation in the context of contemporary challenges in the world of work.


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