CIVIL SERVICE PAY AND BENEFIT SYSTEMS IN THE WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES IN THE TIME OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
The paper analyses legal changes in the civil service pay and benefit system in the Western Balkans countries, which occurred in the period from the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008 up to present time. Analysis of the existing pay and benefit systems is preceded by a brief review of the international civil service pay setting standards, which constitutes the basis for a detailed review of the existing civil service pay systems in the Western Balkan countries. The author concludes that the economic downturn in most of the analysed countries has led to a reduction in the level of civil service pay, as a short-term measure undertaken to decrease the budget deficit. In addition, in some of the analysed countries systemic changes, aimed at streamlining the pay system and increasing its transparency and fiscal sustainability, have been undertaken, which is a positive development. However, several of the analysed systems have also experienced a reversal of the mechanisms of horizontal civil service pay progression based on performance, which can have a negative effect on civil servants motivation. For this reason this issue should be given a careful consideration by the policy makers in the near future.