The first law providing benefits for disability, old age, survivors, and retirement was introduced in 1947. The current law on pensions sets a retirement age of 60 for men and 55 for women, with 35 years of contributions. Mothers with six or more children are eligible at age 50, with 30 years of contributions. The amount of the pension is up to 75% of average net wages during 3 of the last 10 years of employment. Disability pensions provide as much as twice the basic pension or 80% of the last average wage. Contributions are made largely by employers (26% of payroll), but additional sums are provided by employees and by the state budget.
Unemployment benefits were first introduced in 1993. Eligibility requirements include at least one year's contributions, and a willingness to undergo training. Contributions are made by the employer at a level of 6% of payroll. Benefits are given at a flat rate allowing for a minimum standard of living at set by the Council of Ministers. A program of Family Allowances was also introduced in 1992 and is fully funded by the government. Maternity and sickness benefits are also provided. Employees may receive benefits for up to one year for maternity leave.
Albania's constitution prohibits discrimination based on sex, and women make up roughly half the labor force. The principle of equal pay for equal work is incorporated into the Labor Code although women are underrepresented in higher positions and are often underemployed. Women have equal access to higher education, and many obtain professional positions in the medical and legal fields. However, traditional attitudes towards females persist, and discrimination in the workplace has not been eliminated. Abuse and violence against women remain underreported. In 1993, the country's first nonpolitical women's group, Reflexione, was formed to expand women's legal rights. Blood feuds, or violent rival factions, continue to limit the safety of women and children. Child abuse and trafficking in women have also been reported as significant problems.
Religious tolerance is prevalent, and the constitution provides for coexistence between ethnic groups. The Office of National Minorities was established to monitor Albania's minority issues.