5 Things You Must Know About Annual Leave (The 5th Item Will SHOCK YOU!)

5 things you must know about the right to annual leave (the 5th thing will SHOCK YOU!)


If you are in the role of an employer, but you are in doubt regarding the right of your employees to annual leave (“AL“) and you are troubled by questions such as: “When does an employee realize the right to AL?”, “How long should an employee’s AL last?”, “Are there alternatives to AL?”; then you are in the right place.

In the following text, we will provide you with all the necessary information regarding the way in which the Labor Law (“LL“)[1] regulates the right of an employee (“Employee“) to AL.


  1. The Employee becomes entitled to Al after one month of working for you

It is essential that you understand that in accordance with the provisions of the LL, your Employee becomes entitled to AL after one month of continuous work with you, counting from the day the employment relationship was established.

At the same time, it should be pointed out that continuous work also includes a time of temporary incapacity for work and absence from work with salary compensation.


  1. You cannot provide an AL shorter than 20 working days

Although the duration of the AL is a matter of agreement between you and your Employee, the LL provides for a minimum duration of AL of 20 working days.

When calculating AL, the working week is counted as 5 working days, and holidays that are non-working days, absence from work with compensation, and temporary incapacity for work are not included in AL.

The length of the AL beyond the minimum prescribed by LL is a matter of agreement between you and your Employee, and may also be subject to regulation in the employment contract and the employment regulations. In this direction, you can proscribe that the Employee’s AL increases according to the contribution to the work, work experience, working conditions, etc.


  1. AL is to be used once or in parts

The Employee can use AL once, in two or more parts depending on the agreement with you. If you agree that the Employee will use AL in parts, then the first part must last at least two working weeks continuously, the Employee must use the rest of AL no later than June 30 of the following year.


  1. You decide on the schedule of use of GO in consultation with the Employee

The LL authorizes you to make a decision on the schedule of use of AL in accordance with the needs of the job. However, although the decision on the schedule is yours, you must consult with the Employee. You can also approve AL at the request of the Employee. In the first case, you must prepare a decision on going on leave and submit it to the Employee no later than 15 days before the start of the leave, and in the second case, you can submit the aforementioned decision to the Employee immediately before taking a leave.

The LL provides for the possibility to change the time set for the use of AL if required by business needs, no later than five working days before the day set for using AL.


  1. You cannot pay the Employee not to use AL!

Pay special attention here. Many employers mistakenly believe that they have the right to pay the Employee a sum of money instead of AL.

Something like this is expressly prohibited by LL. The LL stipulates that Employee cannot waive the right to AL, nor can that right be denied or replaced with monetary compensation.

The only exception is in the case of termination of the employment relationship where, according to the LL, you are obliged to pay compensation to the Employee who did not use the AL in whole or in part, on account of the unused AL, in the amount of the average salary in the previous 12 months, in proportion to the number of days of the unused AL.

This compensation has the character of compensation for damages.



For more info on this or any other legal, tax or business topic, please feel free to write to us at [email protected] at any time OR contact us via telephone number +381113281914 during working days from 08:30 to 16:30


[1] Labor Law (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 24/2005, 61/2005, 54/2009, 32/2013, 75/2014, 13/2017 – US decision, 113/2017 and 95/2018 – authentic interpretation ).

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