Amicable Settlement of Labour Disputes in Serbia

On 28 June 2018, the National Assembly adopted the amendments to the Law on the Amicable Settlement of Labour Disputes. These amendments were published in the ”Official Gazette RS” no. 50/2018, dated  29 June 2018 and they came into force 7 July 2018.

The law has been available for use for 12 years and during this time practice has shown that there are many problems in its application.

In this regard, amendments were made concerning the establishment of the possibility of concluding agreements in individual disputes, the extension of deadlines and the monitoring of the results of peaceful resolution of these disputes through statistics.

  • The dispute resolution process is now so designed that the deadlines for undertaking the actions have prolonged, and even if some deadlines are not respected (for example, the deadline for submitting a recommendation, previously 3, now 5 days long), the arbitrator may propose a recommendation at the request of the client.
  • The conclusion of the agreement is now possible in individual disputes, although it was previously possible only in collective cases.
  • The role of the arbitrator in procedures that are dealt with in matters of discrimination and abuse at work is only advisory, and the arbitrator cannot resolve such a dispute, unless the parties reach an agreement. If that does not happen, the arbitrator will instruct the parties to initiate proceedings before the competent court.

The purpose of these amendments is to improve unfavourable practices and to encourage employers and employees to resolve their disputes peacefully through arbitrators before the Republican Agency for the Amicable Settlement of Labour Disputes, all in order to relieve courts and improve efficiency.