Easier to Seasonal Work in Serbia

 

Initial considerations

 

On 3 September 2021, the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia published on its official website the Draft Law on Employment due to the increased volume of work in certain activities (the “Draft“).

 

The constitutional basis for the adoption of this Draft is contained in Article 97, item 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, which stipulates that the Republic of Serbia, among other things, regulates the system in the field of labour relations.

 

Bearing in mind that the reform of seasonal employment in agriculture has been successfully implemented by the Law on Simplified Employment in Seasonal Jobs in Certain Activities (“Official Gazette of RS” No. 50/18), this Draft seeks to achieve the same results in other sectors, such as:

 

  • construction;
  • services, accommodation and food;
  • administrative and support service activities as well
  • employment of natural persons in childcare, care for the elderly, as well as cleaning of residential buildings.

 

Who is considered to be the employed person in terms of the Draft?

 

Employed person is defined as any adult natural person who is employed by the employer in accordance with this Draft.

A person under the age of 18 may be employed under the conditions prescribed for the employment of persons under the age of 18 by the law governing work and the decree determining dangerous work for children.

Employment of persons under the age of 18 in accordance with this Draft in the Construction Sector is prohibited.

It also enables domestic employers to hire foreign citizens who do not need a visa to enter the Republic of Serbia in accordance with the visa regime, without the obligation to obtain a work permit for foreigners in accordance with the law governing the work of foreigners, while they reside in the Republic of Serbia for a short period of time in accordance with the regulations governing the stay of foreigners.

According to this Draft, a person engaged in employment is not considered to be a person who occasionally and without compensation assists the employer in performing work (relatives, neighbours, friends).

 

Rights of employed persons

 

The employed person has the following rights:

  • The right to limited working hours;
  • The right to rest during daily work, daily and weekly rest;
  • The right to compensation for their work;
  • Prohibition of restrictions on work with another employer and prohibition of discrimination against the engaged person;
  • The right to pension and disability insurance, as well as compulsory health insurance;
  • The right to legal protection before the Agency for Peaceful Dispute Resolution of the Republic of Serbia.

 

Conditions that the employer must fulfil

 

For the purposes of this Draft, an employer is considered to be an entrepreneur, legal entity or natural person who directly and for his own needs hires a person for jobs and under the conditions provided for in this Draft.

Bearing in mind that work in the sense of the Draft is considered to be work outside the employment relationship, the employer has the obligation to submit a written notice to the person who plans to hire about the conditions of employment

The employer has the obligation to inform the employed person in writing about the working conditions, before he / she starts working.

The obligation is considered fulfilled when a notice of working conditions is submitted to the employed person on his profile, which is accessed through the Information System for registration and deregistration of employed persons, which contains information on:

 

  • the employer and the employee;
  • conditions of employment;
  • rights regarding working hours and holidays.

The employer is obliged to pay personal income tax and contributions for obligatory social insurance on the basis of the compensation for work received by the employed person.

Tax is calculated at the rate of 10%, and contributions are calculated and paid at the rate of 25% for mandatory pension and disability insurance, and for health insurance in case of injuries at work and occupational diseases 2%.

 

The purpose of the Draft

The Draft aims to solve the problem of informally and occasionally engaged workers in the field of agriculture, construction, tourism and catering, and household and auxiliary jobs.

The aim of the Draft is to set the legal framework for jobs that are of limited duration (several days a month), by simplifying the method of registration of workers, as well as the calculation and payment of taxes and contributions.