Finally Revealed! Everything You Must Know About Posting Serbian Workers To Germany! Here Are Answers To 4 Most Common Concerns In Practice
Everything you need to know about posting of workers! Find out the answers to the 4 most common questions in practice
The free movement of workers is one of the four freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the European Union. It implies that citizens of the European Union can be employed in any member state, and any discriminatory restriction against them is prohibited.
It is known that the Republic of Serbia is not a member of the European Union, so this principle does not apply to its citizens. However, the Republic of Serbia has concluded bilateral agreements with countries that are appealing to our economy, and in this way created the possibility for our companies to be included in European economic flows.
Such is the bilateral agreement on the posting of workers concluded with the Federal Republic of Germany – which is the only bilateral agreement of this type that our country has concluded. This cooperation represents a strong incentive for our economy in the direction of increasing competitiveness, growth of economic activities, and greater business efficiency. Therefore, in the rest of the article, we will try to give as clear guidelines as possible regarding this cooperation and provide a manual for companies.
What exactly is the posting of workers?
The posting of workers represents an international agreement between two countries on sending workers to work in one of them. In principle, it comes down to a specific type of business cooperation between companies from the territory of one country, whose employees, based on a contract with a company from another country, perform work in the other country.
As mentioned, the Republic of Serbia has a bilateral agreement of this type only with the Federal Republic of Germany. This agreement refers to the posting of workers on the basis of a service contract – and is primarily related to the construction activity and activities related to it (assembly, insulation, etc.).
Who can apply for it?
A company that is based in Serbia, and is registered to perform the activity for which the posting of workers is allowed, can apply for the posting of workers. The company must have a registered branch office in the Federal Republic of Germany (or at least a confirmation from the competent authority in the Federal Republic of Germany that it has initiated the procedure for opening a branch office), as well as a service contract with a partner from the territory of the European Union.
In addition, in order to be able to apply for the posting of workers, a company must meet the following criteria:
- To have a minimum of two regular annual financial reports submitted to the Serbian Business Registers Agency;
- That the total business income has a minimum of 10% of the realized business income in the Republic of Serbia (starting from August 28, 2022, this will amount to 25%);
- That its bank account was not blocked for more than 14 days continuously in the period of one year before submitting the application;
- To refer to temporary work abroad a maximum of 75% of the total number of employees according to the report of the Central Register of Compulsory Social Insurance on the day of submission of the application; and
- To have a total income of at least 12,000,000.00 dinars shown in the regular annual financial report submitted to the Serbian Business Registers Agency.
It should also be borne in mind that the number of posted workers to the Federal Republic of Germany is limited. At the end of each period (which lasts from October 1 of the current year to September 30 of the following year), the German Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs informs about the maximum number of posted workers for the next period (the so-called contingent).
What does the procedure for applying for participation in contingent distribution look like?
The request for participation in the distribution of contingents is submitted to the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia. You can find the request form on the portal of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and it is necessary to include:
- Photocopy of proof of open branch office in the Federal Republic of Germany;
- A photocopy of the service contract in German with a translation into Serbian, certified by an authorized court interpreter for the German language.
It should be noted that the Serbian Chamber of Commerce may request additional documentation from the applicant in order to determine the fulfillment of the above-mentioned criteria. In principle, if the applicant meets all the necessary criteria, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce will give him approval for participation in the distribution of contingents, after which the second phase of this procedure will start.
What are the next steps?
After receiving approval for participation in the distribution of contingents, the company begins the procedure of posting its employees to work in the Federal Republic of Germany – obtaining work permits and visas for the purpose of employment based on the posting of workers.
In order to obtain work permits for employees, the consent and accompanying documentation are sent by mail or in person to the Labor Agency in the Federal Republic of Germany. As it is a procedure before foreign authorities, we will not write about this part of the procedure in more detail.
After successfully obtaining work permits, work visas need to be obtained. Appointments for visa applications are scheduled via the website of the German Consulate. If 5 or more workers are referred, it is possible to make an appointment at the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia in an expedited procedure.
To obtain a visa for each worker who received a work permit, it is necessary to submit the following documents:
- 1 Videx application form;
- Passport and 1 photocopy (with all relevant pages);
- 2 photos;
- Permit for workers and 1 photocopy;
- Employer’s confirmation of employment;
- Proof of professional qualification and 1 photocopy;
- Listing from pension and disability insurance;
- Certificate of sufficient health insurance;
- Administrative fee (35 euros for a visa for a stay of up to 3 months; 75 euros for a visa for a stay of more than 3 months).
After obtaining the visa, the worker can go to work in the Federal Republic of Germany – for the period for which the work permit and visa were issued.
P.S. Bearing in mind the complexity of the procedure explained above, the authority of the competent authorities to request additional documentation (can go back and forth as long as they are not satisfied!), and the fact that part of the procedure takes place before foreign authorities, it is invariably needed that you make sure, before submitting a request with supporting documents, to consider all facets of your case carefully to prevent any negative eventualities that may hinder the process and make it costly, and in certain cases even unsuccessful.