Serbia Will Soon Enact New Labor Law

 

The Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans’ Affairs, and Social Affairs (“Ministry”) is preparing a draft of a new Labor Law (“Law”) which will be proposed to the National Assembly after a public debate.

 

The intention of the proponents is to improve labor law in Serbia by proposing regulations that will bring with it a multitude of novelties.

 

REASONS FOR THE NEW LAW

 

Apparently, the main reason for passing the new Law is the need to harmonize domestic legislation with European Union standards, i.e. harmonization with business needs, and above all to enable greater flexibility in the division of labor.

 

Also, undeclared work and the gray economy are still a problem that exists and that the new regulations want to solve.

 

WHAT DOES THE NEW LAW BRING?

 

At the center of the new Law are employees, i.e. their rights and obligations. The intention of the proponents is to correct the shortcomings of the current regulation and improve the position of employees.

 

The new Law will exclude the abuse of employment agreement, because the fixed-term employment agreement will be limited to one year, or twice for six months. After one year of fixed-term employment, the employee must be offered a solution for permanent employment.

 

In addition, the new Law reduces the duration of probation. According to the valid regulations, the trial work can be contracted for a period not longer than 6 months, while according to the new regulations, that period will be limited to a maximum of 3 months. This additionally protects the interests of the employee.

 

Furthermore, the minimum wage will be defined so that it must cover the minimum consumer basket, and the per diems for overtime work will be increased, as well as work on Sundays and holidays.

The intention of the proposers is to cancel the work on Sundays unless it is about transactions that are necessary for the functioning of the state and will have to be paid 300 percent.

 

The new legal proposal also defines a much higher level of protection for the most vulnerable categories of employees, i.e. women, pregnant women, women with children as well as single parents.

 

The Law introduces the definition of teleworking for the first time. Namely, there is no definition in the current law, nor is there a distinction made between teleworking and working from home.

In that sense, the proponent went a step further by settling delicate issues related to the supervision of the work of employees working remotely.

 

It is also noticeable that the proposal of the new Law is more extensive because it consists of over 370 articles.

 

The reason for that lies in the fact that the matter of Labor Law is regulated in a comprehensive way. Namely, the new Law will, in addition to what is regulated by the current Labor Law, also regulate the areas from the Law on Agency Employment, Strike, Inspection Supervision, and Peaceful Resolution of Labor Disputes.

 

The new model, therefore, represents a kind of codification of labor legislation, which is an important turn.