Termination of employment by employer



The Labour Law (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 24/2005, 61/2005, 54/2009, 32/2013, 75/2014, 13/2017, 113/2017 and 95/2018, the “Law“) provides reasons for termination of employment, among which certainly the most common way of termination of employment is termination of the labour contract by the employer.


When can an employer terminate the labour contract?


The employer may terminate the labour contract of the employee if there is a justified reason for that, which refers to the working ability of the employee and his behaviour, as follows:


  • if he does not achieve the results of his work or does not have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the work on which he works;
  • if he has been convicted of a criminal offense at work or in connection with work;
  • if he does not return to work with the employer within 15 days from the day of expiration of the period of suspension of employment, i.e. unpaid leave.


Violation of work obligation through the fault of the employee


The employer may terminate the labour contract of an employee who, through his own fault, violates the work obligation, as follows:


  • if he unconscientiously or negligently performs work duties;
  • if he abuses his position or exceeds his authority;
  • if he uses the means of work inexpediently and irresponsibly;
  • if he does not use or misuses the provided means or equipment for personal protection at work;
  • if he commits another violation of the work obligation determined by the general act, i.e. the labour contract.


Disrespect for work discipline


The employer may terminate the labour contract of an employee who does not respect work discipline, as follows:


  • if he unjustifiably refuses to perform tasks and executes orders of the employer in accordance with the law;
  • if he does not submit a certificate of temporary incapacity for work
  • if he abuses the right to leave due to temporary incapacity for work;
  • due to coming to work under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants, or the use of alcohol or other intoxicants during working hours, which has or may have an impact on the performance of work;
  • if he provided incorrect information that was decisive for the establishment of the employment relationship;
  • if the employee who works on jobs with increased risk, where a special health ability has been determined as a special condition for work, refuses to be subjected to the assessment of health ability;
  • if he does not respect the work discipline prescribed by the act of the employer, i.e. if his behaviour is such that he cannot continue working for the employer.


In the cases specified by the Law, if the employer considers that there are mitigating circumstances of a particular case or that the violation of work obligations or non-compliance with work discipline is not such that the employee should be fired immediately, he may apply one of the following warning measures:


  • The employer may temporarily dismiss an employee without pay. Such suspension may last from one to 15 working days;
  • The employer may impose a fine of up to 20% of the employee’s basic salary for the month in which the fine was imposed. Suspension of earnings in the name of punishment can last up to three months.
  • The employer may issue a notice announcing the dismissal to the employee. The warning contains allegations that the employer will terminate the employee’s labour contract without re-warning, if he commits the same violation of work obligations or non-compliance with work discipline within the next six months.


The needs of the employer


An employee may be terminated if there is a justified reason for that, which refers to the needs of the employer, as follows:


  • if due to technological, economic or organizational changes the need to perform a certain job ceases or there is a reduction in the scope of work;
  • if he refuses to conclude the annex to the labour contract in accordance with the Law.




Prior to the termination of the labour contract, the Law stipulates the obligation of the employer to warn the employee in writing of the reasons for termination of the labour contract and to leave him a period of at least eight days from the day of delivery of the warning.


In the warning, the employer is obliged to state the grounds for dismissal, the facts and evidence that indicate that the conditions for dismissal have been met and the deadline for responding to the warning.


The employer may terminate the labour contract or impose any of the measures provided by law, if he has previously given written notice regarding deficiencies in his work, instructions and a reasonable deadline for improving work, and the employee does not improve work within the deadline.


The labour contract is terminated by a decision, in writing, and must contain an explanation and instructions on the legal remedy.

The decision must be delivered to the employee in person, at the employer’s premises, i.e. to the address of residence or stay of the employee.


What is not considered justified by the reason for termination of the labour contract


The following shall not be considered a justified reason for termination of the labour contract:


  • temporary incapacity for work due to illness, accident at work or occupational disease;
  • use of maternity leave, leave from work for child care and leave from work for special child care;
  • service or completion of military service;
  • membership in a political organization, trade union, gender, language, nationality, social origin, religion, political or other belief or any other personal characteristic of the employee;
  • acting in the capacity of employee representatives, in accordance with the Law;

addressing the employee to the trade union or bodies responsible for the protection of employment rights in accordance with the law, general act and labour contract.

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