COVID-19 – Simplified Procedure for Directing Employees on Leave During Crisis

March 30, 2020

COVID-19 – Simplified Procedure for Directing Employees on Leave During Crisis

March 30, 2020

The Serbian Government enacted a Conclusion by which the procedure for directing employees to a leave of absence that exceeds 45 days has been simplified, thereby providing much-needed relief for employers that intended to use this mechanism in dealing with COVID-19 disease and its impact on market conditions.

Article 116 of the Serbian Employment Act stipulates that an employer, in wake of interruption of work or decreased volume of work, may direct an employee to a leave of absence up to 45 days during which the employee is entitled to receive a compensation of salary amounting to at least 60% of the average salary in the 12 preceding months, on the condition that it may not be lower than the minimum salary determined by applicable laws and regulations. A higher salary may be determined by a collective agreement, employers’ bylaws or an employment agreement.

However, if the aforementioned leave of absence period exceeds 45 days, an employer has to seek prior approval of the Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs (hereinafter “the Minister”). Before approving such a request, the Minister is obliged to demand an opinion of the representative trade union of the branch or activity established at the state level.

During the state of emergency, this procedure proved to be inefficient and presented a cause for uncertainty among employers for a longer period than necessary. In realization of this fact, the Serbian Government enacted a Conclusion by which the obligation of the Minister to demand an opinion from the representative trade union of the branch or activity established at the state level has been abolished during the state of emergency.

Furthermore, requests by employers for extending a period of the aforementioned leave beyond 45 days to the Minister will be filed electronically, as will the decisions issued upon such requests accordingly.

 

This text is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Should you require any additional information, feel free to contact us.

 

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