ALERT – New Rulebook for Employers to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

July 13, 2020

ALERT – New Rulebook for Employers to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

July 13, 2020

Miloš Velimirović

Miloš Velimirović

Partner

Kristina Pavlović

Kristina Pavlović

Associate

The Ministry of Labor has adopted a new set of rules for employers, with respect to COVID-19 epidemic. Namely, the new Rulebook on preventive measures for safe and healthy work to prevent the occurrence and spread of an epidemic of infectious diseases (“Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia” no. 94/2020, “Rulebook”) applies to all workplaces where job is performed, except for the field jobs and working from home.

Bearing in mind that Serbia still deals with COVID-19, this Rulebook imposes detailed obligations for both employers and employees, in order to prevent further spreading of the disease within the workplaces. In the next few lines, we will present the most significant obligations prescribed by the Rulebook.

 

Obligations for Employers

 

  • In accordance with current regulations governing safety and health at work, the employer shall adopt a Plan for the implementation of measures to prevent the occurrence and spread of epidemic of infectious diseases as the integral part of the Risk Assessment Act;
  • Prior to work commencement, the employer is obliged to provide written instructions on measures and procedures for the prevention of an infectious disease, containing also the information on the symptoms of the disease;
  • If possible, in case the work is not organized in shifts, the employer has to redistribute working hours by introducing the second or third shift with a smaller number of employees;
  • Set of obligations related to hygiene and disinfection of work premises, supplying employees with sufficient amounts of soap, towels, running water and alcohol-based hand sanitizers, organizing regular removal of waste and garbage etc.

In addition to the above-stated, in case an employee is infected, the employer has to ensure the application of different preventive measures (procedures for entering and exiting the premises, reducing the number of contacts among employees, etc.) in order to protect the health of all other employees.

 

 

Obligations for Employees

 

The Rulebook also establishes various obligations for employees, in particular to:

  • implement all preventive measures in order to preserve his/her health, as well as the health of their colleagues;
  • purposefully use the prescribed means and equipment for personal protection at work;
  • take care of personal hygiene by washing hands regularly and correctly and keep personal clothes separate from means and equipment for personal protection at work and working clothes;
  • inform the employer in case of symptoms of disease and about any irregularity or harms that could endanger safety and health in the workplace etc.

 

Although some of the mentioned rules are a bit vague, in general this Rulebook sets important guidelines with the respect to prevention of COVID-19. Still, there is no regulation governing remote work, which is still common among many legal entities operating in Serbia.

The Rulebook will enter into force on 11 July 2020, and all employers have to adopt the Implementation Plan within 30 days as of said date. Otherwise, the employer may be fined from 800,000 RSD up to 1,000,000 RSD.

 

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.

 

Contact:

Miloš Velimirović, Partner
milos.velimirovic@sog.rs

Kristina Pavlović, Associate
kristina.pavlovic@sog.rs

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