Remote Work in Serbia – FAQ
Remote Work in Serbia – FAQ
More and more companies are adopting work-from-home policies. What has been a necessary consequence of the pandemic has shown its benefits for the employers, both in terms of increased productivity and savings from not needing to rent premises. Below are some of the most common questions we encounter from clients that consider remote work options:
1. Is every employee qualified to work outside the employer’s premises?
In principle, yes. The only limitation is that working outside the employer’s premises can be contracted only for those jobs that are not dangerous or harmful to the health of the employee or other persons and that do not endanger the natural environment.
Under the Serbian Labor Act, it is necessary to conclude the employment agreement (or annex the existing one) providing that the work will be performed outside of the employer’s premises.
2. Does work outside the employer’s premises imply work exclusively from the employee’s residence?
No. Work outside the employer’s premises includes any manner of work outside the office space, including also work from home (together referred to as remote work or teleworking). Therefore, it is advisable to specify which manner of work is contracted under the employment agreement.
3. Is there an obligation for the employer to reimburse transportation costs?
Bearing in mind that there are no costs of arrival and departure from work while the employee works digitally, the employer has no obligation to reimburse the transportation costs. However, in case an employee comes to the employer’s premises to perform any job assignment (e.g. attend the meeting, etc.), the employer shall reimburse the costs of public transportation tickets for each day employee was present in the office.
4. Who shall bear the costs of internet access and electricity consumption?
The costs of remote work (internet access, electricity consumption etc.) have to be borne by the employer, and the manner of their reimbursement should be stipulated under the employment agreement (although the minimum amount is not provided under the law).
According to the official opinion of the Ministry of Finance dated 12 November 2013, these costs are taxable at the rate of 10% (personal income tax) and the employer shall pay this tax.
5. Is there an obligation of the employer to provide work equipment (e.g. laptop, mouse, keyboard etc.)?
The employer has to procure, install and maintain work equipment for performing work outside of the office, and the employee is obliged to adequately use this equipment. On the other hand, if the employee uses his own means of work, the employer is obliged to reimburse the costs for their use.
6. Is the employer obliged to reimburse the costs of a meal?
Yes, the employer is obliged to reimburse the costs of a meal during remote work, in the amount stipulated by the Employment Rulebook or employment agreement.
7. How is the employee’s work supervised? Is video surveillance allowed?
The employment agreement must determine the employer’s manner of monitoring employees’ performance while working remotely. Therefore, the specific way of supervision will depend on the provisions stipulated under the employment agreement.
However, in order to respect the privacy of the employee, in our view, certain ways of supervision, such as video surveillance at home, would not be allowed.
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.
Radovan Grbović, Partner
Kristina Pavlović, Associate
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