Serbia: Labor relations during the State of Emergency

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published on 20 March 2020 | reading time approx. 1 minute

 

Pursuant to the Decision on the Declaration of State of Emergency (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 29/2020, hereinafter referred to as the “Decision”), which entered into force on 16 March 2020, due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, the Government of the Republic оf Serbia adopted the Decree on Organization of Work of Employers during State of Emergency ("Official Gazette of the RS", No. 31/2020, hereinafter: "Decree"). It regulates the special manner and organization of work of employers in the territory of the Republic of Serbia during the declared State of emergency.

 

 

The Decree prescribes the duty of all employers in the territory of the Republic of Serbia to enable the work of their employees outside the premises of the employer (remote work or work from home), at all work positions where such work can be organized, in accordance with the general acts of the employer or employment contracts.

 
If there are employers who did not regulate work outside the premises of the employer in their general acts (e.g. by Employment Rulebook) or by employment contract, and the organization of work of a particular employer enables such work, the employer may, by Decision, allow employees to perform work outside the premises of the employer.

 
The Decree also provides rules for situations in which the nature of the activity performed by the Employer is such that it is not possible to organize work outside the premises of the employer (e.g. production facility, office cleaning, reception desk):

  • The employer is obliged, if possible, to organize work in shifts, so the minimum number of employees performs their work at the same time in one room;
  • the employer is obliged to allow all business meetings to be held electronically, or via other appropriate means (video link, video call, etc.);
  • the employer is obliged to postpone business trips in the country and abroad, in accordance with the decision of the competent state authority on the ban, i.e. temporary restriction of entry into the country and general movement.

 
Further, to ensure the protection and health of employees, other engaged personnel and third parties, the employer is obliged to provide all general, special and emergency measures relating to the hygienic safety of facilities and persons in accordance with the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 15/2016. The Decree stipulates that sufficient quantities of protective equipment should be provided for employees who are in direct contact with clients or share workplaces, in accordance with special regulations.

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