Labour rights

Sub-regional network of Labour Dispute Agencies meet in Serbia

The ILO project Economic and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP) organized the third Annual Meeting of the Sub-regional Network of Agencies for Amicable Settlement of Labour Disputes on 4-6 July, 2018 in Arandjelovac, Serbia. The meeting brought together directors of bodies for peaceful settlement of labour disputes and labour conciliators from Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with the view of discussing legislative trends, sharing case management experiences and identifying future up-skilling needs.

News | 19 July 2018

©Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes of Republic of Serbia

Employment and Social Affairs Platform (ESAP)  is a sub-regional project financed by the European Commission in the amount of 3 Mio Euro and jointly implemented by ILO and Regional Cooperation Council in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo**, Montenegro, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. ESAP aims to strengthen regional cooperation and institutional capacities of administrations, employers’ and workers’ organizations, enabling them to develop and effectively implement labour market and social policy reforms in the EU accession process.

Realization of collective and individual labour and socio-economic rights in the Western Balkan countries is a pre-condition for continued social consolidation and social convergence on the path to the EU membership. Amicable settlement of labour disputes (ASLD) is an effective extra-judicial means of ensuring the attainment of those rights and inclusive access to justice in a faster and cost-efficient way. ESAP supports the development of mechanisms for ASLD so that it becomes a viable option for workers and employers. 

The project facilitates an interactive sharing of experience and good practices through the creation of a sub-regional Network of Agencies for Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes in CEE countries and the establishment of a sub-regional case database. An Inter-Agency Memorandum of Cooperation signed in November 2017 formalized the Network, and laid the ground for systematic multilateral cooperation  and cross-border transfer of know-how among its members.  

Mr. Zoran Djordjevic, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of Serbia stated that the main task of the Agency in Serbia is to provide an efficient, fast and free access to justice through making ASLD available to workers and employers. “The Government and the Ministry want to encourage workers to be much more assertive and to openly address problems arising in the workplace with their employers, as well as to raise the awareness and the responsiveness of the employers when it comes to the respect of labour rights” said minister Djordjevic. 

He emphasized the significance of the tripartite social dialogue and added that the Agency has got the leading role in the process of harmonization of industrial relations, as the only national institution specialized in settlement of collective labour disputes.

The meeting covered a variety of topics relevant for the enhancement of amicable settlement of labour disputes in the region, including harmonization of legislation and practice among the Network members and best ways to manage difficult cases. The event benefited from the outstanding experience of Mr. Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director of the US Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

*Republika Srpska
**as defined by the UN Security Council Resolution 1244.