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Source and scope of regulations - 2017    

NOTE: This information has changed since the previous period covered.
  • Labour Law [LL], dated 2005 as last amended in 2017 by Law No. 13/2017
    Consolidated version available in Serbian
    Date: 2017; view website »
  • Act on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, 2004 as last amended with Law No 104/2009
    Date: 2009 (view in NATLEX »)
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): 20
  • Exclusion only applicable to collective dismissals: see definition of collective dismissal: art. 153 LL.
    However, those enterprises are not excluded from the regulation on individual dismissal.

Workers' categories excluded: none
  • Art. 2: "provisions of this law shall apply to employees of public bodies, territorial autonomy bodies and local self-government and public services, unless the law stipulates otherwise".
    Act on Public servants (2005) refers to the application of the general labour law unless it is stipulated otherwise.

Reforms under process
Ongoing discussions on the modernization of the Labour Law in order to reflect EU Law.

Types of employment contracts - 2017    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 6 month(s)

  • Art. 36 LL.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    • Art. 37 LL: labour relations shall be entered into for a period that is set in advance in the following cases: seasonal jobs, project-based work, increase volume of work that will last for a definite term, etc.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
    • Art. 37 LL: no maximum number of successive FTC, but maximum duration of labour relations for a definite term of 24 months.
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)
    • Art. 37 LL. The interruption between two FTCs should be longer than 30 days

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2017    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
  • Art. 180 LL.

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct; worker's capacity; economic reasons
  • Art. 179 refers to "a just cause relating to his/her working ability, behavior and employer's need" and provides an exhaustive list of 9 instances when termination of employment by the employer is authorized.

Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; filing a complaint against the employer; temporary work injury or illness; race; colour; sex; sexual orientation; religion; political opinion; social origin; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; performing military or civil service; language; parental leave; state of health
  • Art. 18 LL: general provision on non discrimination.
    Art. 183 LL: list of prohibited grounds for dismissal.

Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers with family responsibilities
  • * Workers' representatives: art. 188 LL: no dismissal during the term of office.
    * No dismissal during pregnancy, maternity leave, absence for childcare or special care of the child: art. 187 LL.

Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2017    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

  • Art. 185 LL.

Notice period:
  • Art. 189 LL foresees a notice period only for those employees dismissed for lack of performance, i.e. qualifications and skills.
    Notice period is minimum 1 month and maximum 3 months depending on the "duration of the insurance period" (period for which the employee has paid contributions for the retirement insurance), as follows:
    - 1 month for up to 10 years of insurance period;
    - 2 months for 10-20 years of insurance period;
    - 3 months over 20 years of insurance period.

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    • Art. 189 LL

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    • Exception: Trade union must be notified in case of dismissal of trade union member: art. 181 LL.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2017    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    At least:
    1) 10 employees out of a total of 20 to 99 staff employed for an indefinite term, over a period of 30 days;
    2) 10% of employees, out of a total of 100 to 299 staff employed for an indefinite term, over a period of 30 days;
    3) 30 employees out of at least 300 staff employed for an indefinite term, over a period of 30 days;
    4) 20 employees notwithstanding of the number of employees, over a period of 90 days.

    • Art. 153 LL.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    • Art. 154 and 156 LL.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    • Art. 155 and 156 LL.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    • Art. 156 LL.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

    • No criteria listed.
      Art. 155 LL only refers to criteria as one of the elements to be communicated to the workers' representatives for consultation.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    • Art. 155 and 156 LL.

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    • Art. 182 LL: preferential right to re-employment for 6 months.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2017    

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    Severance pay:
    • The provision on severance pay (art. 190) has been deleted from the 2005 Labour Law.
      Redundancy payment:
      • Art. 158 LL established a minimum statutory payment to be paid prior to terminating an employment contract on the grounds that "due to technological, economic or organizational changes a particular job becomes redundant or volume of work be reduced".
        The amount of redundancy payment is to be set out in the contract but shall not be less than the sum of 1/3 of the monthly salary for each full year of service for the first ten years and 1/4 of the salary for each full year of service after 10 years of employment.
      • tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0.33 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 2 years: 0.66 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 4 years: 1.33 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 5 years: 1.66 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 10 years: 3.3 month(s)
      • tenure ≥ 20 years: 5.83 month(s)

      Notes / Remarks
      1) Dismissal based on the worker's conduct or capacity: no statutory severance pay.
      (The provision on severance pay for capacity-based dismissal (art. 190) has been deleted from the 2005 Labour Law.)
      2) Economic dismissal (individual and collective): redundancy payment.

      Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2017    

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      Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

      • Art. 191 LL.

      Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
      Damages in lieu of reinstatement:
      - max. 18 months' salary when the employee does not wish to be reinstated or
      - max. 36 months upon request or the employer or when case the existing circumstances suggest that the continuation of labor relations is not possible.

      • Art. 191, §§ 4-5 LL.

      Reinstatement available: Yes

      • Art. 191 §§ 1-2 LL.
        Note that, when reinstatement is ordered, the employer shall also pay compensation for the lost salary and other emoluments which the employee is legally entitled to.

      Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts

      • Art. 21 of the Law on Organization of Courts (2002): the municipal court has jurisdiction to hear termination of employment disputes at first instance.

      Existing arbitration: Yes

      • Termination of employment disputes can be settled through arbitration: Art. 194 LL and art. 30 Act on Peaceful settlement of Labour Disputes.

      Length of procedure: 6 month(s) (statutory)

      • Art. 195 LL.
        * The legal proceedings may be initiated 30 days after the decision has been served to the employee.
        * The dispute before the court shall be terminated 6 months after initiation of the proceedings at the latest.
        * In case of amicable settlement through arbitration, the decision shall be passed within 10 days :art. 194 LL.

      Source of additional information - 2017    

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      ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158 »