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Recommendations of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans’ and Social Affairs of the Republic of Serbia regarding the rights and obligations of employees and employers during a state of emergency

Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans` and Social Affairs (hereinafter: „Ministry“) has provided a detailed explanation regarding the rights and obligations of employees and employers during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus in the Republic of Serbia.

Organization of work from home

Employees who work from home in accordance with the Labour Law (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 24/2005, 61/2005, 54/2009, 32/2013, 75/2014, 13/2017 – US decision, 113/2017 and 95/2018 – authentic interpretation, hereinafter:,,Labour Law”) and the Decree on Organizing Work during the State of Emergency („Official Gazette of RS“, no. 31/2929), have the right to salary, as well as employees who work from the company’s premises, but they are not entitled to reimbursement of transportation expenses for coming to and from work, or to compensation of other expenses related to the organization of work in this way.

In cases where the employer cannot arrange work from home, he is obliged to provide all measures of safety and health protection at work.

Conditions of work from home are regulated by a general act of the employer or an employment agreement, i.e. the Decision on sending an employee to work from home, which must have the content prescribed by acts of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Labour Law.

Employed parents with children under 12 years

For employees with children up to 12 years, it is necessary for the employer to enable them to work from home, in accordance with the work plan and schedule that the employer is obliged to determine for each employee.

However, in cases where due to the activity and nature of the work, work from home cannot be organized, the employer is obliged to provide measures of protection and health of employees, as well as to organize shift work in order to minimize the number of employees working simultaneously in one room. Shift work should be organized in accordance with the Article 63 of the Labour Law.

The employer should allow one parent with a child under 12 to work from home, and if the work process of the employer is such that it is impossible to organize such work, it is necessary to organize shift work, so that the work schedule of the employed parent does not match with the work schedule of the other parent also having a work obligation.

An employee who is in self-isolation /quarantine

An employee who is in self-isolation and to whom the competent authority has issued an act (decision or other act) on self-isolation or quarantine is entitled to compensation of salary.

According to the Law on Health Insurance (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 25/2019) the employee is entitled to compensation of salary in case he/she is temporarily prevented from work because of a prescribed measure of mandatory isolation as a carrier, or because of infectious diseases in his environment.

The compensation of salary for the first 30 days of absence shall be paid by the employer, and from the 31st day by the Health Insurance Fund of Republic of Serbia.

Employees in self-isolation or quarantine should contact the employer by telephone and send by e-mail or other electronic way of communication a scanned act of the competent authority, and a certificate of temporary absence for work, as well as remittance for the employee, which may be submitted by a family member or employee, when the reasons why he could not provide it cease to exist.

The right to compensation of salary, according to the Law on Health Insurance shall not be granted to the insured person if he/she intentionally stops healing or if he/she abuses in any other way the right to use absence from work due to temporary impediment to work (for example, violation of self-isolation/quarantine).

The compensation of salary, according to the Law on Health Insurance, is the average salary earned in the previous 12 months prior to the month in which temporary impediment to work occurred, and is determined at 65% of the salary base. The employer can also pay a higher amount of compensation of salary to the employee, if that is agreed by a collective agreement or an employment agreement.

The right to compensation of salary is granted to employees and persons engaged in self-employed activity, but not employed under an out-of-work agreement (unless this agreement also establishes a financial remuneration in the case when the activities for which the agreement was concluded are not performed).

The right of the employee who uses the vacation leave

Depending on the workload, the employer decides about the time of vacation, after consultation with the employee. During the period of vacation leave, i.e. collective vacation with the employer, employee is entitled to compensation of salary, in the amount of the average salary earned in the previous 12 months.

The employee should use his/her vacation leave based on the Decision of the employer by which the employer determined the duration of the vacation leave, in accordance with the entitled number of days for the previous and current year, according to the Labour Law and general acts of the employer.

Discontinuation of work, i.e. reduction of workload, without the fault of the employee (Article 116 of the Labour Law)

If the employer has reduced its workload or has completely stopped working, the employees may be referred to the so-called “forced vacation” for a period of 45 working days, or longer in accordance with the Labour Law, if the consent of the Ministry has been provided.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia, at the proposal of the Ministry, rendered the Conclusion that the decisions on granting consent for sending employees to paid leave longer than 45 working days shall be issued without the obligation of the employer to submit the request for opinion of the representative union established at the level of the Republic of Serbia, with a validity date not later than the date of termination of the state of emergency. The decision will be rendered by the Ministry and delivered electronically to the employers, based on the explained request of the employer and the necessary documentation submitted electronically, with a validity date not later than the day of the state of emergency.

In this case, employees are entitled to an earning of at least 60% of the average earning in the previous 12 months, provided that it cannot be less than the minimum earning.

A collective agreement or a labour rule book and an employment agreement may also determine a higher amount of earning than the one established by the law.

Discontinuation of work in accordance with the Article 116 of the Labour Law can be determined for certain employees, certain work posts or organizational units of the employer based on the decision rendered by the competent authority of the employer and decision for each employee that is sent to “forced vacation” with the right to compensation of salary determined by the Labour Law and the general acts of the employer.

Discontinuation of work due to an order of the competent state authority/employer`s body because safety and protection of life and health was not provided (Article 117 of the Labour Law)

Article 117 of the Labour Law stipulates that the employee is entitled to compensation of salary during the discontinuation of work caused by order of the competent state authority or the competent body of the employer because safety and protection of life and health at work have not been provided, which is a condition for further performance of work without endangering life and health of employees and other persons, but the amount of compensation is not defined by the Labour Law, but is determined and paid in the amount stipulated by the collective agreement/labour rule book and employment agreement.

Discontinuation of work in accordance with the Article 117 of the Labour Law can be determined for certain employees, certain work posts or organizational units of the employer based on the decision rendered by the competent authority of the employer and decision for each employee determining rights and obligations of the employee during such discontinuation of work.

The employee is absent from work due to illness or is on paid leave (Articles 114 and 115 of the Labour Law)

An employee is entitled to compensation of salary during absence from work due to temporary disability to work, at least up to 65% of the average salary, or up to 100% of the employee’s salary in case of an injury at work or occupational disease.

An employee is entitled to compensation of salary in the amount of the average earning in case of paid leave: marriage, childbirth, serious illness of a close family member, death of a close family member, voluntary blood donation, and other legal grounds determined by the general acts of the employer.

Paid leave is determined by the decision of the employer, regulating the rights of employees during paid leave.

Right to unpaid leave (Article 78 of the Labour Law)

In accordance with the Labour Law, an employer may grant an employee leave without earning (unpaid leave), only at the request of the employee. During unpaid leave, the employee shall be entitled to employment rights and obligations, unless otherwise is provided by law, general act or employment agreement.

Unpaid leave is determined by the decision of the employer, regulating the rights of employees during unpaid leave.

Redundancy

An employer who terminates an employee’s employment because he is technologically redundant, shall be obliged to adopt the redundancy program, according to Article 153 of the Labour Law, as well as to pay severance payment to the employees, before the termination of the employment agreement, according to Article 158 of the Labour Law.

If the employer does not pay the severance pay and terminates employment, the inspector will return to work all those employees whose employer did not comply with the provisions of the Labour Law.

The amount of severance pay is determined by a collective agreement, a labour rulebook or an employment agreement, and may not be lower than the sum of one-third of the employee’s earning for each completed year of employment with an employer with whom he/she is entitled to severance pay. The employment relation is terminated by a written Decision that must have the content prescribed by the Labour Law.

For any additional questions and explanations, please contact the Tasic & Partners team by an email .