Labour Law [LL], dated 2005 as last amended in 2018 by Law No. 95/2018
Consolidated version available in English
Fecha:7 Dec 2018; ver la pagina web »
Act on Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes, 2004 as last amended with Law No 50/2018
Fecha:29 Mar 2023; ver la pagina web » (ver en NATLEX »)
The Civil Procedure Act (Litigation Law) – Proceedings Arising from Employment (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia" No. 125/04 and 111/2009)
Fecha:9 Nov 2018; ver la pagina web »
The Law on Prevention of Harassment at Work “Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, no. 36/10
Fecha:29 Mar 2023; ver la pagina web »
Tamaño de las empresas excluidas (≤): 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.
Categorías de trabajadores excluidas: ninguna
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.
Ongoing discussions on the modernization of the Labour Law in order to reflect EU Law.
CDD regulados: Si
Article 37 (1) of Labour Code:
An employment contract may be concluded for a definite period of time, for establishment of employment whose duration is predetermined by objective reasons that are justified by the time period or execution of a certain chore, or occurrence of a specific event, during existence of those reasons.
Razones de utilización legítima de CDD: razones materiales y objetivas
See above article 37 (1)
Número máximo de CDD consecutivos: sin restricción
Article 37 only provides limitation of maximum cumulative duration, being silent on the number of successive contracts.
Duración máxima acumulativa de CDD consecutivos: 24mes(es)
(2) An employer may conclude one or more employment contracts referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article on the basis of which the employment relationship with the same employees is concluded for the period that with or without interruptions may not be longer than 24 months.
(3) Interruption shorter than 30 days shall not be considered as an interruption of the period referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph 2 of this Article, an employment contract for a definite period of time may be concluded:
1) If it is necessary for replacement of a temporarily absent employee, until his return;
2) For working on a project whose time is predetermined, no longer than the end of the project;
3) With a foreign citizen, on the basis of a work permit in accordance with the law, no longer than the expiry of the work permit;
4) to perform the activities at a newly established employer registered at the competent authority no longer than one year prior to the moment of conclusion of the employment contract, for a time period not longer than 36 months;
5) with an unemployed person which lacks up to five years to fulfill of one of the preconditions for retirement, no longer than such requirement is fulfilled, in accordance with the regulations on retirement and disability insurance.
Duración maxima del periodo de prueba (en meses): 6 mes(es)
(1) The employment contract may stipulate a probation work for performing one or more associated or related activities determined by the employment contract.
(2) The probation work may last for a maximum of six months.
Excluded from protection against dismissal: No
Article 36 (3)
Prior to the expiration of the time for which the probation work was contracted, the employer or the employee may terminate the employment contract with a notice period which may not be shorter than five working days. Employer shall be obliged to give reasons for termination of employment contract.
Obligación de motivar el despido:
Articles 180 and 180a of Labour Code:
(1) The employer is bound to, prior to cancellation of an employment contract in the case under Article 179, paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Act, warn the employee in writing of the existence of cause for cancelling the employment contract and to leave the worker a time period of not less than eight days from the day of serving of the warning to take a stand on the allegations stated in the warning.
(2)The employer is due to state in the warning, referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, the grounds for dismissal, the facts and evidence which suggest that the conditions for dismissal were met, and the time period for giving a response to the warning.
(3)The warning is served on the employee in the manner prescribed for serving of the decree on cancelling the employment contract referred to in paragraph 185 of this Act.
Employer may terminate the employment contract of the employee referred to in Article 179, paragraph 1, item 1) of this Act, or impose some of the measures under Article 179a, if the worker has previously given written notice regarding the deficiencies in the work performed, guidance and appropriate deadline to enhance work performance, and the employee does not enhance the work performance within the given deadline
Articles 180 and 180a of Labour Code:
Article 179 of Labour Code:
(1) An employer may cancel the employee’s employment contract for just cause which relates to employee’s work ability and his conduct, such as:
i) If the worker does not achieve the work results or does not have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform his duties;
ii) If the worker has been sentenced by a final judgment for a crime in the workplace or related to workplace;
ii) If the worker does not return to work for the employer within 15 days of the expiry of the time period of stay of employment under Article 79 of this Act, i.e. unpaid absence under Article 100 of this Act.
(2) The employer may cancel the employment contract of the employee who commits a breach of a work duty, as follows:
i) If the worker is negligent or reckless in performing the work duty;
ii) If the worker abuses his position or exceeds authority;
iii) If the worker unreasonably and irresponsibly uses means of work;
iv) If the worker does not use or uses inappropriately the allocated resources and equipment for personal protection at work;
v) If the worker commits other breach of work duty as determined by a bylaw or employment contract.
(3) The employer may cancel the employment contract of an employee who does not respect the work discipline, as follows: i) If the worker without just cause refuses to perform work duties and execute the orders of the employer in accordance with the law; (ii) If the worker does not submit a certificate of temporary impairment for work in terms of Article 103 of this Act; iii) If the worker abuses the right to a leave of absence due to temporary impairment for work; iv) If the worker comes to work under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, i.e. uses alcohol or other intoxicating substances during working hours, which has or may have an impact on the work performance; v) If the worker gave incorrect information that were critical for entering into employment relationship; vi) If the worker who works in jobs with higher risk, for which specific health fitness is a special requirement for work, refuses to undergo a health condition test; vii) If the worker does not respect work discipline prescribed by employer’s writ, or if a conduct is such that the worker cannot continue to work for the employer.
(5) Employee’s employment relationship may be terminated if there is a valid reason relating to the employer's needs, as follows: i) If as a result of technological, economic or organizational changes, the need to perform a specific job ceases, or there is a decrease in workload; ii) If the worker refuses to conclude the annex of the contract in terms of Article 171, paragraph 1, items 15) of this Act.
Article 18 of Labour Law provides general grounds for protection against discrimination:
Direct and indirect discrimination of persons seeking employment, as well as the employees, for reasons of sex, birth, language, race, color of skin, age, pregnancy, health condition, i.e. disability, ethnic origin, religion, marital status, family obligations, sexual orientation, political or other belief, social background, financial status, membership in political organizations, trade unions, or any other personal characteristic - is prohibited
Art. 183 of Labour Law provides specific regulations for protection against termination of employment contract in relation to discrimination:
The following shall not be considered as a justified reason for cancelling the employment contract in terms of Article 179 of the present Act: 1) Temporary impairment for work due to illness, accident at work or occupational disease; 2) Use of maternity leave, leave of absence for child care and absence from work due to special child care; 3) Full-term serving or completion of military service; 4) Membership in a political organization, trade union, sex, language, nationality, social background, religion, political or other conviction, or some other personal feature of the employee; 5) Activity as a representative of employees, in conformity with the present Act; 6) Seeking help from a trade union or agencies in charge of protection of employment-related rights, in conformity with the law, bylaw and employment contract.
i) Workers' representatives: article 188 Labour Law: no dismissal during the term of office.
ii) No dismissal during pregnancy, maternity leave, absence for childcare or special care of the child, according to article 187 of Labour Law.
Forma de la notificación del despido al trabajador: escrita
Article 185 (1) of Labour Law: An employment contract is cancelled by a decree in writing which must include explanation of reasons and legal recourse instruction.
Plazo de preaviso:
Article 189 of Labour Law foresees i) a notice period only for those employees dismissed for lack of performance, i.e. qualifications and skills; (ii) 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.
duración de servicio ≥ 6 meses:
duración de servicio ≥ 9 meses:
duración de servicio ≥ 2 años:
duración de servicio ≥ 4 años:
duración de servicio ≥ 5 años:
duración de servicio ≥ 10 años:
duración de servicio ≥ 20 años:
Indemnización sustitutiva de preaviso: Si
Article 189 (1) Labour Law:
An employee whose employment contract has been cancelled due to unsatisfactory work performance, i.e. lack of necessary knowledge and skills in terms of Article 179, paragraph 1, item 1) of this Act, is entitled to a notice period to be determined by a bylaw or employment contract, depending on length of social insurance coverage, but which may neither be shorter than eight, nor longer than 30 days.
Notificación a la administración: No
Notificación a los representantes de los trabajadores: No
Exception: Trade union must be notified in case of dismissal of trade union member: art. 181 LL.
Aprobación de la administración publica o de organismos judiciales: No
Acuerdo de los representantes de los trabajadores: No
Article 153 of Labour Law provides:
(1) The employer is bound to develop a solution-finding program of employee redundancy (hereinafter: the program), after finding that due to technological, economic or organizational changes within a period of 30 days the need for work of employees hired for an indefinite period of time shall cease, relating at least to: i) 10 employees with an employer who employs more than 20, and less than 100 employees engaged for an indefinite period of time; ii) 10% of employees with an employer engaging a minimum of 100, and a maximum of 300 employees engaged for an indefinite period of time; iii) 30 employees with an employer employing more than 300 employees engaged for an indefinite period of time.
(2) The program shall also be developed by an employer who determines that there will be no more need for work of at least 20 employees within a 90 day period, on the ground of reasons referred to in paragraph 1 of the present Article, regardless of the total number of employer’s employees
Consultación previa con los sindicatos (representantes de los trabajadores): Si
Article 154 of Labour Law provides that before developing the program, an employer is obliged to, in cooperation with the representative trade union at the employer, and the republic's organization in charge of employment, take appropriate measures for new employment of redundant employees.
Article 155 (3) provides that the employer is bound to deliver the proposal of the program to the trade union referred to in Article154 of the present Act and to the republic's organization in charge of employment, not later than eight days from the day of the proposal of the program has been developed, in order to obtain an opinion.
Article 156 (1) of Labour Law also provides that the trade union referred to in Article 154 of the present Act is bound to deliver the opinion regarding the proposal of the program, within 15 days from the day of serving of the program's proposal.
Notificación a la administración: Si
Article 155 (3) of Labour Law provides that the employer is bound to deliver the proposal of the program to the trade union referred to in Article154 of the present Act and to the republic's organization in charge of employment, not later than eight days from the day of the proposal of the program has been developed, in order to obtain an opinion.
Article 156 (2): The republic's organization in charge of employment is bound to, within the time limit specified in paragraph 1 of the present Article, deliver to the employer the proposal of measures with the aim of preventing or reducing, as much as possible, the number of cancellations of employment contracts, i.e. ensure retraining, additional training, self-employment and other measures aimed at finding new employment for redundant employees.
(3) The employer is obliged to consider and take into account the proposals of the republic's organization in charge of employment and the opinion of the trade union, and to inform them about his stance within eight days.
Notificación a los representantes de los trabajadores: Si
Art. 156 LL.
Aprobación de la administración publica o de organismos judiciales: No
Acuerdo de los representantes de los trabajadores: No
Reglas de prioridad para los despidos colectivos (consideraciones sociales, edad, años de servicio): No
Although there is no specific criteria listed by the law, Article 155 of Labour Law provides that the solution-finding program must include: i) Number, qualification structure, age, and years of insurance coverage of redundant employees, and jobs they perform; ii) Criteria for establishing the employee redundancy.
Obligación del empleador de considerar solucionés alternativas al despido (transferencia, formación...): Si
Art. 155 and 156 LL.
Reglas de prioridad para la re-contratación: Si
Article 182 of Labour Law provides:
(1) If the employer cancels the employment contract of the employee in the case under Article 179, paragraph 5, item 1) of the present Article, the employer may not hire another person to perform the same job activities within three months from the day of termination of employment relationship, except in the case referred to in Article 102, paragraph 2 of this Act.
(2) If need arises, prior to the expiry of time limit specified in paragraph 1 of the present Article, for somebody to perform the same job activities, the employee whose employment relationship had been cancelled has the priority for entering into employment contract.
Indemnización por despido:
The provision on severance pay (art. 190) has been deleted from the 2005 Labour Law.
duración de servicio ≥ 6 meses: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 9 meses: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 1 año: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 4 años: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 5 años: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 10 años: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 20 años: 0 mes(es)
Indemnización por despido por razones económicas:
Article 158 of Labour Law establishes 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". Although the text of the law uses the word severance, in this case it is only paid in the event of redundancy. 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.
(1) The employer shall, prior to canceling the employment contract, pursuant to Article 179, paragraph 5, item 1) of this Act, pay to the employee a severance pay in accordance with this Article.
(2)The amount of severance pay referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article is determined by a bylaw or employment contract, provided that it may not be lower than the sum of the third of the employee's salary for each full year of work in employment relationship with the employer where he exercises the right to severance pay.
(3)When determining the amount of the severance pay, the time spent in employment relationship with the employer's predecessor in case of status change and change of employer within the meaning of Article 147 of this Act, as well as time spent at affiliates of the employer in accordance with the law, are also taken into account.
duración de servicio ≥ 6 meses: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 9 meses: 0 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 1 año: 0.33 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 2 años: 0.66 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 4 años: 1.33 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 5 años: 1.66 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 10 años: 3.3 mes(es)
duración de servicio ≥ 20 años: 5.83 mes(es)
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.
Compensación por despido injustificado - libre determinación de la Corte: No
Article 191 (1) provides that in case an employment relationship is terminated unlawfully, reinstatement and/or compensation might be determined by a court of law according to the follow criteria:
(1) If a court determines during the proceedings that the employee's employment relationship terminated unlawfully, the court shall, at the request of the employee, decide that the employee shall be reinstated, compensated for damage, and that his contributions for compulsory social insurance shall be paid for the period in which the employee has not been working.
Compensation for unfair dismissal - Are there legal limits?: Si
Article 191 provides
(2) The compensation of damage referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article is determined in the amount of lost salary which includes the corresponding tax and contributions in accordance with the law, but does not include the compensation for meals during work, subsidy for the use of annual leave, bonuses, awards and other earnings based on contribution to business success of the employer.
(5) If the court, during proceedings, establishes that the employment relationship ceased unlawfully, and the employee does not seek reinstatement, the court shall, at the request of the employee, bind the employer to compensate the employee for damages in the amount of up to 18 employee's salaries, at most, depending of time spent in employment relationship with the employer, the employee's age and number of dependent family members.
(6) If the court, during proceedings, determines that the employment relationship ceased unlawfully, but during the proceedings the employer proves that the circumstances exist which reasonably indicate that the continued employment, taking into account all the circumstances and interests of both sides in the dispute, is not possible, the court shall deny request of the employee to be reinstated and order the employer to compensate employee for damages in the double amount of the damages determined under paragraph 5 of this Article.
(7) If the court does determine that there were grounds for termination of employment relationship, but that the employer acted contrary to the provisions of the law which prescribe the procedure for termination of employment, the court shall reject the request of the employee to be reinstated, and shall order the employer to compensate the employee's damages in the amount of up to six salaries.
(8) Salary under paragraphs 5 and 7 of this Article is considered to be the salary the employee earned in the month preceding the month in which his employment relationship was terminated.
(9) Compensation from paragraphs 1, 5, 6 and 7 of this Article is reduced by the amount of earnings that the employee earned on the basis of work, after termination of employment relationship.
Compensación por despido injustificado - límites legales (techo calculado en meses o método de calculo):
See explanation about legal ceilings of article 191 above.
Posibilidad de readmisión: Si
See explanation on legal ceilings of Article 191 above.
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.
Conciliación previa obligatoria: No
The only mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution System in Serbia is the Workplace Mediation: This kind of mediation is regulated by The Law on Prevention of Harassment at Workplace of 2010 . Allegations of mobbing against co-employees or mid-level management have to be first submitted workplace mediation and the procedures should be quick. The request can be made by the employee, trade union, workers representatives, committee on occupational safety and health members, with the consent of the employee, who cannot be exposed to any disciplinary measures or dismissal (Article 27 of the Law). The mediator can be chosen from the List of mediators kept with the employer or by the social partners or the state, like the National Agency for Peaceful Settlements in Labour Disputes . According to Article 13, the employee must exhauste the possibilities of amicable resolution through workplace mediation before seeking for reddress in a court, except in the cases where the charges are pressed against the employer or against a natural person responsible for the enterprise. In case mediation fails or the plaintiff is not satisfied with its outcome, it is possible to initiate a court procedure. Also, if the mediation procedure shows that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that harassment has been in fact committed, the employer shall take measures to prevent new situations and to hold the person resposible accountable.
Corte o Tribunal competente: jurisdicción ordinaria
Article 21 of the Law on Organization of Courts (2002): the civil (municipal) court has jurisdiction to hear termination of employment disputes at first instance.
According to Labour Law, articles 195 and 196, an employee or trade union empowered by the employee may initiate legal proceedings before a competent court against a decision violating the employee’s right or upon becoming aware of violation of such right, in 90 days to 3 years, depending on the subject of the claim. Labour disputes are inserted in the civil courts´jurisdiction, except when related to discrimination and mobbing, which shall be analysed by Higher Courts directly. Labour disputes in civil courts are subjected to specific regulations of Civil Procedure Act (Litigation Law).
-Workplace Arbitration: According to Article 194 of Labour Code and article 30 of The Law on Peaceful (Amicable) Settlement of Labour Disputes, parties can turn to arbitration to resolve individual labour disputes arising from violation of rights and the regulations for that shall be provided by rulebooks or employment contracts, that must describe possible means of consensual conflicts resolution means. The arbitrator shall be consensually agreed by the parties in dispute from the ranks of experts in the field that is the subject of dispute During the arbitration proceedings, all the actions related to termination of employment contract shall be suspended. The decision is binding
- Arbitration at the National Agency for the Peaceful Settlement of Labour Disputes: The procedure is initiated by filing a joint or individual motion to the Agency. If the motion is filed by one party, the Agency immediately submits it to the other party for acceptance which is to be acknowledged in 3 days. If the acceptance is received, the parties mutually select the arbitrator or let the Agency Director appoint one. The ruling must be passed after no longer than 30 days after the initial hearing and cannot be appealed against, except in very specific cases where ancillary remedies might be used to challenge the decision in a cout. Decision becomes valid and is enforced on the day when it is delivered to the parties in dispute.
Duración del procedimiento: 6mes(es) (statutory)
Article 194 of Labour Law: In case of amicable dispute resolution, a decision shall nbe provided in 10 days.
Art. 195 Labour Law:
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.
Carga de la prueba: empleador
According to article 188 of Labour Law, the burden of proof in most cases related to termination of employment contract belongs to the employer. Likewise, for cases regarding discrimination (Labour Code Article 23).