As of 1 July 2018, the Serbian Government began applying newly adopted Amendments to the Financial Support to Families with Children Act and bylaws adopted based on this Act, which contain, among others, changes regarding the procedure for payment of maternity leave allowance, child nursing allowance and special child nursing allowance.
Simplification of Allowance Payment Procedure
As before, the Government bears the costs of these allowances. However, one step in the allowance payment procedure is removed, and instead of reimbursing allowance costs to employers who had previously paid them to their employees, the Government is now paying such allowance to employees’ accounts directly.
Additionally, in order to be entitled to maternity leave allowance, child nursing allowance or special child nursing allowance, employees must submit allowance applications by themselves, instead of through employers.
Maximum Monthly Allowance Amount
Furthermore, the maximum monthly allowance amount has been reduced – newly enacted changes state that it cannot be higher than three average salaries in Serbia, regardless of the level of actual earnings, stipulated by the Serbian office of statistics on the day of the application.
From employers’ perspective, these amendments have simplified the procedure for payment of maternity leave allowance, child nursing allowance and special child nursing allowance, since their administrative obligations have been reduced to a minimum. However, public reaction to these changes has not been positive as they perceive them to be restrictive and reductive for employees’ rights.
In order to address this, it is expected that the Government will propose new amendments to this Act aimed at taking middle ground between the employers and employees.