On 25 December 2017 the latest changes and amendments to the Serbian Employment Act will enter into force. Most of the amendments reflect the effort of authorities to eliminate “unregistered employment”, i.e. employment without a written employment agreement and without registering the employees for social security in line with mandatory legal requirements.

One of the changes pertains to the requirement for the employers to register all employees with the Central Registry of Social Security (“CRSS”) before the employee’s first day of employment. This change is introduced primarily in order to combat unregistered employment, which is widespread in Serbia. It was very common for companies who have unregistered employees, and which were subject to labor inspection to present to the inspector employment agreements allegedly concluded on the very day of the inspection. Namely, the previous version of this provision of the Employment Act allowed for a period of 3 days following the conclusion of the Employment Agreement for the employer to register employees with the CRSS. Failure to register employees with the CRSS within the provided deadline is now treated as a misdemeanor, and punishable by a fine of up to EUR 12.500.

Further, one additional requirement for employers which was introduced by the latest changes pertains to an obligation of employers to keep registers of overtime work for all employees. This provision is introduced with the purpose of ensuring that employees are appropriately compensated for all overtime work. Failure to register overtime time work is punishable by a fine of up to 3.000 EUR.

Other amendments pertain to the manner of delivery of warning on existence of termination reasons (Article 180 para 3 of the Employment Act), as well to increasing of fines for breaching the provisions regarding the payment of severance to employees (can amount to approx. 8.500 EUR).

The introduced changes are somewhat limited in scope, leaving the more significant changes in the Serbian employment legislation for next year, when the introduction of a completely new Employment Act is expected. Although the majority of changes it will bring are yet unknown, one of the changes which is expected to be introduced is the prohibition for employers to terminate employment agreements of employees using sick leave.