Table of Contents

Serbia

Table of Contents

Currency

Serbian dinar (RSD)

Payroll Frequency

Monthly

Employer Taxes

16.15%

About Serbia

The separation of the six republics of the old Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s led to the creation of Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006, Serbia became a sovereign state after Montenegro declared independence. Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, ranks among the largest and oldest citiеs in southeastern Europe.

Serbia has a mixed climate owing to its varied geographical terrain of mountainous regions and low lying plains. In the north, the climate is more continental, with cold winters, and hot, humid summers along with well-distributed rainfall patterns. In the south, summers and autumns are drier, and winters are relatively cold, with heavy inland snowfall in the mountains.

Ethnic Serbs form the vast majority of its population, followed by Hungarians, Roma and Bosniaks at 3% or less, each. The main language spoken is Serbian, and although it is formally a secular state, the vast majority of its population identifies as Orthodox Christian.

Employment Relationship

• Permanent Employment

Employment contracts concluded for indefinite term are considered permanent. Contracts that are not made in writing are also considered to be made for indefinite term. They can include a trial period. Employees are entitled to paid leave, social insurance, healthcare, material security during temporary unemployment, etc.

• Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts

Employment contracts can be concluded for a certain period of time to establish an employment relationship whose duration is determined in advance by objective reasons that are justified by the deadline or the execution of a certain job or the occurrence of a certain event, for the duration of those needs. The duration of such contracts cannot exceed 24 months, including renewals, except under certain circumstances. If a fixed-term employment contract is concluded contrary to the provisions of the law or if the employee remains working for the employer for at least 5 working days after the end of the period for which the contract was concluded, the employment relationship is considered to be based on an indefinite period. 

• Temporary Employment Contratcs

Employers in Serbia can hire temporary employees for performing temporary and occasional tasks under a written contract. They can also use temporary employment agencies to hire temporary staff. Such agencies must have a permit to provide their services. The permit is issued for a period of 5 years. The total number of temporary employees cannot be more than 10% of the employer's workforce. Temporary employees have the right to the same working conditions as comparable employees at the user employer's workplace, such as overtime pay, duration and schedule of work, safety and health, rest breaks, elements of wages, etc. The agency cannot assign a fixed-term employee who was previously in a fixed-term employment relationship with the same user employer for a total duration of more than 24 months. Temporary employment agencies cannot be used to hire staff to replace striking employees or redundant employees or for the purpose to assigning the employees to another agency.

Probationary Period

Indefinite term employment contracts can include probationary periods of up to 6 months. During probation, employers can terminate the contract by giving at least 5 days' notice with a justified cause. Employees who do not demonstrate adequate work and professional skills during the trial period will have their contract terminated on the day of expiry of the term specified in the employment contract.

Working Hours

Full time work is 40 hours per week or 8 hours a day. A general act can establish that shorter work week than 40 hours per week, but not shorter than 36 hours per week. For employees under 18 years of age, working hours must not exceed 35 hours a week or 8 hours a day. For employees working in particularly difficult, strenuous and health-damaging jobs, working hours are reduced in proportion to the harmful effect of working conditions on employees' health and work ability, and by a maximum of 10 hours per week.  The schedule of working hours within the working week is determined by employers. Employers can also redistribute working time of employees such that in a period of 6 months their average is not longer than the contracted working time, when the nature of the activity requires it. In case of redistribution of working hours, working hours cannot last longer than 60 hours per week. Redistribution of working time is not considered overtime. 

Holidays / PTO

• Statutory Holidays

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• Paid Annual Leave

Employees in Serbia are entitled to paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks. Employees are also entitled to an additional 5 days of paid leave per year. They acquire the right to use annual leave in the calendar year after 1 month of continuous employment. Continuous work also includes the time of temporary incapacity for work. Annual leave can be used all at once or in 2 or more parts. If an employee uses annual leave in parts, the first part is used for at least 2 working weeks continuously during the calendar year, and the rest until June 30 of the following year at the latest.  Employees cannot waive the right to annual leave, nor can that right be denied or replaced by monetary compensation, except in the case of termination of the employment relationship. 

• Sick Leave

Employees are entitled to paid sick leave of up to 30 days a year. They must provide a medical certificate within 3 days from the end date of temporary incapacity. They are paid compensation for the leave as follows: General illness or injury – 65% of the average salary in the previous 12 months  Injury at work or occupational disease – 100% of the average salary in the previous 12 months. 

• Maternity Leave

Serbia grants a maternity and childcare leave totaling 365 days, starting at the earliest 45 days, and as necessary, 28 days before the expected date of childbirth. Maternity leave lasts up to 3 months from the day of childbirth. If a mother is unable to take leave or dies, the father of the child becomes eligible for the leave. Maternity leave is still granted in case of stillbirth or the child dies before the end of the maternity leave.  During maternity leave and childcare leave, an employed woman, or father of a child, has the right to compensation equal to average salary in the last 18 months. The minimum maternity benefit is the minimum monthly wage.  Pregnant employees have the right to paid leave from work during the day in order to perform health examinations related to pregnancy, provided they inform their employers in a timely manner. They cannot be employed at night or in overtime work or in jobs that endanger their life. 

• Paternity Leave

In Serbia, fathers are entitled to 5 days of paid paternity leave. They also become eligible for unused maternity leave in case of their wife's inability to care for the child because of illness or death during childbirth or maternity leave.

Termination of Employment

• Notice Period

An employer may terminate an employment contract by giving notification in writing with the reason for termination and advice on the legal remedy. The employee may terminate the employment contract by giving at least 15 days' notice to the employer in writing. If the employment is terminated due to lack of performance or skills, the employee must be given advance notice of at least 8 days and not more than 30 days. If a warning has been issued to the employee within the last 6 months that stated how they underperform, how to improve performance, and how long the employee has to improve, then there is no notice requirement for the termination of the employee. In case of economic redundancy, no notice is required but employees are paid severance. 

• Severance Benefits

Employees who are made redundant are entitled to severance pay in the amount of at least one-third of the average earnings over the last three months for each year of service. Work for a predecessor employer (in the case of acquisition) is included in the years of service. No severance is paid for those dismissed for personal reasons. Employees who retire are also paid severance in the form of twice their average monthly salary.