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Country Introduction – Serbia
Capital – Belgrade
Currency – Dinar (RSD)
Population – 8.7 million
GDP – $51.48 Billion
Language – Serbian
Major Religions – Orthodox Christian / Muslim
Serbia is located in the west Balkans. The capital of Serbia is Belgrade a cosmopolitan city at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers; Stari Grad, Belgrade’s old town, is dominated by an ancient fortress called the Kalemegdan and includes well-preserved examples of Medieval architecture and some of Eastern Europe’s most-renowned restaurants.
Serbia is largely mountainous. Its northeast section is part of the rich, fertile Danubian Plain drained by the Danube, Tisa, Sava, and Morava River systems. It borders Croatia on the northwest, Hungary on the north, Romania on the northeast, Bulgaria on the east, Macedonia on the south, and Albania, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the west.
Most of the population of Serbia is of South Slavic origin. Slavic tribes entered the region from the north during the 5th to 7th century CE, encountering Illyrian speaking people. Although the Slavs acculturated large numbers of Illyrians, many of the latter retained their distinctive language and customs in the complex hills and valleys of present-day Albania.
Contract of Employment
A written employment agreement must be concluded with each employee. Under the Labour Law, there are a number of mandatory elements that must be included in an employment agreement, including the following:
– Name and registered seat of the employer.
– Name and place of residence of the employee.
– Work post and job description.
– Place of work.
– Type of employment.
– Basic salary on the date of conclusion of the employment agreement.
An employment agreement must be drafted in the Serbian language. The provision of versions of the employment agreement in other languages (in addition to the Serbian language version) is optional.
Up to a maximum of 6 months.
The notice period in the case of unilateral termination by an employee cannot be shorter than 15 days, and not longer than 30 days. There is one exception regarding termination during probationary work. Prior to expiry of the time for which the probation work was contracted, the employer or the employee may terminate the employment agreement with a notice period which cannot be shorter than five working days.
In the case of unilateral termination by the employer, the notice period will depend on the particular ground for termination. Namely, if the employer decides to terminate the employee for failing to achieve work results (that is, where the employee does not have the required knowledge and competence for performing his/her tasks), the employee is entitled to a notice period of at least eight days and up to 30 days. This is the only termination ground that requires a notice period. There are no mandatory notice periods for other legal grounds of termination (that is, the employment relationship is terminated on the day when the decision on termination is duly delivered to the employee).
40 hours per week.
The working hours cannot exceed more than 12 hours per day inclusive of overtime.
The overtime cannot exceed more than 8 hours per day. Any employee working overtime shall be entitled to a premium of 26% of the basic salary.
20 calendar days minimum. With at least 10 days to be taken together.
Up to 30 days – 100% of pay if the sickness is due to an injury from work. 65% of pay if the sickness is not due to an injury from work.
Pregnancy leave, which starts between 45 and 28 days before the due date and lasts for three months after the birth.
Childcare leave, which starts on the expiry of pregnancy leave. Pregnancy leaves and childcare leave jointly last 365 days and are fully compensated by the state.
VAT / GST:
20% Standard VAT rate. This is reduced rate of 10% VAT on basic necessities – Food, newspapers, public transport, utilities, medicines etc.
10% to 20% depending on the type of income.
Tax is deducted at source by the employer. Serbian Nationals are taxed on global income. Non-Serbian Nationals only pay tax on the income earned in Serbia.
Pension/Disability – Employer 11.50% and Employee 14%
Health Insurance – Employer 5.15% and Employee 5.15%
Unemployment insurance – Employee 0.75%
– New Year’s Day – 1st and 2nd of January
– Orthodox Christmas – 7th of January
– Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia – 15th and 16th of February
– Orthodox Good Friday
– Orthodox Holy Saturday
– Orthodox Easter Day
– Orthodox Easter Monday
– Labor holiday – 1st and 2nd of May
– Armistice Day – 11th of November
In the event of termination of employment due to redundancy, a severance payment is a prerequisite for the termination of employment and a mandatory condition for the validity of the decision on termination. There are no mandatory severance payments in other cases of termination.
Work and Residence Permits (Expatriates)
There are three different types of work permits:
– Work permit for employment.
– Work permit for self-employment.
– Work permit for special cases.
The foreign national can only perform the work for which he/she has obtained the work permit. There are specific procedures regarding the required documents and conditions that must be fulfilled for the three categories of permits.
In addition, the potential introduction of quota systems (limiting the number of work permits that can be issued to foreign nationals) can have an impact on the possibility of employing foreign nationals.
The procedure for obtaining a work permit for employment takes up to 25 days, whilst the procedure for its renewal takes up to 15 days. A work permit for employment is issued for the duration of the temporary residence visa and can be renewed. Other work permits are either issued for the duration of the temporary residence visa or for one year.