Employers’ obligations during the state of emergency due

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Pursuant to the declared state of emergency on the territory of the Republic of Serbia due to the pandemic of the corona virus Covid-19, the Regulation on Organizing the Work of Employers during a State of Emergency became applicable as of 16 March 2020 (published in the “Official gazette of RS” no. 31/2020 (hereinafter: the “Regulation”).

The Regulation determines the specific mode of organizing the work of employers on the territory of the Republic of Serbia during a state of emergency, principally:

− performing of work outside the premises of the employer;
− introducing of shift work;
− enabling the holding of all business meetings electronically or via other corresponding means (video link, video call, etc.); as well as
− postponing of business travel in the country and abroad, following the decision of the competent authority on the ban, i.e. temporary restriction of entry and movement.

In accordance with the aforementioned Regulation, during a state of emergency, the employer is obliged to enable employees to perform work outside the employer’s premises (teleworking and work from home), at all workplaces where such work can be organized pursuant to the general act and employment agreement.

If the general act and the employment agreement do not stipulate the aforementioned mode of work, the employer may adopt a decision allowing an employee to perform work outside the employer’s premises, if organizational conditions permit the same.

The decision to perform work outside the premises of the employer must include:
1) working hours;
2) the manner of supervising the employee’s work.

The employer is also required to keep records of employees performing work outside the employer’s premises.
An employer whose business activity is of such a nature that organizing work outside the premises is not possible, is obliged to harmonize his business with the conditions of a state of emergency, namely to:
− organize shift work, if such is feasible and does not require additional funds, so that as few as possible employees and all other work-engaged persons can work simultaneously in one room;
− enable all business meetings to be held electronically or via other corresponding means (video link, video call, etc.);
− postpone business travel in the country and abroad, following the decision of the competent authority on the ban, i.e. temporary restriction of entry and movement.

The Regulation further stipulates that, in order to ensure the protection and health of employees, work-engaged persons and clients, the employer is obliged to provide all general, special and extraordinary measures related to the hygienic safety of facilities and persons in accordance with the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases.

For employees and work-engaged persons who are in direct contact with clients or share a workspace with multiple persons, it is necessary to provide sufficient quantities of protective equipment in accordance with special regulations.

In addition, at the session of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Ordinance on Restriction and Prohibition of Movement of Persons on the Territory of the Republic of Serbia (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 34/2020) was adopted and entered into force on 18 March 2020, implying a complete ban on movement in public places, i.e. outside apartments, premises and facilities in residential buildings and outside households for persons 65 years of age and over in populated settlements with more than 5000 inhabitants, i.e. persons 70 years of age and over in populated settlements with up to 5000 inhabitants, while all other persons are prohibited from moving in public places between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In this regard, employers whose work is organized in night shifts or outside the above prescribed timeframe of permitted movement, should report to the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and submit the contact details of the person in charge of coordinating this activity, the company name and registration number, in order to provide permits for their employees to perform their work duties without interruption. The application should be sent to the email igor.kronja@pks.rs.

Obaveštenje – Notice 18.03.2020