Estimates show that over 100,000 workers in Serbia have been ‘leased out’, i.e. they have found employment through specialized recruitment agencies. There is no official data regarding the exact number of such workers, but, as the trade unions point out, leasing out workforce is becoming increasingly popular.
This kind of employment is not against the law although employees are not told how long they are going to be leased out to a company, they are often paid less than minimum wage, they have no right to a meal allowance, vacation, sick or maternity leave. There isn’t a single law in Serbia that covers this labour segment. In Europe, on the other hand, employee leasing is actually embedded into the legislation.
However, the Serbian Ministry of Labour says that they are currently working on the law regulating the work done by employee leasing agencies.
People of all kinds of worker profiles are being leased out to companies – chemical industry workers, metal processing workers, programmers, construction workers, actors, call centre employees…
The former president of the Nezavisnost Trade Union Association, Branislav Canak says that the companies which employ such workers have absolutely no obligations towards them.
“These workers are not included in collective job contracts, they are not members of trade unions, they often don’t have weekends off, they oftentimes work between 10 and even 15 hours a day, and if they are injured at work, no law stipulates who should compensate them for that. They are also not entitled to maternity leave, and their wages are half of those received by other employees in the same company”, Canak warns.
This post is also available in: Italiano