The National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) has proposed that the status of online workers be regulated as a non-standard form of job contract.
The proposal has been sent to the Ministry of Labour, but has annoyed the representatives of the Association of Internet Workers (URI), who are negotiating with the Government of Serbia on the status of freelancers.
NALED sent a proposal to the Ministry of Labour with the desire to remove administrative obstacles for the work that Serbian freelancers do, following the Serbian government wanting to retroactively collect taxes and other fees on their earnings.
Freelancers have rebelled against this, founded an association, protested, negotiated with the state, but the agreement, for now, has not been reached, because the negotiations were interrupted on their initiative.
In NALED’s proposal, their URI representatives see some gaps, and Tamara Petrović from the Association of Internet Workers (URI), believes that there are some ambiguities in the whole story.
She claims that the state still wants to collect taxes and other levies, such as health insurance, retroactively five years back, and estimates that this will push freelancers into debt.
“NALED conducted a survey among freelancers, which unfortunately only 500 of them participating,” Petrovic says.
She notes that the survey was conducted after the Tax Administration urged freelancers to declare income from abroad on their own initiative, which speaks for the fact that taxation of freelancers is very important to NALED.
In this regard, Petrovic herself evaluates NALED’s proposal without having essential guidelines and proposals.
In turn, NALED states that they are working on a more detailed elaboration of that proposal, as well as that they cannot provide further information about their idea for now.
“What the URI noticed is that the description (that was offered in the NALED proposal) ignores terms such as freelancers, online workers, digital workers and the like,” Petrovic reminds.
According to her, the text of the proposal states that this model of employment should be limited to certain types of jobs (artists, language teachers, street musicians, workers on web platforms, housekeepers) that do not have permanent employers, as well as employees working for a foreign employer.
(Nova Ekonomija, 03.03.2021)
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