In the future, seasonal workers will be entitled to both pension and health insurance, to be paid by their employers, and in case they are officially unemployed, they won’t be stricken off the National Employment Office’s registrar and will still be entitled to unemployment benefits.
Also, if adopted in an existing form, the new law stipulates that these workers will be entitled to health insurance, but only in case of work-related and occupational illness.
These are the main novelties that are added to the Draft Law on Simplified Work Engagement on Seasonal Jobs which is currently being discussed in the Serbian Parliament.
Following the discussion, the draft law will be forwarded to the Government of Serbia, which is supposed to adopt it in June.
However, its full implementation should only take place within six months of the date of its entry into force. The reason for the delay is the purchase of software that will be used to register seasonal workers through the Tax Administration Portal, which is also another novelty.
This law will bring a number of changes, both for employers and seasonal workers. The law stipulates that the term „employers“ in this context means legal entities that perform activities in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector. An „employer“ can also be a citizen, holder or family member that works on a family farm.
According to the new law, employers are obligated to report the engagement of seasonal workers to the Tax Administration, as well as the length of the engagement. This can be done online, on the first day of engagement, no later than 10am. In the event of termination of the work engagement, employers will have to register the termination the day after it happened.
Seasonal workers are limited to working up to 120 working days a year, counting from the day the employer registered the seasonal worker online, with the Tax Administration.
Employers will have to inform the seasonal worker about the work to be done, the expected duration of work engagement, the work health and safety conditions, daily and weekly working hours, breaks during work and the amount of financial compensation for the work .
The seasonal worker and the employer enter into a verbal employment contract with the employer obligated to issue a certificate of contractual conditions at the written request of the seasonal worker.
The financial compensation for seasonal workers will be calculated and paid per hour, and cannot be lower than the minimum labour price on the day of reimbursement. At the moment, the minimum hourly wage stands at 143 dinars. The wage is paid at the end of the working day, if the seasonal worker and the employer have not agreed differently.
Also, persons under the age of 18 will be allowed to perform seasonal tasks. The condition is that they are healthy enough to work, and they need to provide a written consent from their parents, as well as that such work does not jeopardize their health, ethics and education.