In Serbia, every third employee is undocumented, while the labour inspectorate issued employers with over 231 million dinars worth of fines due to discovered irregularities in 2017.
Serbia loses 8 million EUR every day as a result of shadow economy which makes up less than 30% of the country’s GDP. As of this year, the regulation states that new workers have to be registered since the first day of their employment instead of after three days, as before. Also, the state authorities are working on regulating the labour rights of the Serbian citizens working abroad and have already signed relevant agreements with Slovakia and the Russian Federation covering this issue. Furthermore, a law regulating seasonal work is supposed to be adopted this year.
All of this was said at a press conference held in the headquarters of the Serbian Government dedicated to the national campaign called ‘Say No to Unregistered Work’ which aims to awareness about undocumented work both with employers and workers.
Minister of Labour, Veterans and Social Affairs, Zoran Djordjevic said that the accomplishment of the state’s strategic goal of combating shadow economy.
Those employers who work legally are aware of what they are losing, but the workers are not and that’s why it is necessary to educate them and inform them in order to understand the consequences of black work.
“So many of our workers have unpaid sick leave, no holidays, no rights to obtain loans”, the minister said.
If salaries are paid partly into their bank accounts and partly in cash, that poses a problem if they want to obtain a loan because banks take into consideration only the part of the salary that is paid into the account . Now, it takes only half an hour for an employer to register new workers via an online form so the excuse of employers having to take time off to do this is no longer justified.
Unregistered work is not good either for firms or for workers. Companies that don’t pay taxes could not be considered a fair competition to those companies that adhere to the law. On the other hand, workers unregistered workers are deprived of all rights, therefore it is important that workers themselves report employers who have failed to register them.
The Labour Minister has also announced more unplanned inspection, 24 hours a day, every day, because prior practice of inspectors informing companies of their arrival made no sense.
Acting Director of the Labour Inspectorate, Stevan Djurovic said that he expected the inspection to have better technical equipment, adding that a total of 260 labour inspectors cover the entire territory of Serbia.
“This project should give a better picture of what the inspections are doing, because their work benefits both the state and the workers,” Djurovic said.
In 2017, the labour inspection carried out 53,424 inspections, and found out 22,411 unregistered workers, which is 2,939 more than in 2016.
In the previous year, labour inspectors discovered 769 unregistered companies which had 1,183 unregistered workers.
(Nova Ekonomija, 19.02.2018)
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