Will easier employment of foreigners reduce wages in Serbia?

Is the labour market in Serbia being liberalized to please foreign investors or domestic employers? Will only the workforce in shortage in Serbia be imported, or will employers, especially foreign ones, be able to replace more expensive domestic workers with cheaper ones from Asia? Will the easier employment of foreigners lower wages in Serbia?

These are some of the issues raised by trade unions in the debate surrounding the adoption of the Law on the Employment of Foreigners. The Social and Economic Council gave a positive opinion on the proposal, although the unions claimed they did not attend the discussions.

As Slađana Kiković, from the Nezavisnost trade union, explains the next step is to prepare a proposal for the Government which will then forward it to the National Parliament.

She points out that the law completely liberalizes the employment of foreigners in Serbia, especially through the Open Balkans initiative. She also claims that the proposed legal solution is not in accordance with Labour Law.

In addition, trade unionists point out that although unemployment is 8.9 percent, it does not mean there are no unemployed people in Serbia.

Obtaining a unified work permit for workers from Albania and North Macedonia as part of the Open Balkans initiative will be particularly facilitated, but migrants and workers from other countries sent by their companies to work in Serbia will be able to obtain a work permit fairly easily.

According to Kiković, senior management will not even need a permit to work in Serbia. Furthermore, for occupations that are classified as deficient, obtaining a work permit will be automatic.

(Biznis i Finansije, 13.04.2023)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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