New law introduces several kinds of working permits for foreigners – Assigning employees abroad forbidden

Source: eKapija Monday, 03.10.2016. 15:35
Foreigners in Serbia are in a very favorable position when it comes to their legal status regarding labor, and the Serbian administration functions very well after all, when compared to experiences abroad. In that respect, the Foreigners Administration and the National Employment Service, which issues working permits, can be congratulated on the job they do, it was said at the working breakfast organized by the Tomic Sindjelic Groza (TSG) law office and the Slovenian Business Club in Belgrade on September 29.

The main topic of the seminary was the labor law and challenges foreigners and employers meet, and the meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy and the National Employment Service.

– One of the specific features of the new law is that it prescribes that practically each foreigner residing in Serbia for more than 90 days needs a working permit, even students. The scope has also been widened and now there are several kinds of working permits, differing according to the foreigner's reason for visiting Serbia and the documentation needed. The procedure might be slightly longer now, but each employer keeps such an obligation in mind – explained Ivana Stefanovic, lawyer at TSG, in her interview for eKapija.

She also talked about the legal status of directors in Serbia at the seminary. The law says that they can be hired through an employment contract, but also through a temporary service contract.

– When it comes to hiring directors through temporary service contracts, we are often asked if that kind of employment necessary entails a fee. We have been informed by the competent ministry that, in principle, employers should define the fee in the contract in such cases, because directors have all the rights guaranteed by the labor law – Stefanovic pointed out and added that in practice, however, employers often sign contracts not defining a compensation fee.

If the director is a foreigner sent to work in Serbia and receives a certain fee from the parent company, bilateral agreements that Serbia has with over 20 countries are implemented and certain exceptions can be made in that case. Still, it all depends from case to case and certain consultations need to be made before a business decision is reached.

– In sending employees from the Republic of Serbia on temporary service abroad, employers are quite disciplined and honor the entire procedure. At first sight, the procedure may seem more complicated than before, but if first steps are mastered, that is, rules and procedures, it all goes very smoothly. There's a very good cooperation between state authorities, and a lot of applications can be filed online. Also, the deadline periods are very short, so employers are now obliged to notify the ministry of the intent to send an employee to work abroad only one day in advance – Stefanovic said.

She advised employers to especially pay attention to the fact that the law forbids assigning workers and employees abroad. More precisely, employers may not assign, lend or rent their workers to other companies abroad, their clients or subcontractors, and the practice has often shown to be contrary to this.

Labor law in clients' focus

Predrag Groza, a partner at TSG, says that the labor law has been the focus of the clients' interest in the past years and that he expects that it will become even more significant in the period to come, in a positive sense, with the revival of the market.

– We have been members for more than a year now and cooperated successfully with the Slovenian Business Club. This is already the fifth or the sixth event we've organized together, which is how we exchange experiences, enhance our cooperation, meet new people. We always make sure to be dealing with current topics and try to transfer our knowledge, experience, innovations, to simply help the economy as much as possible – Groza says in his interview for eKapija.
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