Assignment and protection of employees sent on temporary work abroad

On 13 January 2016. started the application of the new Law on conditions for sending employees on temporary work abroad and their protection (“Official Gazette of RS“, no. 91/2015; hereinafter “The Law“).

The Law uniformly regulates the issue of equal status of employees in the period while they are temporarily working abroad, in a situation when they have been sent by the employer to work abroad, as well as the conditions and the procedure for sending employees on temporary work abroad.

The notion of assignment to temporary work abroad in accordance with the provisions of the Law includes both assignment “to work” as well as assignment “to vocational training and training for the needs of the employer”. Provisions of the Law apply to employers who assign their employees to perform abroad:

  • work in the execution of investment and other works and provision of services;
  • work or vocational training and training for the needs of the employer in the employer’s business units abroad;
  • working or vocational training and training for the needs of the employer under the intercompany movement.

The provisions of the Law do not apply to those employees who are on a business trip abroad, in a situation when a business trip takes up to 30 days continuously, or 90 days during the calendar year, with breaks.

Duration of the assignment:

  • Employer may assign the employee on temporary work abroad for up to 12 months with possibility of extension. In doing so, employee who is assigned to work abroad must be employed for an indefinite period of time;
  • Exceptionally, the employees who work under fixed-term contracts may also be assigned to work abroad, in which case a period of time that the employee spent working abroad is not included in the legal limit on the duration of employment for a limited period of time, but in any case, the assignment cannot be longer than the time for which the employment agreement was concluded;
  • In order for the employee to be sent to work abroad it is necessary to obtain his/her written consent first, unless the possibility of sending the employee to work abroad is provided by the employment agreement of the employee.

The most important obligations of the employer:

In addition to the conditions in terms of the duration of the assignment, the Law also provides certain obligations for the employer, and those are primarily:

  • an obligation of concluding an annex of employment agreement with the employee who is assigned to work abroad, and which must contain elements defined by the Law;
  • commitment to change the basis of insurance for the employee;
  • commitment to provide, at its expense, the accommodation and food for the employee, and transportation for arrival and departure from work or the reimbursement of such costs, as well as
  • the commitment to provide the employee sent abroad with earnings which cannot be less than the guaranteed minimum wage according to regulations of the country in which the employee is sent to work, etc.

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