D&P wins landmark judgment for employers regarding payment of the increased salary for overtime work
Law firm Doklestic & Partners has won significant verdict of the Second Basic Court in Belgrade (the “Court”), in which the Court accepted argumentation and pleading that work beyond the full-time working hours may be considered as an overtime work only if the conditions determined in Article 53 Paragraph 1 of the Labour Law (the “Law”) are cumulatively fulfilled.
Namely, the Article 53 Paragraph 1 of the Law prescribes that at the employer’s request, an employee is obliged to work beyond the full-time working hours in the event of: 1) force majeure, 2) a sudden increase of volume of work, as well as 3) in other cases, where it becomes necessary to complete an unplanned work within a specific deadline.
In this labour dispute the employee (plaintiff) has submitted the lawsuit against the employer (defendant) in which he, inter alia, claimed payment of the increased salary for overtime working hours in relevant period.
However, while deciding on the legal ground of plaintiff’s claim the Court has found that this claim is unfounded because the plaintiff did not prove the existence of the employer’s request for employee’s work beyond the full-time working hours, nor the existence of force majeure, a sudden increase of volume of work and necessity of executing of unplanned work within specific deadline.
Also, the Court has stated in the first-instance verdict that in this state of matter, or in the situation when the conditions determined in Article 53 Paragraph 1 of the Law are not fulfilled, the working hours which the plaintiff achieved beyond full-time working hours must be paid to the employee, but only as regular work - without salary increase determined in the Article 108 Paragraph 1 Item 3) of the Law.
In this regard, the Court has accepted and confirmed the pleading and argumentation of the Doklestic & Partners law firm that in this particular case the employee did not achieved overtime work, but work beyond full-time working hours for which should not be paid increased salary.
The plaintiff has submitted an appeal and the case is still pending before second instance court, so for now remains an open question whether the Appellate Court in Belgrade shall confirm these argumentations and pleadings.